Why do I need a cemetery?|
Throughout history burial grounds have provided a place for survivors to visit, to reflect, to remember and to heal. The magnitude of a death and the massive dislocation of relationships that can occur are too much of a burden for most people to absorb at one time. Periodic visits to a cemetery, over the months or years that it takes to adjust to a loss, assist many survivors to return to a life now lived without the deceased.
In our modern society it would be irresponsible to bury human remains, or even cremated remains, in property not dedicated to that purpose. Few of us stay in one residence for very long, and even if we do, the property will surely eventually be sold to another. Imagine how difficult it would be to sell or buy property were human remains buried in it. Also, how would the authorities know if a burial in someone's back yard were the result of natural death or of foul play?
Most of us are familiar with the pioneer cemetery with its tilted headstones and overgrown appearance. All new cemeteries must have endowment care funds to ensure that the cemetery will be well maintained into the indefinite future.
Modern cemeteries will provide most, if not all, of the following:
- earth burial, often with the choice of single or double occupancy of the grave
- above-ground burial in garden or indoor mausoleums
- earth burial for cremated remains, often in specially-designed gardens
- above-ground placement of cremated remains in garden or indoor columbariums
When selecting a cemetery, remember that you will be entrusting it with a precious part of your heritage and that you will be dealing with that cemetery for many years. Look for:
- well-maintained grounds
- friendly, confident and knowledgeable staff
- a willingness to show and discuss a wide range of options and prices
good recommendations from sources such as neighbors, the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups
A cemetery provides a link with history. Many people find a visit to a pioneer or veterans' cemetery to be inspirational. Here lie our ancestors, the people who developed our communities, the heroes of foreign and domestic wars. There is no reason that a person's father or mother should not be worthy of as much reflection and gratitude as a president, a rock star or any other "VIP".
A cemetery is dedicated to just such memorialization and reflection and is designed to have community presence for hundreds of years. It allows us to dispose of the remains of those we love with dignity and respect.
Isn't burial space becoming scarce?
While it is true some metropolitan areas have limited available cemetery space, in most areas of the country, there is enough space set aside for the next 50 years without creating new cemeteries. In addition, land available for new cemeteries is more than adequate, especially with the increase in entombment and multi-level grave burial.