Life is full of choices that require decisions. One of the most important, and perhaps, difficult decisions to make is about final disposition of a body. This article discusses some of the Pros and Cons for burial and cremation. Once decided, it is advisable to make your decision known to your loved ones in writing. This will ensure that your wishes are met.
Burial has been a traditional practice for centuries, if not millennia. Many years ago in the US, the body was wrapped in a shroud and lowered into a hand-dug grave. During the Civil War, however, it became necessary to preserve the body until it reached its home destination. This initiated embalming as a common procedure. Through the years, some environmental and health hazards have become associated with embalming. Today it is considered by some people to be unnecessary, and there is a popular movement toward returning to natural burial.
One of the main advantages to burial is the fact that families can be buried adjacent to each other in a family plot. Today's society, however, is transient. Many people move away from the place of their youths, either for career opportunities, or improved quality of life. The family grave site often remains unvisited.
Natural burial can be quite economical, while a traditional burial, with casket, embalming, and grave purchase, can be very expensive.
Cremation has been rapidly gaining popularity during the last decade. In the United States, it currently accounts for more than 39% of all deaths, with much higher percentages in some regions.
Cremation is generally less expensive than a traditional burial and funeral. Direct cremation can be found for under $1,000.
There are many options for containment of ashes. Today's internet has an overwhelming amount of cremation urns for sale. The variety of materials offers endless choices to today's consumer. Cremation urns, also referred to as burial urns, are available in ceramic, metal, glass, wood, fabric, and biodegradable materials. There are large urns so that the ashes can be kept intact. There are even companion urns, which are double-sized vessels. The companion urn is a good choice for a couple who wishes to remain together after the end of earthly life. Smaller urns are called keepsake urns. The keepsake urn is ideal for someone who wishes to keep just a small amount of the ash. This points to an advantage of cremation over burial. The ashes can move with a family, or even be contained in cremation jewelry, which enables one to keep a loved one close to the heart at all times.
Some people find cremation to be less than environmentally friendly. This continues to be debatable, especially with updated methods such as alkaline hydrolysis, which is a water- based chemical resolving process. Otherwise, cremation uses less space, which has become scarce in many areas.
These points are the main factors to consider when making the decision between burial and cremation. There are also religious tenets to take into account. It is a very personal decision, that should be resolved with consideration.