Some people are very sure of the type of final disposition they want when the time comes. This is often due to personal values, family preferences or religious practices. It can also be determined by your budget and willingness to invest money into what happens with your body after you pass away.
But for many, they are unsure of what their preference and choices will look like. Though it may not seem like the most exciting topic, it is always valuable to have those close to you know what your final wishes look like. Whether that is quite detailed through funeral pre-plannng, or just simply letting them know if you prefer to be buried or cremated and if there are any specific requests that are important to you for a funeral or memorial service.
For both those who are sure about one or the other, and those who are on the fence, we’ve compiled some information on burial and cremation to help you make the right choice for you.
When many people envision their funeral, they see a burial as a more traditional service that is quite formal and often involves a church. They think of cremation and assume this means they are cremated and that’s it – no ceremony, final resting place or decisions to be made. While both can be true, both can also be the reverse. A burial can include nothing but interring the body and a cremation can include an elaborate ceremony and a space in a cemetery. With the large number of options that can happen regardless of the final disposition you decide on, it is important to examine your own preferences and beliefs to make the decision.
Choosing cremation has little to do with the funeral service that will be held before or after you are cremated. Your family may choose to have a viewing with your body present or a memorial service with your cremated remains present. The choice on where your cremated remains will rest can also be very broad and include many options, but there are some details that will lead you to choose cremation as your disposition.
- Do you have religious or cultural beliefs that require or favour cremation?
- Do you wish to have your remains spread, made into a unique item such as jewelry or other creative options?
- Do you wish to avoid being buried for any reason including personal values or desires?
- Are you concerned about the cost of burial or the additional decisions to be made?
- Have you chosen a site for your viewing, memorial or final resting place that would be inappropriate for a casket/body?
- Will additional time be required for out-of-town family members to arrive?
- Are you considering the environmental impact of your final disposition? This one will require further research and conversation with your funeral director. In some circumstances cremation may be the more eco-friendly option. In others, burial may have less impact
- Are there disagreements among your surviving family members that cremation may solve?
- Do you have religious or cultural beliefs that require or favour burial?
- Do you prefer to have a fixed final resting place?
- Do you have beliefs or values that lean towards burial or specifically against the idea of cremation?
- Is there a burial plot already established for you?
- Is there an environmentally friendly process you are considering that includes burial?
- Are there disagreements among your surviving family members that burial may solve?
Many people intertwine the concept of final disposition and funeral service, but when it comes to planning and inevitably paying for the options you choose, there is definite separation. Whether you are cremated or buried, there are costs associated with it and there can be as much ceremony or as little as you choose.
There are few limitations when you choose either disposition. You can still be buried in a cemetery either way. You can still have a very low cost and low effort end of life. You can choose a viewing, full service and reception afterwards or a simple celebration of life. These details are part of deciding your funeral arrangements rather than disposition. If you’re considering your options for planning your funeral, check out our blog for more information.
Regardless of whether you prefer to be buried or cremated, the most important detail is to ensure your loved ones know what you would like upon your passing. It can be challenging to bring up, but by ensuring your family knows your wishes, you not only make sure you get your desires, but you also save them from the emotional difficulty of having to make a choice for you that they are uncertain of.
If you have any further questions, or would like to consider pre-planning your final disposition and funeral arrangements, please reach out to us at any time at (403)274-0576. Our team of dedicated funeral professionals are here to help you make the best decisions for you!