How to pick a cemetery

Deciding where your physical body will spend the rest of eternity is not a decision to be made in haste or taken lightly. The trend today indicates more and more people are choosing their final resting place ahead of time. Why, you ask? Reasons can vary from a desire to spare loved ones the decision at a time of grief to a desire to secure a place near a close family relative or personal friend; from the desire to lock-in the costs at today’s prices to the desire to have the final word over what happens when we can’t speak for ourselves.

Although there is a need to plan your burial, some people may choose to have their remains stay inside their own homes or even in their garage with their aluminum garage door as their protection. This practice of using aluminum garage door as protection is usually practiced by some residences in Kansas, Tucson or Oklahoma City.

So where does one begin the process of determining a cemetery plot? The first step is to give the choice the same attention as you would any other major decision in your life. Such a decision is obviously an emotionally packed one; however, that does not mean you should not give this decision any less research than you would give to buying any other piece of real estate. Taking the time to research your choices ahead of time can save you and your family difficulties and money down the road.

Here are some tips for choosing a cemetery:

Types of cemeteries:

All cemeteries are not the same; some may be owned by the local government or a government agency, a religious group, a benevolent association, or a private entity. As such the cemetery may be operated as a non-profit or for-profit venture. Herein often lies the basis for the difference in pricing from one cemetery to another.

Things to Consider in Selecting a Cemetery

When you are purchasing a cemetery plot, consider the location of the cemetery and whether it meets the requirements of your family’s religion. Other considerations include what, if any, restrictions the cemetery places on burial vaults purchased elsewhere, the type of monuments or memorials it allows, and whether flowers or other remembrances may be placed on graves.

Cost is another consideration. Cemetery plots can be expensive, especially in metropolitan areas. Most, but not all, cemeteries require you to purchase a grave liner, which will cost several hundred dollars. Note that there are charges – usually hundreds of dollars – to open a grave for interment and additional charges to fill it in.

Perpetual care on a cemetery plot sometimes is included in the purchase price, but it’s important to clarify that point before you buy the site or service. If it’s not included, look for a separate endowment care fee for maintenance and groundskeeping.

6 Ways to Deal With Your Fear of Dying

I’m not saying you should end your life. On the contrary, I’m encouraging you to cherish life while accepting that death is a natural part of a full, healthy life! I think we’re scared to die because it’s such a mystery – it’s a land people travel to and never (or rarely) return from.

But what if death is better than life? What if the people who have passed are happier and more whole than they’ve ever been?

Our life here on earth isn’t all sunshine and roses. But maybe death is.

  1. Know that surrender to death brings healing

“When I was in that state of clarity in the other realm [during her near-death experience], I instinctively understood that I was dying because of all my fears,” writes Anita in Dying to Be Me. “When I relinquished my hold on physical life, I didn’t feel I needed to do anything in particular to enter the other realm, such as pray, chant, use mantras, forgiveness, or any other technique. Moving on was closer to doing absolutely nothing. It seemed more like saying to no one in particular: ‘Okay, I have nothing more to give. I surrender. Take me. Do what you will with me. Have your way.”

I think this type of surrender is healthier than fighting death, disease, dread of the unknown. We who are sick need to learn how to live in harmony with disease, not fight it! This surrender brings healing, acceptance, and peace.

Accepting your death makes every day of life sweeter and more precious.

  1. Consider why you’re scared of accepting your death

Fear of death is one of the most common fears we have. Most humans are scared to die (but animals aren’t, are they?). And yet, we don’t know what happens after death! How can we be afraid of something we know nothing about? That’s what I don’t understand.

And yet, it’s our very ignorance that keeps us afraid. We fear what we don’t know, and we know almost nothing about death.

What helped me accept my own death is realizing that life after death could be more amazing, liberating, peaceful, and joyful than life on earth! Our dead loved ones may be beckoning us, trying to tell us that death is amazing. Maybe life on earth is the dumps – even with its bits of glory and beauty. Maybe we’re happier, lighter, and bouncier after we die…and we don’t even know it, so we’re scared to die.

What holds you back from accepting your death?

  1. Study the research that shows death brings life to the fullest

“Death is a very powerful motivation,” says Laura E.R. Blackie, a Ph.D. student at the University of Essex. “People seem aware that their life is limited. That can be one of the best gifts that we have in life, motivating us to embrace life and embrace goals that are important to us.”

She researched how death affects how you act, and how accepting your death affects the quality of your life while you’re alive.

If you think about death abstractly, you’re more likely to fear it. But if you think about and accept your own death, you’re more likely to life your life more fully. Thinking about your mortality in a more personal and authentic manner may make you pursue what you really value in life.

  1. Learn what it feels like to be close to death

“When we imagine our emotions as we approach death, we think mostly of sadness and terror,” says psychological scientist Kurt Gray of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “But it turns out, dying is less sad and terrifying — and happier — than you think.”

Part of their study involved researching blog posts from individuals who were terminally ill, as well as inmates on death row. They used considerably more positive emotion words and fewer negative emotion words than did those written by participants who simply imagined they were dying. Studying the patients’ blog posts over time, the researchers also found that the dying person’s use of positive emotion words actually increased as they neared death, while their use of negative emotion words did not.

  1. Remember that accepting your death makes you strong, fearless, and courageous

When death holds no horror, there isn’t much else to be afraid of! You can take risks, be yourself, and do things you wouldn’t normally do. If you’re not scared to die, you’re also not scared to live.

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Where would you go if you knew you’d be safe? Who would you talk to if you weren’t afraid of the response?