Burial or Cremation: What’s Right for You?

By: Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
Monday, September 3, 2018

Deciding whether you prefer a cremation or burial is one of life’s most personal choices. There are many influencing factors including cost, religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and family preferences. Considering these factors ahead of time can help you make an informed decision now, preventing your loved ones from experiencing unnecessary stress and confusion when you pass.

Are you favoring a traditional burial?

The most common method of body disposition in the U.S. is burial in a coffin or casket that's placed in the ground in a cemetery. The body is often embalmed, though it’s not required by law. Funeral expenses vary from state to state and can vary widely based on the services selected. In 2018, the average cost of a funeral in Maryland is $9,597, according to data from GoBank. Though funeral services are typically more expensive than cremation services, some families find them more personal because they’re able to choose a headstone, casket, gravesite, and the location of the service. For many, especially in the United States, the tradition of burying the deceased provides comfort after loss. In the African American culture, funerals have long been woven into the tapestry of tradition.

Could cremation be right for you?

Often seen as a more eco-friendly alternative to burial, cremation reduces human remains to ash, which can then be handled in a variety of ways. You may choose to scatter the ashes in a favorite place, bury them in a cemetery, keep them at home in an urn, or have them incorporated into a cremation memorial such as jewelry. While burial has long been the traditional option in the U.S., cremation has become much more popular in recent years and currently comprises nearly half of all final dispositions. The average cost of cremation is typically a fraction of the costs associated with a traditional funeral or burial because fewer services are involved in cremations. Cremation is flexible option, as well. If family members live around the country or around the world, direct cremation takes away the pressure to gather very quickly for a traditional viewing. While traditionally not favored by the African American community, an annual study by Wirthlin Worldwide shows that cremation continues to expand as an option for this group. One of the major reasons African Americans choose cremation less than other ethnicities is that the funeral is an extremely important cultural norm and there is a popular misconception that one cannot have a funeral and be cremated.

No matter which final arrangement you choose, it’s important to discuss the various options with those who will be responsible for carrying out your final wishes. According to The Conversation Project, ninety percent of people believe discussing these matters with their loved ones is important, yet only twenty-seven percent of people actually do it. For additional help choosing final arrangements for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our compassionate funeral directors today.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

How to Help a Friend Who’s Lost a Loved One to Suicide

“A person never truly gets ‘over’ a suicide loss. You get through it. Day by day. Sometimes it’s moment by moment.” — Holly Kohler Suicide is currently the tenth leading cause of de...

Important Home Safety Tips for Seniors

It’s not surprising that most seniors say they would prefer to remain in their own homes as they grow older. While those familiar surrounding are comforting, they may not provide adequate safety. C...

Seven Ways to Ease the Burden on a Caregiver

Sometimes, being there for caregivers is the best way we can help. In the United States, an astonishing 59% of the population serves as an unpaid caregiver to a chronically ill family member or eld...

A Personal Journey: What to Expect In the Final Days of Life

Many people wonder if they will recognize that a loved one is dying. Each person’s journey to death is unique and nothing is set in stone. Some people fade quickly while others experience a gradu...

Writing a Memorable Eulogy: How to Capture the Essence of a Life in Words

Funerals are a difficult time for everyone, but they can be especially challenging for friends or relatives who have been asked to deliver a eulogy. In essence, the eulogy serves as a personal tr...

How to Talk with Your Loved Ones about Their Final Wishes

The end of life can be a traumatic time filled with difficult decisions. How does your loved one want to be cared for? What are their preferences for care if they become incapacitated? Where do t...

Busting the Myths: What Hospice Does and Doesn’t Do

Knowing what hospice care offers can help you make better decisions down the road. While many doctors fail to mention hospice services to patients in the final stages of their lives, millions of fa...

Scamming the Bereaved: It’s More Common Than You Think

For many of us, discussing death is off limits. As a result, a loved one’s finances and final wishes may only be revealed after his or her passing. Sadly, there are con artists who focus on sca...

Make Sure Estate Planning and Funeral Planning Are Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s once again the time to start thinking about those new year’s resolutions. While most resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement, we‘re suggesting a more practical idea that’s actually achie...

Coping with Grief: Create a Joyful Holiday by Adding Fun New Traditions

When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, the same holiday traditions that once brought joy can serve as difficult reminders. Whether your loss was very recent or some time ago, the holidays ar...