The death of a loved one always comes as a shock even if you knew death was imminent. It's always difficult to come to grips with the hard truth that you'll never get to see the person you love again in this lifetime. People are often forced to deal with difficult decisions about funeral arrangements in the throes of this unspeakable grief. One of the biggest decisions to be made is whether to bury or whether to cremate. In many cases, the deceased has already specified their wishes. But when that's not the case, a decision must be made. Here are a few of the pros and cons to help you in your choice.
If money is tight, consider the affordability of cremation. Compared to burial, cremation will cost you less money because there are fewer material goods involved in the process. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2017, the national median cost of a funeral with a viewing and cremation was $6,260 while a funeral with a viewing, burial, and a vault averaged $8,755.
Control of Timeline
Another major pro of a cremation funeral is that you are free to hold the funeral or memorial service at a time of your choosing. If you're accommodating people who are traveling from out of state or out of country to attend the service, this is especially useful as you can delay it for several weeks, something you can't do with burial service.
Options for Location
With cremation, you have the option to scatter your loved one's ashes in a place of their choosing or even in multiple places that were significant to them. With a burial, you are limited to the plots available in the cemetery and the choice is often very restricted.
One of the major cons of cremation is that the process requires the consumption of large amounts of fossil fuels during combustion. In fact, the process can release as much as 573 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It can also result in the release of other harmful chemicals into the atmosphere like mercury vapors.
Not Readily Available
Another major downside to choosing cremation as your option is that it's not always available in your community. Choosing this option may require you to arrange travel for yourself as well as arranging transportation for the body of the deceased. This can cause costs to increase as well.
Contact a funeral planning service in your area for help with making your decision.