This page, and the one on cremation, may be especially difficult for you, yet deciding between burial and cremation is one of the first choices you must make. It's your decision

Disposition is the term used by the funeral industry to describe the final handling of the deceased's remains.

Although your initial decision for the disposition of the body is between burial and cremation, there are several variations on each.

Whichever choice you make, the body will eventually return to its natural elements.

Burial Choices

If the body is buried...

  • It can be interred (earth burial).
  • It can be entombed in a crypt within a mausoleum (above-ground burial).
  • It can be buried at sea.

Why people choose burial

The majority of North Americans choose to bury their dead and to be
buried themselves. Here are some reasons you might choose burial.

Burial is traditional within your family, religious group, or geographical area

  • For instance, in the United States today, about 79 percent choose burial. In Ashe county the number is over 85 percent.
  • You do not like the idea of the body being "burned"
  • You prefer to have the body slowly return to the elements.

You want to erect a monument on the grave

  • Perhaps you want to visit the grave in the days and years to come, and you find a cemetery more appealing than say, a columbarium.
  • You prefer to have a family plot and the entire family placed in one location.

Decisions You Must Make If You Choose Burial

  • Which cemetery to use
  • Which kind of casket will house the body
  • The type of casket you prefer
  • The type of outer burial container to use, a burial vault or a grave liner and whether or not the cemetery requires it
  • Who will open the grave, the cemetery, funeral home or friends and neighbors
  • What kind of plot
  • What type of marker or monument to use and what to inscribe on it.