Discussing Burial Preferences

Updated: Oct 24

Death is a touchy topic, often too sad to even actually think about, but it is a reality that everyone must eventually face. It may come years, or even decades, from now, but it is never a bad idea to prepare for such eventualities. Specifically, when you and your family are mentally and emotionally ready, one of the things that would be good to prepare early on is burial arrangements.

Before we go into the specifics… Why, though?

Why is it a good idea to discuss an issue so sensitive, and morbid, even?

Well, it is admittedly heavy to talk about this NOW, but doing so reduces the stress your family and loved ones will have to endure when the time comes. Naturally, when the time eventually does come, loved ones left behind would go through the whole mourning process—having to worry about burial arrangements, because there was no prior one made, is something that wouldn’t exactly mitigate the pain during such a difficult time.

Again, when (and only when!) you and your family are ready to go through this preparation (very important—this is a matter that need not pressure you and them), you will have to discuss many important points and consider many important factors. To help and guide you, I have narrowed them down here:

Are there religious or cultural customs that need to be taken into consideration?

In discussing burial preferences, religion and/or culture is one of the most important factors that you and your family must be mindful of. For instance, Hinduism actually mandates cremation as the only option, while others, like Judaism, do not favor it.

Do you prefer to be memorialized near your departed loved ones?

Among my friends and relatives who already have burial arrangements put together, this is a common consideration that they factored in the process of doing so. It is also precisely this consideration that pushed them to actually make these preparations early on. Truly, checking for space availability (and reserving a plot) near departed loved ones is a way to start—for those who prefer a burial, at least.

How much are you willing to allot for funeral and/or burial expenses?

Ah, money matters—definitely an important detail to deliberate over when making burial arrangements. Surely, there are options that are more cost-effective than others (like a shortened and/or intimate funeral, cremation, etc.), and if this is something that you and your family might be more comfortable with, it would be good to communicate these preferences as well during the discussion.

Is donation to science or organ donation something that you might also be interested in?

Now this is a subject that might need a separate post for the curious (I’ll try to do a more in-depth discussion one of these days!), but yes, another option is to forego burial altogether and donate instead to science or medicine. Being an organ donor is another option, which allows the family to give a proper burial, while contributing to science/medicine at the same time.

I tried to keep this short, so at this point, I’m pretty sure some of you may still want to talk over a few more things (or a lot more—totally fine and totally understandable!) on burial matters. I’m open to discuss more of this with you.

To start, click this link for a virtual consultation. This is going to be casual, no pressure, and absolutely free!

You can also choose to contact me by clicking this link.

I am looking forward to our chat, and to the next blog post! Until then!

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