If you’re deciding for a loved one or arranging your own funeral plans, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether you’ll opt for a burial or a cremation. Choosing between these two is a highly personal decision, and it can be a difficult one.
While it is a heavy and emotional decision, there are things that you can weigh rationally in order to arrive at a choice. There’s truly no easy answer, but considering the pros and cons of each in detail may help you with your choice.
Apart from the deceased’s wishes, you should also take into account the family and loved ones that will be left behind. You should find a way to help the loved ones cope with the loss and grieve in a healthy manner.
The final remembrance is a way to celebrate the departed’s memory, and pay tribute to his or her life’s effect on others. This makes it a very important event that you need to put a lot of thought into. Although there are packaged services available, modifying and personalising the service may help loved ones cope with the loss.
Religious customs, family traditions, the departed’s final wishes, and the budget all come into the decision-making process. If you’re done getting into the nitty gritty of it all, we have a few things that you can consider for either a traditional burial, or a cremation.
Cremation is the process of body disposal that involves turning a body into the remains of ashes. This has been steadily becoming the more favoured option, with more people in the UK preferring it over the traditional burial.
Cremation is more cost-efficient.
Cremation only costs a third of what you may shell out for traditional burials. Traditional burials are usually drawn out and ceremonial, which may be the reason why it causes family members to dig deeper in their pockets.
Since there are no cemetery plots to be paid for, caskets to be bought, embalming processes, headstones, and other symbolistic attachments, cremation is the more financially-wise choice. As long as you don’t get roped into the sales talk of cremation facilities, you should be able to find yourself saving a remarkable amount of money.
2. Portable Remains
The problem with traditional burials is that the memorial is held only in one place. This makes it hard for family members who are scattered all over the world to pay their last respects. However, this is where cremation has a huge advantage.
Urns are where the cremated remains can be stored, and they’re fairly easier to transport than traditional caskets. Caskets require a few people to carry, and they’re not as easy to move from one place to another.
On the other hand, an urn can easily be carried from one memorial spot to a permanent place in someone’s home. It allows for easy transport, and will not require a plat to be bought for its storage. A simple table or nook is enough to pay tribute to the deceased’s remains.
3. Loved ones can keep a bit of the departed’s remains.
Have family from all over the world who want to keep a remembrance of the departed? Keepsake urns are perfect for this, as they are small yet can still serve as a reminder of the loved one.
Keepsake urns are smaller-sized storage for the cremains. These are popular as jewellery, but they come in a variety of shapes and sizes that will fit the personality of the deceased perfectly.
From smaller accessories, to customised urns, keepsake urns have a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from. This gives you the freedom to hand-pick one that will remind you of the person. For example, if he or she is known for a love of basketball, you can get one with a ball engraved or an urn designed to look like a ball.
By finding an urn that you have an emotional connection with, you’ll be able to remember the deceased fondly whenever you see it. Finding the keepsake urn that tugs your heartstrings may even help you cope with the loss in a healthier manner.
4. Cremation is more environmentally-friendly.
Apart from having a lighter impact on the wallet, cremation will also leave less of an environmental footprint.
First off, cremations take up less land. Traditional burials occupy around 10 feet or more of space. However, urns are placed in columbariums which is more space-saving, thanks to the smaller size of urns. If you opt to not keep an urn in a columbarium to save on money, you may even chose to store the urn at home.
Recently, there have even been innovations that turn your ashes into trees. Biodegradable urns that grow into a plant or a tree of your choice are available, and will be the perfect option if the departed is known for having a green thumb. Apart from adding to nature, you’ll be able to remember them if you plant the tree in your backyard.
Traditional burials have been around for a long time, with it becoming the most popular (and occasionally, only) option. It involved the preservation of a body using chemicals in a process called embalming. After embalming the body, it is then enclosed in a casket.
Once the memorial is finished, the casket is then brought to its laying site to be buried or placed in a mausoleum. Now that you’re familiarised with the process of a traditional burial, it’s time to know it’s advantages.
Traditional burials honour religious beliefs.
Some religions frown upon the process of cremation, if not forbidden. By choosing to bid farewell to a loved one through a traditional burial, you’ll be safe from overstepping any religious beliefs.
It is one of the most socially acceptable practices of body disposal, and is essentially a no-brainer if the deceased did not leave behind a specific preference for his or her funeral.
2. It gives more time for the family to grieve.
One of the major differences between the traditional burial and the cremation is the amount of time you get to spend with the remains. With cremation, there is typically no viewing of the body before it gets cremated.
However, with traditional burials, you get to decide how long you want to hold a wake. It can be as short or as long as you want it to, allowing enough time for the departed’s loved ones to grieve and come to terms with the death.
Since funeral homes are usually open from day to night, visitation may be possible even for those who work during the day. Scheduling a longer wake may even allow family members from distant places to book a flight and pay their last respects.
By knowing how much time the family needs, you’ll be able to plan a memorial that will cater to the visitors, while also celebrating the departed’s memory.
3. Traditional burials are less of a hassle.
Since this practice has been around for about a century, it ensures that a lot of facilities have been created to cater to this demand.
It also means that packages are readily available for those who may not have as much time to plan and organise the details of a funeral. By opting to go for a packaged service, you only need to double-check the inclusions and then you can take your time to mourn the loss.
Be sure to check the fine print of these as you may find yourself being scammed or conned, which may just add more stress to you and the family. While these ready services are a great convenience, it’s still important to make sure that the last moments of your loved one will go smoothly.
4. The deceased can be laid to rest near other family members.
A common practice among tight-knit families is the purchase of large lots so that all the family members can be laid to rest there.
If your family members have all opted to be buried, it can be a great way to commemorate the memory and the family ties of the deceased. A private plot provides a permanent memorial place for the family and their friends to remember the deceased.
When choosing between the traditional burial and cremation, you should always prioritise how the family members can best cope with the death. The choice you make should balance the desires of the family, along with consideration for the departed’s personal wishes.
Put some thought into your choice, and decide whether the right fit would be a traditional burial or a cremation.