Cremation

If I am cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?

Yes — Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of your casketed spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremains to be interred in a single grave space.

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Why is having a place to visit so important?

Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. The Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknowns and Vietnam "Wall" in Washington, D.C are examples of memorialization which demonstrate that, throughout our history, we have always honored our dead.

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If I'm going to be cremated, why would I want my remains to be placed in a columbarium, or interred or scattered at the cemetery

As long as it is permitted by local regulations, your cremated remains can be scattered in a place that is meaningful to you. This can, however, present difficulties for your survivors. Some people may find it hard to simply pour the mortal remains of a loved one out onto the ground or into the sea. If you wish to be scattered somewhere, it is therefore important to discuss your wishes ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to do the scattering. Another difficulty with scattering can occur when the remains are disposed of in an anonymous, unmarked or public place.

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What is memorialization for a cremation?

You might choose ground burial of the urn. If so, you may usually choose either a bronze memorial or monument. Also available at many cemeteries are cremation niches in columbariums. They offer the beauty of a mausoleum setting with the benefits of above ground placement of remains. Many cemeteries also offer scattering gardens. This area of a cemetery offers the peacefulness of a serene garden where family and friends can come and reflect.

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What can be done with the cremated remains?

With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place.) Cremation is just one step in the commemorative process-- the preparation of the human remains for memorialization. Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose.

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