Choosing a Cemetery: A Grave Decision

Monday, July 13

Throughout life, we allocate time to make choices about where we will live, work, and vacation. The emphasis that we put on the selection of our final resting place should mimic how we make choices for locales while living. For many, the decision may already be made for them by way of family plots. For others, funeral planning may just not be on the forefront of their minds. But, when the time comes for the latter group, the decision of where to be buried may be a confusing one. Typically, religious preferences limit the options to a select few and make the process less daunting. So, if you decide on a burial within a Jewish cemetery, which of them is the right one for you? 

Cemetery Options 

Think about where relatives are buried. If the family plot is already full, is it possible that there are nearby sites within that cemetery for additional family members? Are your wishes to be buried where you were born or where you live now? If you have no specific preference, it would be ideal to be located close to where most of the family resides. For instance, if you and your family mainly live on Long Island, it wouldn’t make sense to arbitrarily choose a cemetery in other areas of New York or out of state.  

Are you a member of a synagogue? If so, it may be possible to purchase plots that they have already secured to be made available to congregants. Did you have prior dealings with a specific funeral director or Jewish funeral home? They may be able to point you in the right direction. If you are already working with one for pre-planning, ask for guidance pertaining to cemeteries that may be located nearby.   

There are many types of cemeteries including those owned by congregations, mixed religions which include a Jewish section, memorial parks, and VA which is operated by the Veteran Affairs Administration. Plan to visit any that are being considered. The cemeteries will provide a map of available grave sites or take you on a tour of the grounds. You will need to determine whether you want to reserve a lot for extended family. Purchasing several plots upfront can be less expensive and allow you to prohibit outsiders from purchasing ones that you may eventually need. 

Believe it or not, a pleasant atmosphere is strongly preferred by many.  Is there a plot surrounded by beautiful trees and cascading hills (they may add to the cost)? Is the cemetery in need of upkeep? Are there rules pertaining to monuments or markers? Some memorial parks or gardens may only allow stones that are flush with the ground, so if your plans are for a more elaborate headstone, it may not be congruent with their requirements.  

Don’t forget to ask about additional services or costs. Graveside services may require an additional cost and you may be required to purchase extras like a grave liner.  Additionally, charges may extend past the burial, such as perpetual care.  

Benefits of Funeral and Burial Pre-Planning  

Nobody is ever ready to start thinking about their funeral, nor is making preparations for death an easy process. Pre-planning a funeral can make a normally difficult and confusing situation easier. It is simple to set aside time to decide on everything from selecting a casket and designating a place to hold funeral services to identification of a specific plot. The ability to make comparisons often results in more affordable funeral costs.  

Choosing a cemetery in advance and funeral preparation is beneficial for many reasons, most importantly, reducing the burden on loved ones from having to make these choices at a very difficult time. There is a lot that goes into this, which most do not realize. When the time is right for you, we are here to answer any questions and to make this easier yourself and your loved ones. You can reach us at 631-454-9600. 

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