How to Choose Between a Cremation or Burial

Monday, January 8, 2024

In recent times, cremation has become increasingly popular, to the point where it now nearly matches burial rates. Surprisingly, in 2020, fifty-six percent of Americans who passed away chose cremation as their final disposition. This shift in preference has sparked discussions among families unsure about funeral arrangements.

If you're stuck choosing cremation or burial, we'll help you find the path that best aligns with your family's needs and values. Here are some factors that can help you make a decision that honors the memory of your loved one.

Consider the Wishes of the Departed

Some individuals had clear preferences for cremation or burial, and respecting those wishes is a way to honor them. If you didn't get the chance to ask them directly, think about funeral traditions or religious beliefs that may influence their choice. For example, Islamic and Judaic religions encourage burials, so it's likely that this would also be a preference of their followers.

Family Dynamics

Discuss the decision as a family, considering everyone's struggle with the decision. Open and honest communication with your relatives-even those you haven't seen in a while-helps you come to a decision that prevents familial problems later.

For example, a relative may wish to be buried beside them one day. So it would make sense to ask them what their personal preference is.

Your family may also be able to help raise money for the funeral, so it's important to consider their input.

Emotional Factors

Some people find comfort in the ritual and permanence of a traditional burial; visiting the grave and placing flowers on it can be very comforting.

If your family is spread out or plans to relocate, cremation may offer more flexibility. With cremation, you can easily transport your loved one's remains wherever you go, ensuring they stay close to your heart no matter the circumstances.

Understanding Costs

Burial and cremation costs can vary depending on location, funeral services, urns, and memorial options. Generally, cremation is cheaper.

Even so, each option has ways to lower costs, such as choosing a simple burial casket or exploring affordable cremation options.

Keep in mind that your family's financial well-being is an important factor in making the right choice. Ask your funeral home about economical alternatives that won't compromise the quality of your loved one's farewell.

Environmental Implications

Cremation has fewer land requirements compared to a traditional grave burial. It also doesn't contribute to deforestation or the use of damaging chemicals like those used in embalming. Moreover, scattering ashes doesn't harm soil quality.

However, cremation requires substantial energy use and can potentially emit harmful pollutants into the air if not carried out correctly.

Thoughtful Options for Cremation or Burial

Choosing between cremation or burial is a deeply personal decision. You can navigate this journey with thoughtfulness and respect by considering your loved one's wishes, emotional factors, and financial considerations.

If you need help planning, contact Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home in Pottstown, PA. Our staff will make sure your loved one is honored in a meaningful way.

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