Burial vs. Cremation

Choosing Between Burial and Cremation

Choosing between burial or cremation is a tough call for some while a very easy decision for others.  Normally choosing between the two is based on four different things, where will you or your loved one be placed after the funeral (buried, niche wall, entombed etc), how much money do you want to spend, and of course what did everyone else in your family choose to do, and last but not least, religion.

If there is already a family plot purchased in the cemetery and that is where you or your loved one is destined to go after the funeral, you might be able to choose between burial or cremation.  If the family plot already has a number of people in it you might be left with only cremation as an option based on space restrictions alone.  Depending on the plot size and the state you are in there are only so many people allowed in each plot..  For example a single plot can have two caskets buried and up to three urns (these numbers will vary depending on state), so if there are already two caskets (parents for example), the children might have to be cremated to get three or more into the plot.   If you have selected a niche wall you must be cremated to be placed into your allotted space In the wall as there is only room for urns.  If the remains are to be entombed you can choose between cremation or whole body burial of sorts. The tomb size and current occupancy will determine whether or not you must be cremated to fit in, or whether it can fit a full sized casket into it.

Truth be told more and more often money is a factor in determining what to do with a loved one’s body after death.  In most cases cremation is considerably cheaper than burial.  When money is tight cremating your loved one means you can do just about anything with his or her ashes, some keep them in their home in an urn until such time that a permanent resting place can be purchased, others immediately bury them or place them in a tomb or niche wall.  Choosing burial means you need to pay for the space, a casket, and a headstone and the actual act of burying the body or urn.  Niche walls tend to be a less expensive option because with cremation you do not need an expensive casket or a large area in the cemetery to bury the body or a large headstone.

Looking at what other family members have done in the past will make it easier to ensure you are meeting with that persons religious beliefs.  There are some religions that will not allow cremation or embalming for that matter.  There are even cases where religion will require really fast burial with other specifics like head must be facing a certain way and the like.  Looking back at their family history will make it easier for you to respect their heritage and religious beliefs.

Leave a Reply