The type of burial you have is a deeply personal decision. Many factors, such as family and religious customs, financial situation, and personal preferences, must all be taken into consideration. Like all decisions related to your final arrangements, you should weigh your burial options carefully since the decision you make is one important way your memory will be kept alive. There is no right or wrong choice, only the choice that is best for you and your loved ones.
Factors to Consider When Thinking about Burial Options
- Do you want a traditional final resting place?
- Do you prefer an outdoor or an outdoor environment?
- Should your resting place always remain dry?
- Do you want to be memorialized near your loved ones?
- Do you want your loved ones to be able to visit your resting place?
- Do you want your loved ones to be able to leave flowers and other decorations at the site?
In-ground burial options for a casket or cremation urn:
When we think of burial, most of us think of traditional in-ground burial for a full body in a casket. However, in-ground burial can also apply to cremated remains. In most cases, in-ground burial is accompanied by a funeral.
Most cemeteries require that you also purchase a burial or urn vault or lining. Vaults are made of concrete and they protect the container from ground collapse. While not required, most people also purchase a memorial marker or monument for the gravesite.
There are several types of cemetery space to consider:
- Single burial plot: A single plot intended for the burial of one person or one urn.
- Double or companion plot: A double plot may be two single plots side-by-side, or one that is double depth. With a double depth plot, a second deceased is buried on top of the first.
- Family plot: A space that is large enough for multiple family members.
- An urn plot: A smaller space that designed for burial of a cremation urn. Depending on the cemetery and the type of plot you purchase, it may be possible for multiple urns to be buried in the space plot.
Above-ground burial options for a casket or cremation urn:
Some people prefer to have the option of having their remains be entombed above ground level. This may be an attractive option if you live in a low lying area and you are uncomfortable about the possibility of flooding.
With above-ground burial you have several options:
- Mausoleum Building: A mausoleum is a building designed to house the casket. There are several types. A private mausoleum may be a standalone building that is reserved just for you or your family. A community mausoleum is a larger structure that houses the remains of those who purchase space inside. A variety of personalization options will be available depending on the location you choose. Community Mausoleum a community, usually climate-controlled building, where families can select the location and level of crypt and personalize crypt plates and crypt markers
- Lawn Crypt: A lawn crypt is a structure that is built above ground, normally with a drainage system below the structure. Grass is planted over the structure so that it blends into the environment. The casket is placed inside the crypt.
- Columbarium: A columbarium is a building or wall structure that is designed as a series of niches to hold cremation urns.
Alternative burial options:
If you prefer a less traditional burial, there are a variety of options.
- Burial at Sea: For sailors, mariners, and those who love the sea, water burial has a long and storied history. While not as widely available as conventional burial, it is still very possible to choose burial at sea. Click here to visit our Burial at Sea page.
- Home Burial: In some communities it is possible to be buried at home or in a family cemetery. A local funeral director or your municipal government can help you determine if your area permits home burial. Click here to visit our Home Funerals and Burial page.
- Green Burial: Earth friendly burials are becoming more and more popular. In some communities, cemeteries that are designed to have minimal ecological impact are available. Click here to visit our page on Green Burial.
- Donation to Science: For those who wish to forgo burial altogether, donating their body to science may be an option. Even with donation, your cremated remains can be returned to your family so that you can be memorialized. For more information visit our Donating Your Body to Science page.
When you choose cremation you have near limitless options when it comes to how your remains are handled. In addition to traditional options such as urn burial or scattering, you can choose to have your remains launched into space, buried in an ocean reef, or made into a precious stone.
This lighthearted look offers 12 unique ways to handle cremation ashes in order to memorialize yourself or your loved one. If you are not familiar with the trend toward home funerals (also referred to as a family-directed funeral), it may strike you as a bit odd.
This lighthearted look offers 12 unique ways to handle cremation ashes in order to memorialize yourself or your loved one.
If you are not familiar with the trend toward home funerals (also referred to as a family-directed funeral), it may strike you as a bit odd.