Tagged: Cemetery Questions
Hi …..my father died on the 23rd of Feb. At the funeral home when we were making plans I had me my mother and 5 older siblings so many opinions were going around the room. When the funeral director talked about a vault we said no because we though he meant when people get placed into a wall (for lack of better words I forget what that is called). We already had a plot in the ground it wasnt till the funeral at the cemetery we realized he meant the concrete case a casket goes into so now me and my mother are seriously second guessing that dad doesn’t have one. It’s a horrible feeling that the casket and the ground will fall in on him. My question is can we pay the cemetery to dig up the grave and place one of these vaults or grave liners in there now? I know most people will say just ask the cemetery but I just want a lil education on this before I approach them on this. I dont want them to just brush it off and give me the easiest answer….any help would really be apreciated. Thanks
First of all, I am very sorry for the loss of your father. Please accept our condolences – we know this is a difficult time for you and your family.
To answer your question, I would say that I am surprised that the cemetery did not require a vault for the burial. Most cemeteries do and let me explain why.
The vault is not so much intended to protect the casket as it to keep the ground level over time. When a burial needs to be made, cemeteries typically use heavy equipment (such as a backhoe) to dig the grave, or mowing equipment to maintain the grass in the summer. That equipment exerts a certain amount of pressure on the ground, which can cause the casket to give way and the surface of the ground to dip over time. The vault does offer the casket some limited protection, but it is not guaranteed to keep the casket unharmed over time. Because vaults are usually made of concrete, it is a stronger material to stabilize the ground around the casket, and so it helps to keep the surface of the ground level even years after the burial.
If the cemetery did not require the vault, then I would guess they use other means (maybe less heavy equipment) to maintain the cemetery or simply just make the use of a vault optional for the family. Some smaller city or church cemeteries, for example, do not all require vaults to be used.
You can request the cemetery to do a disinterment and place your father’s casket into a vault that you would purchase and then bury him again, but be aware that there will be cost involved. A disinterment is what it is called when you re-open or dig up a grave, and it does require a disinterment permit (usually obtained by the funeral home or cemetery). There is also a fee that will be charged for both the disinterment and the reinterment (to re-bury your father.)
You could also contact the funeral director who handled your father’s service to ask some questions and get some help with this if you decide to move forward. You should be able to get pricing information before you make the decision to do this. (Also, I believe that when the funeral director asked about a vault while you were planning your father’s funeral, you likely thought he was asking about a mausoleum crypt. That is where the casket goes into a slot in a wall and no vault is needed.)
I really hope this helps with some of the education you were looking for, but please feel free to reply if you have any other questions and we’ll do our best to help.
Jennifer, thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my question it is appreciated. I just wanted to make sure this type of thing can be done. before i approach them about it. But i think your right i might contact the funeral home first and see what they can do. Seriously tho thank you
You are very welcome, and I wish you and your family the best as you continue to deal with a tough situation.