Choosing between burial or cremation can be a difficult decision. The first point to consider is the wishes of the loved one if the person left instructions as to their personal choice. If the loved one did not indicate a preference for burial or cremation, family members must choose. Following are some tips to help you select the best option.
Most believe a cremation usually costs less than a burial for various reasons. A burial requires purchasing a cemetery plot and a casket and paying a funeral home to prepare the body for burial. A cremation requires buying an urn for the ashes, but you still must pay the funeral home for cremating the body. Today, cremation is still less expensive than burial, but there is less of a gap between the price of a funeral and the price of cremation.
So much depends on your choice of casket or urn, whether you want a funeral ceremony, memorial service, or no service, and the type of cremation. If you decide to place the urn in a vault or crypt, that is an additional cost. Burials can be more expensive than cremations, so it’s essential to consider your budget when making this decision. However, remember that cost should not be the only factor in your decision-making process.
2. Family Needs
Each family has unique needs. Some may prefer a burial to follow a family tradition that has endured for generations. A gravesite gives family and friends a place to visit and leave flowers. Though a vault or crypt also offers a visiting spot, some people do not consider it personal enough. Some families choose a traditional funeral and burial because this process gives them more closure.
Another family may want to bury the person wearing a military uniform or some other unique clothing or jewelry, like a wedding ring, to symbolize love that lasts into eternity. When a loved one passes away, decisions are often made based on emotions, memories, and life experiences that no one can understand and appreciate except the people closest to the deceased.
3. Religious and Cultural Beliefs
Religious and cultural beliefs may play a role in the decision-making process. Some religions require burial, while others allow for either burial or cremation. It is important to consider your loved one’s beliefs and traditions as a final sign of respect.
4. Environmental Impact
Cremation can have a lower environmental impact than burial, as it does not require land use or embalming chemicals. If environmental concerns are important to you or your loved one, this may be a factor to consider.
5. Consider the Time Factor
A burial will usually lay your loved one to rest in a pre-determined location within a week. You may want more time to plan how to handle the final resting place. Perhaps you need more time to consult with family members, fulfill a loved one’s request, or make a decision while under so much stress. A cremation allows you more time to decide where and when you want to take your loved one’s ashes.
Decide What Matters Most
A final tip is to choose the services of an end-of-life provider who follows all of the government guidelines called the “Funeral Rule” and will provide all the information you request to help you make the best decision for your loved one.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to bury or cremate your loved one should be based on personal preferences and what feels most meaningful to you and your family. Carefully considering all the options and making the right decision is vital to your loved one’s memory and legacy.