How does a funeral go?

One of the most important decisions concerning the funeral is the choice between a funeral and a cremation. A difficult choice, which you naturally want to think about. And that while your head is probably not at all. Yet it is necessary to also arrange the practical side of the death of your child ... and preferably as well as possible: you do not want to regret your choices later on.

The difference between a funeral and cremation

Sometimes the choice between a funeral and cremation is culture or religious, but often there is just a personal preference. In Roman times, both burial and cremated. Adults were usually cremated; children were buried. The exact reason for this is not clear, but the difference in social position seems logical. The deceased were given burial gifts for life in the hereafter. In the Netherlands it has only been permitted since 1955 to choose cremation in addition to burial. In the meantime both modes of funeral are at the same level nationally - this can still differ greatly from one region to another.

If you are not religious or culture bound in a certain way and you also have no personal preference (yet), where do you choose? What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of these two options?



  • It is a beautiful ritual and people often find it a nice idea that there is a clear place where you can visit the deceased.
  • You can place a memorial stone (there is a lot possible in this area).
  • You can choose a family grave (this can reinforce the feeling that you will be united at some point).
  • You can have your child reburied * (for example to a private grave or other cemetery in case of a possible relocation).


  • Costs of a private grave can rise ** but with the choice of a general grave the costs can be reduced.
  • Every year costs are charged by the cemetery for the maintenance of the grave.
  • The grave will have to be cared for and maintained. For some people this can also be an advantage, so you have the idea to be able to do something for your deceased child.

* When reburied from a general grave, you also need permission from the relatives (parents) of the children buried in the same grave. Permission is not always given for this.
** Different from cemetery



  • You can keep your child's ashes in your immediate vicinity.
  • There are many possibilities for commemoration in which you can keep ashes (jewelry, tattoo, urn, painting).
  • You have no costs for a (private) grave and / or its maintenance.
  • Cremation is usually slightly cheaper than burial (no costs of grave and memorial stone).
  • You can scatter the ashes, which can be a beautiful symbolism.


  • The choice is very definitive, you may still decide to bury the ashes in the end. Some people find the final character very pleasant (cleaner).
  • Some people do not think the idea of โ€‹โ€‹burning is a pleasant idea.

After how many days does your child have to be buried?

Your child must be buried (or cremated) no later than the fifth day after the date of death. For example, if your child has died on Wednesday, he must be buried no later than Monday.
With a permit from the mayor it is possible to get a postponement. This may be necessary, for example, when there are relatives from abroad or when there are holidays between the day of death and burial.

Where can there be burial?

In principle, graves are only issued on not yet closed cemeteries. However, even though a cemetery is closed and grave law still exists, it is still allowed to be buried in that grave.
Since 1991 it is (again) possible to bury on own land. However, strict conditions are attached to this, but the zoning plan must also be adapted for this.

Video: How to Follow Proper Funeral Etiquette

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