Skip Nav
How to Be the Ultimate Maid of Honor
28 Cool Ideas For a Summer Wedding
30 Things That Drive Wedding Guests CRAZY

DIY Burials: Less Expensive, More Intimate?

Due to the recession, most of us focus on how much we spend going about our daily lives, but we don't often budget for death, which can be very pricey. An increasing number of people are finding ways to decrease the cost of burying a loved one — they're holding DIY funerals.

Compared to the average cost of a funeral, which runs about $6,000, taking over part or all of the burial preparations can cost family members as little as $250. In states where a funeral director is required, home funerals are still less expensive. And loved ones say it seems like "the natural, loving way to do things." It also sounds a little creepy. The New York Times explained the home burial process for 92-year-old Nathaniel Roe:

They washed Mr. Roe’s body, dressed him in his favorite Harrods tweed jacket and red Brooks Brothers tie and laid him on a bed so family members could privately say their last goodbyes.

There are countless organizations and individuals (called "death midwives") who help families with things like setting up cremation, moving the body to a cemetery, or securing a burial permit (if available) when a family decides to bury their loved one on their property. Would you ever consider this?

Source: Flickr User KaCey97007

Join The Conversation
Symphonee Symphonee 7 years
I plan on being cremated and having my repast at a club with a guest list. Yes I am serious. I don't want a funeral. I want a going home party. I want a celebration of my life and the beginning of my next journey. I like the idea of a DIY funeral, personally. When did it really become necessary or eve ok for us to detach ourselves from the one part of life that does not discriminate at all?
lollofit lollofit 7 years
DIY burials? It really depends on where someone is being buried. A home might work if you have an estate or something, but would you ever want to move if uncle Louis is burried in the backyard? Who would buy that house? Also, I know this is a tangent, but it also seems like some crimes could be easily covered up this way. Yeah.. I went there.
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
I would not be ok with washing and dressing a loved ones body for burial or viewing. I am not a big fan of wakes. I am even less a fan of expensive caskets. When my grandfather passed away he was cremated only after my grandmother was forced to spend thousands of dollars on a casket for the wake. What's the point? I don't think they burn the casket. So I always wondered what the hell happened to it? When I die I want to be cremated and then everyone can come pay their respects to me and my life in my home. I don't want anybody paying their respects to my lifeless body in some tacky funeral parlor. I am still undecided about what to do with my ashes, but I'm thinking they'll probably end up in the ocean.
bengalspice bengalspice 7 years
When my father's mother died ... my mom and aunts all washed and dressed her body for the funeral service at the masjid. I didn't see the body because I was in the midst of exams in college, but my sister saw the body and it pretty much scarred her for life. I think it's something that is done regularly in Islam. Muslim's don't support the whole embalming/funeral home stuff. The most expense I think is the plan ticket if the deceased wanted to be buried in a foreign plot.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
I just want to be laid in a wooden boat, covered in flowers, set on fire and pushed out to sea. I don't think thats legal though If I must be bured I relly don't want a super fancy casket, I'm a simple person in life, I'd like to remain that way in death.
GKitty GKitty 7 years
I took care of my Mom and Dad's arrangements. Because of their many clubs,organizations, and their standing in our community a large funeral was necessary for both of them. I'm proud of my effort, we were able to plan in advance and I know all their wishes were met.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
yeah, not washing my loved ones stiff, cold body :faint: anyone here ever seen or touched a dead body? i buried my mom almost 2 years ago and i will say that it would take a VERY unusual person to be detached enough to do those things. just making choices like what time to have the service or what they should wear can seem overwhelming. emotionally you are raw. cremation is inexpensive and quick. i could never layout my loved ones, NEVER.
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
I agree with #2. What is the point of a fancy casket anyway? To take up more space in the ground?
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
I can understand how a burial can put a burden on a family that the deceased one would not want. But I hope this does not mean the family has to plan and take care of more things.
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
whole=hole. Blonde moment.
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
I'm with CaterpillarGirl on this one. Dig a whole in the backyard, pop me in, cover me up with dirt, and roll out the keg!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I am happy that a great many "natural" cemeteries are popping up in the US. This is a burial place for those of us who dont want to be embalmed or put into a fancy shmancy casket, i want to be put back into the earth flesh against dirt.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I can understand the concept. When my close aunt died, I went to the funeral home to make arrangements, and they kept trying to push expensive stuff on us. It was a real turn off, and when they did the service, it was really lousy.
Gregg Allman Dead
Adam West Dead
Chelsea Manning Nightline Interview on Being Transgender
Frida Kahlo Gift Guide
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds