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Cremation vs Burial: What Are They?

Death is an inevitable and irreversible part of life. We, humans, face death as either an end to old age or life has been forcibly taken out from us. People say that life is too short that’s why many people suggest living life to the fullest. Many believe that when we die, our souls will leave our physical bodies and live an eternal life with our creator. Experts also suggest that we have our destiny, fate, and time of death.

What is cremation?

Cremation is the process wherein the physical body of the dead will be burned. This will then be turned into ashes and be transferred into a jar. Cremation has been an alternate funeral ritual to burial. Some people believe that it is better to cremate the body and spread the ashes to a significant place. An example is the Hinduism tradition that involves spreading the ashes in the river Ganges to achieve salvation.

What is burial?

Burial is the process wherein the physical body is put into a casket and is buried underground. This has been the most used and traditional way of respecting the dead. This rite is to give the family members of the deceased proper closure. During this time, the family believes to send the soul of the deceased to the heavens. This is also believed to let them go back to the cycle of life and be reborn.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cremation

Advantages of the cremation

1. Cheaper option

Cremation has been seen as an alternative funeral rite to burial because of its pricing options. The burial consists of funeral rites such as awake, caskets, the cemetery fees, the staff who will do the burial. The wake needs a place for people to visit and view the body of the deceased. This needs a budget for the food, electricity, and rent. The wake also needs the church for the blessing and guidance of the deceased towards eternal life.

In contrast to burial, according to professionals, the cremation process only costs up to one-third of the burial charges. One of the major contributors to this cost is the casket which has an average price of $2000. On the other hand, cremated bodies are stored in jars or urns. The families of the deceased could either bring the urn home or place it in a columbarium.

2. Environmental friendly as compared to burial

Because ashes are stored in a jar, this does not require a big piece of land. This is perceived by many as one of its advantages because it does not disturb the land. However, some of these considerations are because of land use. Whereas the lands could still be used for other purposes such as commercial or industrial. These also somehow affect the lands that can be used for the increase in population.

3. Flexible

The urn could be brought anywhere the family wants it. This could be stored at home along with the altar. This way the family could continuously pray for the deceased. It can also be brought to someplace else or be scattered in significant places. The scattering of these ashes is usually dependent on the beliefs of the people.

Disadvantages of the cremation

1. Unavailability to some places

Not all religions or cultures agree to the process of cremation. So, not all places in the world have access to the option of cremation. Many people still believe in the sacredness of the burial process. This is why cremation is still not popular or not accepted in other places.

2. Decisions of family members

The bigger the family, the more decisions are shared and discussed. Most families have the same religion but some marry outside of their religion. This is what makes them diverse in religious beliefs. As it is a crucial issue in terms of culture, religion, and tradition, some opinions may differ like preferring burial more than cremation. This somewhat becomes an issue if the decision-makers of the family are against the opinions of one another.

Another tough decision for the family is where to place the urn. Some families want the urn of the deceased in the columbarium and some want them at home. This is because the columbarium is more of a public place and everyone could visit the deceased. However, some family members believe that the urn is sacred and needs to be guided by the family. These are decisions that often causes feud in families.