At the time of a significant loss, there are many difficult and personal decisions to be made. One of these decisions would be the choice between a burial service or a cremation. This choice is a deeply personal one and is often decided ahead of time by the deceased. The choice between burial and cremation comes down to one's personal beliefs, budget, and environmental preference.

Personal Beliefs:

Personal and religious beliefs take on an important role in choosing between burial and cremation. Most individuals have a set idea as to how they wish to have their body treated after passing. It is important to have this conversation ahead of time or have a clear sense of the individual's preference. There are some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, that explicitly require burial. Other religions, like Hinduism, view cremation as part of the soul’s journey to the afterlife. An individual does not need to be religious to have a strong indication of how they wish to be laid to rest.

Cost Comparison:

Funerals can be very expensive because of extra fees, charges, and add-ons. The cost of a burial service is typically more due to the cost of the casket and burial plot. The casket alone can cost upwards of $2,000, which does not include the price of the burial plot. For these reasons, cremations cost roughly a third of the price and are the most financially friendly option. Cremations normally require the purchase of an urn but do not require a long-term plot option. If cost is a deciding factor, we recommend looking into a cremation option.

Environmental Factors:

People often forget about the environmental impact of cremations and burial services. In today’s climate-conscious environment, some individuals have begun to choose environmentally aware alternatives for themselves or their loved ones. To reduce pollutants caused by cremation and decrease land usage from burials, natural eco-burials (“green” burials) could also be an attractive option. These burials are slowly growing in popularity and are made more environmentally friendly by excluding the use of embalming fluids and using biodegradable materials.

Whether or not you choose a burial service, it is important to remember that by holding a funeral or memorial service, you are allowing others to say goodbye and come to an acceptance of the death that has occurred.