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Burial Options

Evaluating burial options is an important part of the pre planning process. When making end of life decisions one of the first things to get in order is the way in which the deceased body will be “treated.”


There are a handful of options both traditional and more unique. Today we are going to look into some of these burial options so that you can be more informed as you make pre planning decisions. The 5 things we will discuss are earth burial, mausoleum, cremation, body donation, immediate burial. Each of these have unique factors and there is sure to be an option that will work for you. 


Earth Burial

Earth burial is one of the most traditional or common burial options in the US. In the past many churches would have a cemetery right on the grounds. You can still find churchyard cemeteries in many small towns. In more populated areas you will find larger non-profit cemeteries. 

An earth burial allows you to choose a plot ahead of time and pay long before you need it. In an earth burial you will often need a grave liner to prevent sinking in the ground. You can have any casket of your choice buried in an earth burial. 


A second burial option is a mausoleum. A mausoleum is an above ground burial often made of stone or marble.  It may have spaces to put caskets or burial urns. The most famous mausoleum was Halicarnassus in South West Turkey 353-350 B.C. It held the remains of Mausolous, an ancient provisional ruler of the Persian empire and where the word mausoleum originated. 


An immediate burial can also take place with a mausoleum. The body can be put in almost immediately after death and a memorial service can be held later if desired. 


Cremation is the process of reducing the body to ashes. Once the body and bones are pulverized they can be put in an urn and returned to the family. Cremation has become a more popular burial option. It is simple and lower cost and is a good choice with the increasing scarcity of land. Cremation is becoming so popular that it is estimated that 50% of people will go the route of cremation.


Body Donation

As the story goes, an old grandpa was asked whether he wanted burial or cremation upon his death. He didn’t seem to want to make a choice about either. His son then told him about the option to donate his body to science. He responded with “I will donate my body to science after all my parents always wanted me to go into the medical field.” That is kind of a funny anecdote about an alternative option that might honor a loved one.

Body donation can mean that a University, research hospital or eye bank could use a deceased person for research. There is also the possibility of organ or tissue donation that can be transplanted to a needy person. A single donor can help up to 50 people. 

Immediate Burial

When immediate burial is used as a burial option the body can be picked up immediately after death. With this option it eliminates the need for embalming therefore reducing overall cost as well as the use of toxic chemicals. Often when immediate burial happens a memorial can take place at a later date. 


We hope this helps you as you pre plan your after life decisions. There is no better gift to your loved ones than the gift of having after life decisions made and a pre plan in place. 

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