A must-read before making any decisions
Most assume the reason for a cemetery is the interment of the dead. While this is true, there are many other important purposes of a cemetery within a community.
It is a natural human desire to remember and be remembered. A cemetery serves as a place to visit and honor a deceased loved one.
A cemetery is also one of the few places where you can truly feel the connection between the dead and the living. In recent decades it has become even easier for the living to feel that connection, as they feel more comfortable. The incorporation of nature and beauty within cemeteries helps achieve that.
A cemetery, just like a funeral home, serves its community as a being a part of the community. Events are held frequently throughout the year to remember loved ones and honor the dead, within families and also collectively as a community.
There are four main sections to understand before you make any decisions regarding planning ahead … A Traditional, Below-Ground Burial Space, An Alternative and Contemporary Option, A Modern but Permanent Memorial Space and A Traditional, Above-Ground Burial Space. Learn more about each of these options below:
1. A Traditional, Below-Ground Burial Space
One large benefit to burial is that it creates a physical, permanent space to visit. Grieving family members often find comfort in having a specific place to go to remember their loved ones. Also, choosing underground burial is still widely accepted within different religions.
The traditional form of ground burial with memorialization, such as a headstone or marker, provides both practicality and beauty. Personalization of a headstone or marker can be as simple or complex as you would like.
Traditional underground burial spaces can be purchased as individual, double and even many times family or estate plots. It’s best to check about possible restrictions as you move forward with planning ahead.
It’s important to remember that all veterans are entitled to a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker, as well as other benefits. Don’t hesitate to ask for details.
2. An Alternative and Contemporary Option
In recent years, the amount of memorialization options available have grown significantly. A cemetery is one of the few places where you can feel the connection between the dead and the living. The incorporation of nature, beauty and modern alternatives within cemeteries helps achieve that.
Contemporary options are available with both burial and cremation. Some options within a cemetery include scattering cremated remains in a “Scattering Garden,” purchasing a memorial bench or monubench (half monument, half bench) for your ground plot, naming a stone or brick in memory of a loved one (that makes up a walkway or garden path), and much more…
3. A Modern but Permanent Memorial Space
A Columbarium holds cremated remains in individual chambers, called cremation niches. Niches can hold urns as well as family mementos.
A large benefit to a columbarium niche is the flexibility it gives. You can choose to place some cremated remains in the columbarium, creating a permanent resting place to honor the deceased, while also allowing some of the cremated remains to be elsewhere, possibly scattered or placed in a home.
Choosing a columbarium is a simple and cost-effective alternative for below-ground interment.
4. A Traditional, Above-Ground Burial Space
Both indoor and outdoor mausoleums are shared spaces where you can purchase a single, double or family crypt, together in one building. Private family mausoleums may also be available, and at times more cost effective.
One main difference between a below-ground burial plot and an above-ground mausoleum is the environmental impact. Mausoleums use less land, since they are stand-alone buildings, and are more attractive to those more environmentally-conscious.
Most mausoleums are meant specifically as interment chambers for deceased bodies. However, it’s important to note that many mausoleums also offer columbarium options (for cremated remains).