When you find yourself in the position of making burial arrangements for a loved relative, it may be the case that they've left instructions on what to do with their remains once they're gone. But if there are no such instructions, you may have to make the decisions on your own or with input from the rest of the family. In choosing between traditional burial and cremation, several factors may come into play, such as the type of memorial you feel your relative would have preferred and what type of arrangements will best enable family members to pay their respects, attend the memorial service, and so on. Here are three factors that may influence your decision in favor of the option of cremation.
1. The opportunities are endless
If you choose a traditional burial, you may choose whether or not to have a visitation. You may choose a burial plot and a headstone. But after that, your options are just about exhausted. If you opt for a cremation instead, you can choose between a plethora of opportunities for the "cremains" (the term for cremated remains) that you receive back after the cremation process. These opportunities include scattering in a favorite area, becoming part of marine life when you inter the cremains in a "memorial reef," being displayed in a commemorative hourglass in a prominent position in the family home, and dozens of others.
2. You have more time to say goodbye
Because you're going through a time of grief, you may feel that having more choices for what to do with your loved one's remains isn't a good thing because it means you'll need to think about it more and you're not in any state to make rational decisions. However, the cremation process is done separately from the memorial service, so you can have the cremation done right away and then take some time off to process your grief before making any permanent decisions. This means that you'll actually be in a better position to make the right choice than if you chose traditional burial. With cremation, you can still choose to buy a burial plot and inter the cremains there, or you can take advantage of one of the other options, depending on what you decide your departed loved one would have wanted.
3. The logistics are much easier
Because of the separation between the memorial service and the cremation process (unlike a traditional graveside service, which is done at the time of the burial), scheduling nightmares can be much more easily avoided. During this time of sorrow, the last thing you need is to feel guilty because you couldn't schedule the service far enough in advance to allow Cousin Dave to attend. The cremains, unlike embalmed remains, don't have an expiration date, so you can schedule the memorial service at whatever time is most convenient to the entire family.
These three aspects of the cremation process give it a distinct advantage over traditional burial. Cremation is ideal for a relative who's lived a green lifestyle, too; the process avoids the chemicals of embalming and the land requirements of old-fashioned burial. But whatever you decide, remember to give yourself time to process and work through your grief, and seek help from a counselor if you notice any dangerous signs of depression in your life.
For more information, talk to a company like Paul O'Connor Funeral Home Ltd.