Making end-of-life arrangements involves many choices, including the choice of a final resting place. Mausoleums, while less talked about than traditional underground burials, are an alternative for those who do not wish to be buried underground for any number of reasons. Here is some helpful information if you are looking to learn more about mausoleums.
What is a Mausoleum?
A mausoleum is a structure that houses the remains of a deceased person above ground. The remains, which may or may not be cremated prior to placement, are housed inside a stone vessel called a crypt, which is carefully sealed to keep moisture out. Entombment is the process of placing the crypt inside the mausoleum.
The idea of above-ground burial is not a new concept, but rather dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Interestingly enough, the word mausoleum is a reference to the Persian King Mausollos. His above-ground tomb, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
There are several reasons one might prefer a mausoleum to a traditional in-ground burial today, including soil quality in a particular location or simply due to family tradition. There are many different types of mausoleums that suit different needs.
Types of Mausoleums
Mausoleums can be located on public or private land, depending on personal preference and budget. They can vary greatly in size and layout. Some families choose to build private structures so that a number of family members can have their final resting place together.
Often, a mausoleum will have benches or other seating so that loved ones can comfortably visit the deceased’s final resting place. Some mausoleums are equipped with temperature-control. Some include quiet music in the background. Other mausoleums are outside in a more open garden-type setting.
Crypts, the actual containers that house the remains, vary in size as well. Most only house the remains of one individual, but that is not always the case. There are several varieties, including:
Single Crypt: Contains the remains of a single individual.
Side-By-Side Crypt: Contains the remains of two individuals who rest together horizontally.
Family Crypt: Contains the remains of several individuals.
The price range can vary greatly based on the privacy level, location and size. They are frequently more expensive than a tradition burial, but that can change due to individual circumstances.
Factors to Consider
When considering a mausoleum, particularly a public one, it is wise to pay close attention to the quality of upkeep. Traditional underground burials require little care after the deceased has been buried, but mausoleums need continued maintenance. Proper temperature and ventilation are very important.
It is also a good idea to keep location in mind. Very often, consideration of a final resting place includes whether it will be a convenient location for loved ones to visit.
Benefits to a Mausoleum
People choose mausoleums for various reasons. Some feel uneasy with the idea of their remains being buried underground and prefer the above-ground style. Others prefer the privacy (and security) of a family mausoleum that is not accessible to the public. Mausoleums often provide greater protection from the elements than a traditional underground burial site. That can be an important factor in locations that are subject to conditions such as flooding.
Choosing a final resting place, mausoleum or otherwise, is an incredibly personal and delicate decision. Pre-planning details of your funeral and cemetery services in advance may sound like a difficult conversation, but putting a plan in place is actually a thoughtful and caring thing to do.
With a plan, you’ll reduce stress for grieving loved ones—and simply let them honor and celebrate your life, knowing things are happening just as you wanted. To speak to a knowledgeable funeral director and learn more about pre-planning, call Bevis Funeral Home today at 850-385-2193.