Selecting a Permanent Resting Place
Persons selecting cremation for themselves or a loved one have the same options for services and merchandise as those who select casket burial. What many people do not realize is that cremation is a process and is not the final disposition of the human remains. A determination will need to be made as to the person’s final resting place. This important place will be used to memorialize the life lived and will serve as a place for family and friends to visit and honor the memory of their loved one.
Some of the most commonly chosen options for the final resting place for cremated remains include:
- Earth Burial – Some cemeteries have a designated area with burial spaces specifically designed for the placement of cremated remains. In addition, arrangements can sometimes be made to place an urn in the family lot where other persons in caskets may have their final resting place.
- Indoor/Outdoor Columbarium – A columbarium is similar to a mausoleum for caskets. The smaller spaces or niches are used to place the urn and may have a glass or a granite front. Some niches may have additional room for personal items to be placed with the urn. Like a mausoleum, a columbarium may be outdoors or within a climate-controlled building.
- Scattering – Some people choose to scatter all or a portion of their loved one’s cremated remains in a special location. It is important to check with your NFDA funeral director to ensure that this act is permitted in the location of your choosing. Caution should also be exercised when scattering as it is a final irrevocable act. Be certain that this is what you want to do before proceeding.
- Other Options – Determining the final resting place of your loved one is a personal decision. Some people chose to keep the urn at their home for a period of time. This is ultimately your decision but it is recommended that you give consideration as to your long-term plans for the urn or multiple urns you have in your home. A trusted advisor or family member should have clear instructions as to what should happen to the urn or urns after your death.
Selecting a Cremation Casket or Container
The crematory that is utilized will usually have a requirement that the deceased be placed in a rigid container for the cremation process. Either a cremation casket or container will fulfill this requirement.
Cremation caskets and containers are both typically made of wood, fiberboard or a composite of materials. A cremation casket has a finished interior and closely resembles a casket used for earth burial. A cremation container is designed to fulfill the crematories’ minimum requirements and typically does not have an interior lining or has a minimally finished interior.
A person who chooses to have viewing, visitation and/or funeral services in their church or funeral home prior to cremation will typically select a cremation casket. Some funeral directors also have a ceremonial or rental cremation caskets available as an option.
Your NFDA funeral director can assist you in making a selection of a cremation casket or container that is appropriate for the arrangements you have chosen.
Selecting an Urn
There are many urn options available in a broad price spectrum. Metal, glass, wood, granite, marble and other materials are commonly utilized in urn construction. There are also specialty urns available that reflect a personal statement on a person’s life, hobbies, etc.
Your NFDA funeral director will explain all of your urn options and any special considerations at the final resting place you have selected that should be part of your decision making process.
Selecting an Outer Burial Container
Should you select earth burial for a final resting place for your loved one, the cemetery may require an outer burial container to surround the urn or container in the ground. This would be a smaller version of those utilized for caskets.
Your NFDA funeral director will inform you if this cemetery requirement exists and describe your options.