KEARNEY, Neb. -- It's something everyone deals with at some point in their life and sometimes planning for it makes things a little easier... your funeral.
When it comes to making those plans, officials said the number of people choosing to be cremated has increased over the years.
People are going with cremation for a number of reasons. Cost being a big one. However, as you start to plan for your funeral, you now have various options and instead of waiting for it to happen, some folks plan for this years in advance.
You could choose for yourself or let your loved ones make the decisions.
Steve Baye with the Kearney Cemetery told NTV News you could be cremated but buried in the ground, placed above ground or placed in the cremation garden.
He said you can opt for a full body burial above ground or go the traditional route underground, however, more and more people are choosing to be cremated.
"It's changed a lot. This year, we're at 53% cremation rate which is way up. Last year, I think was 37% cremation rate and when I started here in 1984, we had one cremation funeral the whole year back then. So it's really changed over the years,” said Baye.
Baye said he believes the main reason folks are choosing cremation is because of cost and how easy it is to move a person if need be. However, he adds that the jump in cremations changes things for cemeteries and funeral homes.
"It's less time to do a funeral, it's less income and for your funeral homes and a lot of cemeteries, it's caused a financial burden for a lot of private cemeteries because they don't have the income coming in from full body, so they're raising prices there and come up with different ways to attract people being buried in their cemeteries,” said Baye.
Some folks are choosing to buy their plots and plan their own funerals years in advance. Baye said he has especially seen a rise over the years in burial plot purchases ahead of their time.
"I’ve already got a plot picked out and paid for... So cremation is the next thing and that's all I’ve got,” said Kearney Resident Paul Connett.
"I lost a close cousin at age 39 and that's when I kind of decided that we needed to get our lots bought at least so it's not up to the kids and we picked lots right along the road so they don't even have to stop, they can just throw the flowers out as they go by,” said Elm Creek Resident Janet Reichert.
For folks interested in plot information or burial prices at the Kearney Cemetery can check out the city website.