Deciding Between Traditional Burial and Cremation

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Having a loved one die is difficult enough, but then you are faced with all sorts of decisions. There is paperwork to fill out, wills to uncover, and last wishes to grant. Grieving often has to wait until the necessary arrangements can be made, so hopefully there is more than just one person making these sorts of plans. One of the most difficult decisions is often whether to have a traditional burial or whether to have the body of your loved one cremated. There are many things to take into consideration when making this crucial choice. Need some help? Read on for what you need to consider when deciding between traditional burial and cremation.

Respect Your Loved One’s Wishes

It can be tempting to do what we’d want for ourselves in this situation, but the most important thing when deciding between burial and cremation is to consider what this person wanted. Did he or she vocalize it and/or put it in writing? First and foremost, find out if they had an inclination towards either option. Some people have an innate fear of being put in the ground, even after death. Other people find cremation off-putting. If this person didn’t state any preference either vocally or in writing, the choice could be up to you. One thing to consider in that case is that cremation is considerably less expensive than burials. And those who are interested in conservation might like that it’s not taking up any land space. Either way, though, you should put the wants of your deceased loved one first when making this important decision.

Factor in the Financials

As mentioned above, cremation is less expensive than burial option. If you’re facing a serious lack of finances for putting your loved one to rest, you might not have a choice. Your loved one wouldn’t want you to go bankrupt as you’re laying him or her to rest. Expenses will start to add up, so it’s important find out if your loved one planned ahead, whether that be through burial insurance or a pre-paid funeral plan. As explains, these types of coverage are set up in advance, often by those who waited until it was too late in life to get life insurance but still didn’t want to leave a huge financial burden behind once they passed. Hopefully this was something your loved one purchased, as this will be a huge help. If not, however, direct cremation is often the way to go. The main reasons this is less expensive is you don’t have to embalm the body and you can use an alternate container (often an urn) to hold the body’s remains. Burials require caskets, which can be very expensive depending on your preferences and cemetery requirements. One way many cut costs is to order caskets or urns online, at sites like

Consider the Post-Death Considerations

Did your loved one love to sail or hike? Cremation can be a great way to go in cases such as this, as you can scatter his or her ashes in a favorite place. This is a super special way for the whole family to have closure, and it helps to know that you’re doing what your loved one would have enjoyed. Perhaps they were very social, with many connections. In this case, an open casket funeral might be the way to go. You can honor this person’s life with a wake and a lively after-party. It might sound strange, but you often hear that people don’t want others to grieve when they die. Instead, many people request that there be a party in lieu of tears. Order catering from a site like, play some music, and allow everyone to reminisce on their best times with the person who has passed. A funeral is often an extension of the way a person lived, and this can be a grand way to send your loved one into the afterlife. It’s also often a way to get family members together who haven’t seen one another in a long time. Although you’d surely like the reason for the gathering to be different, a reunion is a reunion.

Ask if Religion Should Be a Consideration

Many Catholic people have wakes with open caskets and then funerals, while atheists are often cremated. Those who consider themselves conservative Jews don’t typically approve of cremation, while others consider this to be just fine. There are many different considerations, so find out whether religion is a factor in the funeral.

You’ve experienced a loss and you’re deciding between a traditional burial and cremation. This article has hopefully helped you in making a decision that is best for all parties involved.

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