One of the most difficult decisions you will need to make is whether you want the deceased body buried or cremated. "Disposition" is the term used by the funeral industry to describe the final handling of the remains.
Although the trend is moving toward cremation, over 60% of Americans still choose burial. Cremation is even more common in many other countries. Whichever choice you make, the body will eventually return to its natural elements through oxidation of the body tissues. The issue is simply whether you choose to make that process happen quickly or over a long period of time.
Why Choose Burial:
Why Choose Cremation:
Cremation is traditional in your family, religious group, or geographical area. Many people believe it's better to honor the memory of the person, not the dead body.
You prefer the body to the elements quickly and cleanly. Many people believe that a cremated body becomes one with nature more quickly.
You prefer not to use of valuable land for cemetery space, or believe it's wrong to fill the ground with materials that won't erode, such as metal coffins and concrete burial vaults.
Cremation is typically less expensive than burial, but it doesn't mean you'll have an inexpensive funeral. You might still choose a casket for viewing, and/or have the cremated remains buried or placed in a columbarium.
Sometimes there's a desire for the remains to have more than one resting place. Cremains can be divided and sprinkled or buried in multiple locations.