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The True Cost of Laying a Loved One to Rest. 

Budgeting is far from mind when we lay those we love to rest. When you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, every detail of planning a funeral can become extremely difficult to manage. Just getting from moment to moment becomes your main priority.

Without some foresight, dealing with unexpected expenses when you’re grappling with loss can easily become overwhelming. Having a clear understanding of the costs involved with planning a funeral can help alleviate stress during an emotionally trying time.

Cremation is often thought of as a more economical option than traditional burials. But this isn’t necessarily true. We’ve broken down some of the costs associated with cremations and burials to help you make the most informed decision when the time comes.

Child holding lantern up to the sky.

Basic Expenses 

When comparing direct cremations (a cremation without any ceremony or funeral services) and direct burials, cremations on average are around one to two thousand dollars less than burials. However, prices change depending on who is providing the service. From direct cremation businesses to traditional funeral homes that provide a more hands-on personalized service, each place will follow its own pricing structure.

Some of the things that factor into the cost of direct cremation or burial include the refrigerated safekeeping of a loved one until their final disposition, embalming services if you choose, transportation of your loved one, purchasing of a plot and marker, and the cost of the staff providing services.

These are the very basic costs of cremation and burial, and don’t include the expenses of the funeral event itself. If a family decides not to have a funeral or memorial service, then cremation is usually less expensive than a burial.

Choosing How to Celebrate a Life

As you might guess, much of the cost shared by burials and cremations doesn’t have to do with the actual burial or cremation—it’s the ceremony.

When comparing the costs of a cremation compared to that of burial, breaking down what’s included in the funeral or memorial service can be helpful. It’s important to understand how each aspect of the event will impact your final bill.

The size of the venue you will need for the particular number of guests (and what type of venue), flower arrangements, the type of urn or casket you choose, catering, printed materials such as announcements and prayer cards, limo and hearse rental, whether or not you also have a rosary, viewing, or reception—should all be considered.

A simple funeral service with a burial can cost less than a cremation with a bigger, more elaborate event with a viewing beforehand and premium casket and urn, for example. The cost will always depend on a family’s unique needs and preferences. Whether you’re planning a burial or a cremation, thinking about what the most meaningful funeral service in advance will be saves you and your family members the difficulty of doing so while you’re grieving

The Real Cost of the Funeral

However you choose to celebrate and remember the life of your loved one, saying goodbye in the best way for you and your family is important. We are all part of a larger community, and the pain of grieving eases when we can share it with others. People who choose direct cremation without a memorial service to follow may find themselves burdened by an unexpected emotional cost.

Funerals exist as the beginning of the healing journey. Denying people this crucial experience only extends the beginning and most difficult part of grief and makes it much harder to grapple with the finality of their loss.

Over the years, we’ve known many families who regret never holding a funeral. Although the benefits of a memorial service are more profound shortly after a loved one passes, a service that is held months or even years afterward still brings with it comfort, community, and the needed closing of one of life’s chapters.

In the years following the funeral, family and friends should be able to look back on that day and remember the support they received, the comfort of honoring their loved one, and the love and memories that were shared.

The cost of cremation depends on what you need for you and your family to celebrate the life of the person you’ve lost, and no two families are the same. Each memorial service can be tailored to pay tribute to the life it commemorates. Whenever that day comes, Horan & McConaty will be here when you need us to help you plan a service that is right for you, your loved one's unique life, and your budget. Visit us at one of our locations in Denver, Aurora, Southwest Denver, Lakewood, North Metro, Thornton, South Metro, Centennial, Arvada, or call us at (303) 745-4418.

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