Just as life means something different to everyone, so does finding the right way to say goodbye. We’ve learned that some Australians find a burial offers the tradition they need to come to terms with their loss, while others prefer a cremation. We use our experience to help every person come to a decision that allows them to uphold the cultural traditions, stories and memories of their loved one.
A burial – or interment – is the human ritual of placing the deceased into a burial plot in the ground, or into an above-ground burial such as a crypt, vault or mausoleum. The coffin or casket is lowered into a burial plot, and the gravesite is covered with soil once the funeral service has concluded.
For a burial service you will need to decide on a coffin or casket, and the preferred location of the burial plot. Your Guardian funeral director can assist you in making the arrangements to purchase a new gravesite or facilitate the burial at a previously purchased site.
Many families choose to hold a graveside service as part of their farewell to a loved one. A graveside service can be the sole venue for the entire funeral service, meaning the funeral service will be conducted at the actual site of the grave. The graveside service may also take place after a service at another venue.
A graveside service can be personalised to your values, culture and spiritual, emotional or personal preferences. As an example you can play special music, release doves or butterflies into the air, or add other special touches.
Many Australians choose prefer cremations to burials - usually for religious, environmental or affordability reasons. Our experience has shown us most families choose to hold some form of funeral service, before the coffin or casket is relocated for cremation. Australian legislation requires cremations to be carried out on the same day as the funeral service, or in the 48-hours immediately following.
After a body is cremated the ashes are usually memorialised in a permanent memorial or scattered in a place of significance. This ritual offers a place for the family and future generations to visit, so it’s important to carefully consider the location. Your funeral director can provide guidance.
A memorial in a memorial park or garden offers a physical place to visit and remember a loved one - a place where memories can last. Memorials can also be purchased ahead of time so you have a specific place ready when the time comes, which is particularly helpful if you want a memorial next to other members of the family.
Planning ahead and preparing a place where you and your family can always be together provides a sense of comfort and permanency. These sites also offer a historical and genealogical record for your ancestry that helps future generations understand their heritage.