Following the loss of a loved one, we are called to decide on a myriad of different things - all while we are in a mode of grieving. The tough part is that decisions must be made in a short timeframe. One of the most important and necessary is the decision of what will be done with the remains.
In some cases, your loved ones have already made the decision of what they would like done to their remains when they pass. In other cases, you may have to make the decision of how to respectfully handle your loved one after they pass away.
Is it a cremation? Is it burial? Are there any alternative options for me? All of these questions come up and the solution may not be easy to find. Ultimately, every individual is unique and the choices that you make are up to you. Thankfully, we have put together a resource to make tough end-of-life choices a little bit easier.
Traditionally not as popular as burial, cremation has grown as the first choice for end-of-life solutions in the past few years. This can be attributed to a few reasons:
Everyone has a different way of remembering their loved ones — and those may not mean having a site to visit, especially at a Victorian decorated funeral home or even at a funeral home at all! You can choose how to memorialize your loved one and that can include scattering their ashes in a place that is meaningful. It also may be a choice that is rooted in a religious need; many cultures have used cremation for centuries as an end-of-life choice. With cremation, you have the flexibility to choose when and where you hold the memorial, if at all, and where you scatter the ashes.
No deep need to have a physical location for your remains
Going hand-in-hand with flexibility, not having a need for a specific burial place can give you more options for how you choose to manage your loved ones, or even your, remains. Having your loved one interred in one place forever may not fit with your lifestyle or choices. Say that you decide to move but would still like to be near your deceased loved ones.
Cremation affords you the ability and flexibility to not be rooted in one place but still allows you to respectfully honour and remember your loved ones.
Perhaps the most important, and compelling argument for a direct cremation lies in the cost factor. There are many costs associated with end-of-life arrangements, and choosing a direct cremation can help alleviate some of those costs in a friendly, respectful way. Funerals can be a large financial burden and have traditionally been seen as the “only proper way” to show someone that you love them when they have passed on.
With changing times and attitudes, burial or funeral is not seen as equal to how you have loved or respected your deceased, and you have the choice and options that allow for a different method. As a comparison: direct cremations cost between $1,500-3,500 whereas burials can amount to $10,000+. Learn more about cremation costs and breakdowns in our blog post here.
The traditional, time-honoured and often religious choice, burials have historically been the go-to choice for managing your deceased’s remains. There is a myriad of reasons as to why:
The decisions you make for end-of-life arrangements for yourself or for your loved ones could be heavily impacted by religious or cultural practices. If you or your family member have followed a certain religion you entire life, your funeral arrangements will follow suit. There are many religions, and even more sects that have ranging beliefs around cremation.
If you or your loved one is considering either a burial or a cremation, it’s important to carefully assess not only your own beliefs and attitudes on the subject, but also to consider the options with your religious leader or community to make what your believe is the best decision for you and your family.
A place to visit your loved one
Some people do not need a fixed place to visit or memorialize their loved ones, and having a concrete spot that they can visit in honour of their loved ones is a necessity for them. Usually, if there is a place that was “home” or holds a special place in a person’s heart, they may choose to be interred in that spot out of nostalgia. When it comes to these spaces, people have pre-arranged plots in a funeral home and have planned out their end-of-life arrangements around this place. There is something to a burial that could provide closure and allow you to see your deceased actually be lowered into their next stage of eternal rest.
It’s up to you
There are a lot of choices to make when choosing end-of-life arrangements for your loved ones. While there are a lot of differing opinions on what is best, the choice is ultimately up to you. And while it may be tough to choose, with the right information and the right service to help you along the process, you can make a tough situation a little bit easier.