The Upsides And Downsides Of Cremation

As much as you may hate to think about it, there will come a day when you pass on from this world. This won't be easy for the family members you leave behind, but you can somewhat reduce the burden on them by making some important decisions about your funeral plans while you're still around. The most important of these decisions is, in many cases, what happens to your body. While burials have long been traditional in the U.S., more and more people are opting for cremation these days. Here's a look at some pros and cons of cremation.

Pro: Cremation allows you to have several resting spots.

When you have your body buried, it must be buried in one location. This may lead to some disagreements if some family members would want you in one cemetery and others in another. When you're cremated, your ashes can be laid to rest in multiple spots, which may end family disputes and allow everyone some involvement.

Con: Cremation does not let everyone say goodbye in the same way.

While many people view the tradition of embalming and viewing the body as awkward and a bit odd, others find this process an important art of grieving. They may need to say "goodbye" to your body and physically see if being lowered into the ground in order to move on. If yo are cremated, the grieving process may be tougher on certain family members who have this outlook.

Pro: Cremation is inexpensive.

Costs vary widely by region, but in most cases, cremation is a lot more affordable than having your body embalmed and buried. By opting for cremation, you can save your family some money or ensure that there's money left in your life insurance policy after your funeral costs are accounted for.

Con: Cremation uses valuable natural resources.

Cremation does have environmental benefits in that it reduces the amount of embalming fluids being released into the soil. However, it is not entirely an eco-friendly choice. Cremation does require the burning of extensive amounts of fossil fuels, which are in limited supply. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is also released when a body is cremated.

To learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of cremation, speak with a funeral home director in your area. They can tell you about concerns and successes that other families have had, and you can use these experiences to guide your own end-of-life plans.