Cremation vs Burial: Which Should You Choose?
More Americans are choosing cremation over burial. You can decide on cremation vs burial for your loved one with these pros and cons.
When planning for your end of life arrangements (or the end of life arrangements for a loved one) there are a few big decisions that you’re going to have to make.
One of them is what’s going to happen to your (or their) body after the death. This might seem morbid, but it’s important to plan ahead so you can have these conversations ahead of time when there’s less emotion tied up in them. This allows things to be discussed more clearly.
The two main options for most people are cremation vs burial, and they both have their benefits. Cremations are becoming much more popular as time goes on and many people don’t realize just how realistic that choice is.
If you’re still deciding, or you haven’t put thought towards this before, that’s okay. Keep reading to learn about cremation and burial and where you might stand on either.
It’s no secret that the funeral industry is remarkably expensive. It’s incredibly costly to die.
Many of those costs, however, are tied up directly in the casket that the deceased will be buried in and in the embalming. While the party or memorial is certainly a factor, it’s not the only factor involved.
In a traditional burial, you’re going to pay for the casket, the embalming, the burial, and the hearse. This doesn’t consider the cost of the burial plot, depending on how you arrange it (many people have a planned family plot so these costs can vary) or any mausoleum or vault.
This money is on top of the costs that both methods accrue. There is a cost for the service itself, the staff that is going to help assist, the preparation of the body for the viewing (if there is to be one), the basic services fee, and the transfer of remains. Some funeral homes may have bonus costs or may have fewer costs depending on the situation.
A cremation has fewer total costs than a burial. While any costs associated with a funeral or viewing are likely to be the same (provided you want an open-casket), the actual costs of the cremation are much more limited.
While the process will cost some money, there is no large and expensive casket to purchase or any need for a plot of land. You may want a fancy urn to keep your loved one nearby, but these are often far less expensive than any casket.
There are also temporary urns that you can purchase if you want to do something else with the ashes, like disperse them in a special place or put them into necklaces.
Overall, between the cost of cremation vs burial, a cremation comes off cheaper most of the time.
If you’re interested in being eco-friendly, there are a few differences between having a traditional burial and opting for cremation instead. Many people are realizing that death isn’t as sustainable as we’d once thought.
Burials are, unsurprisingly, not great for the environment provided that you’re going the traditional burial route.
The bodies are treated with many chemicals that can leech into the earth, causing problems for the environment. There’s also the issue of overcrowding in cemeteries, especially those in low-level areas that are prone to flooding or in urban centers.
The fact of the matter is that people are probably going to keep dying, which means more and more caskets will need room. We only have finite space for burials. This is perhaps a problem for future generations, but should it be?
Cremations spare the issues of embalming and overcrowded cemeteries, so this is a good thing.
There are no grave maintenance environmental costs associated with cremation as there are with burials.
When it comes to “after death” care, a lot of it boils down to tradition and what the rest of the family wants. After all, the deceased likely doesn’t have much to say on it.
Many families have family plots. Others have plots reserved just for siblings or spouses. In some cultures, this is required to have a happy and connected afterlife.
Because of the overcrowding in urban centers, though, many people are finding it difficult to get family plots if they haven’t been passed down appropriately.
Many people also find the process of the burial and the ability to go visit a grave very satisfying. It can make them feel connected to the deceased and give them a sense of peace while grieving. Some people make yearly visits to their loved ones.
While cremation has less tradition to it, it also has strong benefits for connectedness.
An urn can stay in a family forever, becoming an heirloom or a special memorial. If you choose to not go for an urn, you can scatter ashes and revisit that special place every year. While a cemetery is often somber, visiting a place that your loved one enjoyed can be a happy time to reflect on their life.
If you choose to have ashes made into a keepsake, like a locket, then everyone can keep the family member close to their hearts if they so choose.
Cremation doesn’t have to mean breaking tradition. It can mean creating new ones.
Cremation Vs Burial: What Is Right for You?
When trying to make the tough choice between cremation vs burial, you have a lot to consider. It can be a very emotional time for you and your family and making those decisions alone can be tough.
If you decide that cremation is the right choice for you, visit our site and consider arranging your cremation. Whether you’re planning for a loved one or planning ahead, there are options for you and we want to help.