Talking about death makes many people feel uncomfortable, but it can also save your family the pain of having to make difficult decisions. One important thing to discuss is what you want to happen to your remains. Do you prefer cremation or burial?
When thinking about cremation vs. burial, there are things you should consider before making your choice. Here is an overview of the two to help you decide.
Cremation vs. Burial: The Differences
The main difference between cremation vs. burial is what happens to the body after death.
The process of cremation involves incineration of the body until only ashes remain. The ashes are then placed in an urn, divided between family and friends, and scattered in a favorite spot, or interned in a columbarium, which is a special room or building to store cremated ashes. Cremation tends to be a more economical and eco-friendly choice. There are no embalming fluids or caskets to worry about.
It is important to remember that some religions don’t allow cremation. If your beliefs are important to you and your family, this option might not be the best for you.
Burial leaves the body intact and usually consists of embalming the body, placing it in a coffin or casket, and placing it in the ground or a mausoleum. This process costs more than cremation and isn’t as environmentally friendly. Embalming fluid can be toxic and caskets can take years to biodegrade.
If you worry about the environment and your carbon footprint, cremation might be the better option for you.
In recent years, there has been a movement toward eco or green burials. This process foregoes embalming and large expensive caskets. Instead, the body is simply wrapped in a shroud or placed in a plain coffin and buried.
This is how people were buried for most of human history, and how both the Jewish and Muslim faiths inter their dead.
If you want more information or have any questions about the differences, talking to a professional, like the people at Santa Teresa Cemetery and Cremations, can help you make an informed decision.
A Few Final Words
Some people worry that if you decide on cremation you can’t have a funeral, or if you prefer burial you must have a funeral, but this isn’t the case.
Whatever you decide to do with your remains, whether you have a funeral is up to you and your loved ones. If you want to have it at your place of worship, your favorite restaurant, your house, or not at all, it’s your choice. When writing your will, make sure to specify between cremation vs. burial and your funeral preference.
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