Ground burials are chosen by 41.8 percent of the population of the country. This means that the remaining 58.2 percent of individuals are cremated. This number is expected to rise to 63 percent in the coming years. Many different factors including emotional attachments and spiritual beliefs help people to decide between being cremated or buried. Both methods have some benefits depending on the view of the family and loved ones. Some practical points should be considered when deciding between ground burial and cremation.
Ground burials normally occur in carefully chosen locations that are maintained by groundskeepers. A headstone, special plantings or other features mark the location where a loved one has been laid to rest. Burials have the advantage of establishing one set location where family and friends can come to pay respects and remember the life of a loved one. The plot can hold seasonal decorations and will remain in the same place generation after generation. Cremains that are kept in a decorative urn or other container are mobile. They can be placed in a memorial or kept in a special place in the home. The benefit of this is that loved ones are not tied to a specific location. The urn or container can be taken anywhere allowing families to move away from a city while keeping loved ones close by.
There has been some debate about the environmental impacts of the different ways to handle remains. Modern ground burials must adhere to some municipal laws that are tempered by religious exemptions. Embalming is the process that raises the most concern because of the chemicals that are used. Another issue is that burials require space in densely populated areas that could be used for other purposes like housing. Green burials that do not use chemicals are not permitted in all areas. The processes used in a crematory will not result in any harmful chemicals. The environmental impact comes from the emissions that occur while generating heat. A crematory is better for the environment when considering how embalming fluids, decomposition and materials in the casket will interact with the ground and water after a burial.
The cost of the two options can vary greatly depending on the wishes of the people involved. Cremation is a much less costly option than ground burial when comparing the simple costs of each. The costs start to become less clear when viewings, ceremonies, decorative urns and other options are included. Burial costs more because of the price of the plot, the casket and sometimes maintenance. Burials can be reduced to a simple process that does start to come down in price although there might always be some expensive complication with the headstone or plot in the future.
Ground burials can be complex and might not always be able to accommodate the personal wishes of a loved one. Family plots that are intended to hold everyone from several generations can sometimes be undone by changes…