Human burial practices are the manifestation of the human desire to demonstrate “respect for the dead.” Cultures vary in their mode of respect. Among the reasons for this are:
- Burial can be seen as an attempt to bring closure to the deceased’s family and friends.
- Psychologists in some Western Judeo-Christian quarters, as well as the US funeral industry, claim that by interring a body away from plain view, the pain of losing a loved one can be lessened.
- Many cultures believe in an afterlife. Burial is sometimes believed to be a necessary step for an individual to reach the afterlife.
- Many religions prescribe a particular way to live, which includes customs relating to disposal of the dead.
The reasons why people bury their loved ones are varied, but the reasons are often private and very meaningful to them. How you want to be laid to rest is a personal decision, so it is important to discuss your wishes with family members, whilst also seeking to understand their preferences.