When Is It Best to Choose a Cremation?

a close-up of a pinecone

There are no true right or wrong answers when it comes to making final arrangements for a loved one after their passing. Whether you opt for direct cremation, a memorial service, a funeral service, a viewing at the funeral home, or a traditional burial, it’s important to weigh your options and feel good about your final decision. For many, there are benefits to choosing a crematory to handle a loved one’s final disposition. Whether it’s because family members want the ability to keep cremated remains close by or because travel restrictions in a global pandemic are complicating things, cremation is becoming a popular choice. If you are considering cremating a person you love or even making plans for your own funeral, these are a few reasons why cremation might be the right choice for you.

Overall Costs


A great time to consider cremation is when the initial cremation cost is one you can more easily afford than the cost of a traditional funeral service. The truth is that cremation can go for about half the price that a traditional burial does in the United States. If affordability is a big concern, this could be a reason to choose cremation on its own. If the deceased or their family doesn’t already own a burial plot and there are no religious reasons to opt for the additional expenses of a casket and traditional burial, going with cremation can save a lot of money. If you aren’t sure if cremation’s right for you, talk to the crematory and funeral director about your concerns. They can help you find ways to finance a cremation, too.

Pandemic Considerations and Virtual Services


Cremation could be best if you have a loved one die during the pandemic or if you have family members concerned about getting Covid-19. The reason for this is that cremation allows for you to hang on to the remains and to schedule a memorial service in the future. While family gatherings are difficult right now, by cremating your loved one, you could plan a memorial service for a year from now and be together to celebrate your dead’s life.

While maybe not ideal to postpone funeral services, you could also consider using the time between your loved one’s passing and eventual memorial service to collect pictures and other items to remember your loved one. By opening up a website or asking friends and family to share memories and stories of your loved one on shared home cloud storage, you’ll have enough material to make a memorable digital scrapbook to honor your loved one.

Some people are finding ways to compromise when it comes to funeral plans in a pandemic. These people are offering remote access to funerals by streaming wakes and masses online from the funeral home or church. Later, they are having their loved ones cremated and planning future services, too.

Creative Cremation Options


Cremation could be best if options are important to you. Cremation containers are more versatile than ever. From ornate urns to cremation jewelry, cremation caskets, personalized boxes, and more, there are a variety of choices when it comes to how to store cremation remains. When meeting with the funeral director, ask about options when it comes to making your traditional funeral versus cremation choices. Funeral homes will be happy to offer traditional viewing services or even visitations with the dead for family members in advance of sending your loved one out to begin the cremation process. It’s important to ask if you aren’t sure.

When making decisions regarding your loved one’s cremation, keep in mind that cremation affords more creativity and personalization than burial does in some ways. That is because cremains is portable, you can consider whether you’ll spread the cremains in a favorite place, travel with them, or keep them in your home.

Maybe your loved one was fascinated with robotic technology. Perhaps they worked in robotic surgery. Something as surreal as taking their cremains to that new technology science exhibit they’d been curious about is possible if you go with a cremation option. Unlike with traditional burial, your physical journey with your loved one doesn’t have to be over if you have them cremated. From a road trip together across the United States to set them free in the lake where you once fished together, the choices with how to handle the remains are almost endless. This is just another reason many people are gravitating toward cremation.

In the end, deciding between a cremation service and a traditional burial can be hard. No decision during a time of grief is ever easy. Asking the funeral director and crematory questions will go a long way in helping to understand the cremation process. This could help give you peace of mind during these trying times.

While there are state and local laws about when to pick up a death certificate and when decisions need to be made, you do have some time to mull over things like funeral costs and pick a cremation provider you’re comfortable with. The first step is to take a deep breath and trust yourself to make the right funeral arrangements for your loved one. You knew them best. Consider what they might want and come up with a few special ways to honor them.