Cremation or Burial?


It started with a text. One of my sisters sent a group message about the importance of having life insurance. Several people within her circle had passed away and left families with insufficient resources to cover funeral arrangements.

Have you ever thought about what you want to happen when your time comes? Brace yourself for this question. Do you want your body buried in a cemetery or cremated?

Let me apologize, because the tone of this blog post is morbid. Death is also a reality for each of us, so I hope it encourages you to have an essential conversation with your family before it is too late.

I had a hard time with the decision, I share at the end of this post.

More than a month ago, I received the “death group text message,” from my sister while at work. When I went home, I continued the conversation with my wife. Without hesitation, she said, “I want to be cremated. The pomp and circumstances that often accompany funerals do not appeal to me.”

My youngest sister responded similar to my wife, but with a unique twist. As a travel aficionado, she wants to be cremated, taken on one last trip, and have her ashes spread in whatever country the plane lands. Her husband and now all of us know of her last wish.

Since the time they began dating, my oldest sister’s husband has also insisted on cremation. It’s not complicated for him. He doesn’t want a funeral. My brother-in-law is a practical financial investor, so I’m sure the estimated expenses influence his decision.

While writing this piece and thinking about my preferences, my train of thoughts went something like this…

My wife and I have life insurance policies.

Our children will have financial security.

I know that the body encloses the soul.

Our bodies are temporary.

Our spirits are eternal.

When we die, our legacies and spirits will continue.

What do you believe?

Despite my spiritual awareness, I am still uneasy about consenting to have my body burned. The body is a sacred temple, and to burn it feels like a violation of divine law.

Let’s consider the economic side of the matter. Cremation is more affordable than a funeral and the common cemetery burial. If you die while outside the US, it is expensive to transport your body back to the States.

I’m sure that you are thinking similar to me. The last thing we want to do is act as a financial burden for our families when we die. This economic reality gives me one more reason to make responsible decisions with my money now.

Do you need to reconsider your monthly expenses?

Mourning is difficult. Money challenges can make it unbearable. I hope my family will remember me for a moment and soon discover the strength within themselves to move forward to live happy and fulfilling lives.

The other day, I listened to a speech by the late Dr. Myles Monroe. He said tombstones are necessary for people who are unable to make their mark on this world while living. From Monroe’s perspective, we should aim to influence this world at levels that render tombstones useless.

I believe the love I give my family, the service I offer others, and my professional accomplishments will speak for my life’s priorities when death arrives at my doorstep. Whether I am buried or burned to ashes, I know that I will leave a positive legacy behind.

Have you ever attended a funeral and the person looks nothing like they did while living? I have. I want my family, friends, and community to remember me in my time of glory.

Although I am not comfortable with the idea, I am similar to my youngest sister, brother-in-law, and wife. When it's time for me to pass from this life to the next, cremation is fine. My soul will not die.

So again, I ask you, will you be buried or burned? Leave me a comment and share this post to continue this morbid, but crucial conversation!

#death #family