Is Cremation Right for Me?

Coffee Mug - is cremation right for me?

The inevitable demise of our own lives isn’t something most people want to dwell upon. But thinking about your own final arrangements and communicating your preferences to your family can save them some headaches in the future. By already knowing exactly whether you want to be cremated, buried, interred in a mausoleum, or your ashes scattered off a boat on Lake Ontario, your family won’t have to make that decision (or argue amongst themselves about what you would have wanted) in an already difficult time.

If you don’t already know if cremation is the right decision for you, here are some things to consider when choosing burial or cremation.


If you follow a certain faith, their rules or guidelines may help make your decision for you. The religions of Islam and most denominations of Judaism require that their members be buried. In the Hindu religion, cremation is an important part of their belief in reincarnation. Although a rise in secularism has added to the increase in cremations in the US, those who are agnostic or atheist can still choose burial. Speaking to a religious leader can be helpful to learn more about your faith’s rituals around death.


It’s a common belief that cremation is less expensive than burial. However, the actual cost of a cremation or burial depends on what other services and details a family chooses. Direct cremation, in which an individual is cremated soon after death without services, can be less expensive than burial. But adding a ceremony, flowers, urn, cremation casket, license fees, etc., adds costs to whatever type of disposition is selected. Different funeral homes and cremation companies also have their own prices that vary. The ultimate price of cremation is determined by how big, small, simple or elaborate a funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life will be.

Types of Burial

Many people don’t realize that there are different types of burials. For example, you can choose to be embalmed or not. Embalming may be required for certain types of arrangements, such as open casket services, or if the final resting place is in a mausoleum. Green, or natural, burials are those in which the body is laid to rest in the ground without the use of a wooden or metal casket or vault, allowing the body to naturally break down into the earth. Not every cemetery is equipped to serve families who opt for a green burial. A funeral director will be able to advise you on whether that option is available in your area.

Cremation doesn’t mean you can’t be buried. After cremation, a person’s cremated remains, or ashes, can be buried in a plot in a cemetery. If you prefer to be laid to rest in a family plot, or with or next to your spouse, you can still choose to do so if you prefer to be cremated.

Funeral Services

Whether an individual is cremated or buried, funeral or memorial services can still take place. How a person chooses to have their remains handled does not necessarily dictate how they would like to be honored after their death.

Memorialization and Scattering

How will you want your family to remember you? Will they want a place to go to in order to remember and honor you? A permanent, physical memorial can be comforting to your loved ones, decades after you’ve passed. Burial or cremation doesn’t dictate whether you can have a permanent memorial or resting place, but may help determine the location and kind of memorialization you and your family prefer.

Scattering is when you disperse cremated remains around an outdoor area or body of water. It’s important to find out whether your preferred location requires permits prior to scattering. Scattering does not provide a permanent memorial, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a marker in addition to scattering remains.


Grief is difficult enough to experience, let alone while having to plan a funeral. Cremation can ease some of the burden of time constraints that traditional funerals require of a family. With cremation, families have more time to plan the service they want and need, and out-of-state family and friends have time to coordinate schedules and make flight and lodging arrangements.

We encourage families to plan a gathering not too long after a loved one is cremated, though. Delaying the opportunity to share and remember together can also delay healing. However, we at Anthony Funerals strongly believe that a gathering a long time after someone has passed is better than none at all.

If you have questions or would like to know more about burial or cremation, we are always available to talk to you. Call us at any time at either of our locations in Rochester and Webster.