The Atlantic

Burying Your Dead Without Religion

The proportion of Americans who don't identify with a specific faith is growing. What does this mean for the future of funeral rites?
Source: Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

If you're interested, there's a tattoo parlor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii where an artist named Dodge may be able to give you a tattoo that incorporates a dead body—literally. “You simply take the cremains, or the ashes, and you mix them in with the ink, and then you ink that onto the person," explained Candi Cann, a professor at Baylor University and the author of Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the Twenty-First Century, which came out in June.

"It’s really not that different from wearing a piece of jewelry that your grandma gave you: You’re not wearing the piece of jewelry—you’re wearing your grandma.”

For most of human history, religious ceremony has helped people deal with death,

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