Burial or Cremation: Which Is Right for You?
Several elements factor into the deeply personal decision regarding burial vs. cremation, explains Kelly Carey, who oversees operations at Codey and Mackey Funeral Home in Boonton and Codey Funeral Home in Caldwell.
“Religion, tradition, cost and personal preference are typical considerations during the decision-making process,” Kelly says. “There are many benefits to either option, and we are here to help families make the right decision for their particular situation.”
Until a few years ago, a burial service was far and away the more popular choice when planning a funeral, with tradition and religion being the primary factors in the decision.
“Some people appreciate the process of choosing a casket and a burial plot and attending a graveside service,” says Kelly. “It gives them comfort and helps them get closure.”
Many religions favor burial, with some outright prohibiting cremation. Deeply religious families may find more comfort in burying or entombing their loved ones.
“Religion guides many aspects of how a deceased loved one is honored and put to rest,” Kelly says. “Choosing burial over cremation is one we see quite often.”
Comfort to Those Left Behind
When a person is buried, there’s usually a grave and headstone where one can visit, leave flowers or have a conversation with the deceased. These interactions may offer a type of consolation that isn’t possible if a loved one has been cremated, with their cremains on someone’s shelf or spread across the Atlantic Ocean because they loved the sea.
However, Kelly adds, cremation does not preclude this type of memorial, as some people opt to be cremated with their ashes inurned in a traditional cemetery with a headstone.
In Favor of Cremation
Cremation services have grown in popularity over the past several years, with economic, environmental and logistical benefits tipping the scales.
While cremation does not automatically eliminate the need for all traditional interment expenses, the overall process is typically less extensive.
“Funerals can be expensive. If the budget can’t handle a full burial, cremation is a viable option,” says Kelly.
Cremations are said to have less environmental impact than burials, and they allow for loved ones to spread the cremains in meaningful places. If the person enjoyed traveling, fishing or following their favorite football team, they can rest in Spain, float in the ocean or mingle with the stadium grass, with the proper permissions, of course. There are rules and even laws that prevent the spreading of cremains in certain jurisdictions.
“Cremation dramatically increases a person’s resting place choices,” says Kelly. “This idea is especially appealing for those who don’t relish the idea of being underground.”
If a person’s being buried, there’s usually a timeframe for getting everyone in town for the service and actual interment. Cremation opens up the timetable. Kelly comments, “If certain family members or loved ones can’t come immediately, they can wait a week, month or even a year to have a memorial service or inurnment.”
Pre-Planning Ensures Your Wishes Are Carried Out
Funeral arrangements are infinitely personal. Even a close family member or friend may not make the choices you would want. “The cremation vs. burial decision is a good example of why we recommend pre-planning your funeral,” says Kelly. “That way, you know your final wishes will be followed.”
If you have any questions about burial, cremation or any funeral topics, please contact us at Codey & Mackey Funeral Home at (973) 334-5252. It is our privilege to serve you.