The most popular option, traditional burial consists of laying someone to rest in the ground in a casket. Typically funeral services will proceed the burial, with loved ones gathered for a viewing or celebration of life. These arrangements will be planned beforehand with the help of a funeral director. Traditional burial takes place after the funeral, with the option for a graveside service. Burials can also be direct, meaning that there is no funeral service or ceremony. This is often a choice for those who are hoping to have a memorial service at a later time to give friends and family longer to plan their visit. Regardless, both burial types will typically take place shortly after the passing of a loved one. This is a key element for certain religions, such as Judaism.
Green burial refers to a natural burial process for the departed. Favored by those who are passionate about the environment, green burials involve placing the deceased in a disposable container such as a cardboard box, mushroom suit, or tree pod. This will return the departed back to the earth with as little disruption to the ecosystem as possible. There are no embalming fluids used for these types of burials to allow for as natural a transition into the earth as possible. Rather than a headstone, green burial sites are often marked with a natural stone or tree planting. Keep in mind that some green burial sites are on hills or sides of mountains, so if you’re wanting to have a graveside funeral service, keep accessibility for guests in mind.
For those who would prefer not to bury their loved ones, cremation is another choice. It is also a religious practice to observe at the end of life for many, including Hindus. Cremation allows for the deceased’s ashes to be placed in an urn, interred in a cremation niche, or scattered in a remembrance garden or at sea. Cremation is less expensive than burial, allowing for more flexibility with funeral or memorial arrangements. It is also a less expensive but still eco-friendly option for those wanting to honor the environment even after they have departed. It is also more conservative of ground space, especially in cities where this may be limited.
Mausoleum interment options are stand-alone structures that contain burial crypts. Mausoleums have become more popular recently, especially in cities that have very little space available for burial. With a mausoleum, the departed will often be placed in an above-ground enclosure. This end of life option is preferred by people who wish to have a family crypt or simply want a structure to visit their loved ones after they have passed on. Many mausoleums have benches nearby or sitting areas for families and friends to visit and pay their respects.
While many people are guided by personal preference in making choices regarding end of life options, others are more constrained by financial considerations. In such cases, funeral pre-planning can be very beneficial. This can relieve any sudden financial burden by prepaying for services in advance of need. This is also helpful in relieving unnecessary stress that may be felt by the remaining close friends and family members. Preplanning can help your rest assured that your loved ones know exactly what kind of service you wanted with all of the details squared away.
Regardless of which end of life option you choose, know that there is no wrong answer for this sometimes difficult question. We hope that this resource may give you peace of mind as you choose which end of life option is best for you.
We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.