There are a lot of decisions to be made when someone dear to you dies. One of the first questions that will be asked is if you want the remains buried or cremated. If you have never given much thought to this, you may find yourself wondering what to do.
The Difference Between Burial and Cremation
Until recent years, burial was the most common way to memorialize a death. The body was prepared by a funeral director, a viewing was scheduled, and a funeral service welcomed mourners, giving them a chance to say goodbye to the body of the departed.
Today, however, more and more people are opting for a simpler process: cremation. For some, the reason is strictly financial. With a typical burial now costing $7,000 to $10,000 (this includes embalming, funeral services, casket and burial), compared to cremation which costs about $1,000, it is no wonder why so many people are opting for cremation.
Since direct cremation does not require embalming or body preparation, the cost of the service is relatively cheap. Plus, without the need for a burial plot, cemetery costs are also eliminated. In addition, many families opt for smaller memorial service in their place of worship rather than a full funeral service offered by the funeral home.
The Benefits of Cremation
In addition to cost savings, cremation offers families more flexibility when it comes to memorializing their loved one. Since there is no need to make quick decisions, family members and friends can take their time to plan a memorial service for the deceased. Those who live far away have time to plan their trip and ashes can be stored until a decision has been made regarding whether to place them in an urn, have them scattered, place them in a columbarium, mausoleum or burial plot.
Some families also like the flexibility of transporting their loved one’s ashes in the event they move away. This allows them to remain close to their loved one no matter where they live.
The Benefits of Traditional Burial
For some, a traditional burial makes them more comfortable. Although it may cost more, they like the benefits of:
- Having a traditional funeral service which may include a viewing of the body and a graveside memorial.
- Having a place to visit their loved one
- Having all family members interred together (the family plot)
What About the Environment?
If you are considering cremation simply because you feel that it is more environmentally friendly, remember, that while it does use up less land space, some argue that cremation and burials both leave a similar carbon footprint. Remember the initial process of cremation is about five times more polluting than a regular burial, however, maintaining a grave for decades adds to the footprint of the burial.
Only You Can Decide
Cremation is a personal decision that depends on the deceased’s religion and personal preferences. For most people, the decision is a simple one. But, when you are left with that not-knowing feeling, you may need some help to decide. The loving staff at Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services have been helping families deal with the death of loved ones since the late 1800’s. Understanding the full impact of every burial decision, the caring professionals at Schoedinger’s can help you better understand the differences between cremation and burial so that you make the best decision for yourself and your family. Call the funeral home today to speak with one of our trained funeral coordinators to help you decide between burial and cremation.