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Understanding Cemetery Burial Options

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Understanding Cemetery Burial Options
Anne Stjern

When a loved one dies, the family is faced with a number of decisions regarding the funeral and burial of the deceased. Ground burial in a community setting is the choice most often selected but frequently the decision is due to a lack of knowledge about other interment options. There are a number of alternatives to ground burial such as mausoleums, lawn crypts, family estates, and walled or hedged private gardens.   Knowing your options ahead of time can help you select the most fitting tribute to a life well lived.

Types of Cemeteries

Cemeteries usually fall into one of two types: traditional and memorial gardens. In general, traditional cemeteries allow headstones, grave monuments, and private mausoleums whereas memorial gardens use bronze or stone markers that are flush with the ground and usually limit mausoleums to community facilities. A few cemeteries are a combination of the two styles.

Community Mausoleum

Community mausoleums are an attractive choice for those who would prefer above-ground burial.  Community mausoleums are typically free-standing buildings that are either enclosed with the crytps in the interior of the structure, or outdoor structures in which the crypts face the open air.  Community mausoleums can house hundreds or even thousands of crypts as well as cremation niches and provide an attractive and peaceful space for visiting and meditation.

Private Family Estates

Private Family Estates are an option for families that wish to remain together even in death. These buildings are built to the family’s specifications and can be customized with an endless array of options.  These structures are intended to house family members together and can be built to accommodate two to over 20 crypts.  An estate lot on the cemetery grounds is required for placement of these private structures; therefore the location should be selected before the design of the estate begins.

Lawn Crypts

Lawn crypts are another option for burial that is often overlooked by families. Consisting of an underground crypt made of concrete surrounded by a liner, this selection is best for those wishing a ground burial but also wants added protection and strength. Single and double depth companion spaces are normally offered with a number of choices for memorial plaques and markers.

Walled or Hedged Private Gardens

Some cemeteries offer separate gardens for interment as either a ground burial or using a lawn crypt. These gardens can be used by a family, couple or group and provide a more private setting for visitation than community plots. Statuary, benches, upright monuments and headstones are familiar elements of private burial gardens, allowing for a range of memorial options.

Available Information

Deciding where and how a loved one should be permanently memorialized is a decision for which few people are prepared to make in a hurry. Funeral and cemetery directors can provide guidance and information specific to the options available. For those interested in learning more about burial options or related information, begin today by calling or stopping by the cemetery for a guided tour.