As long as it is permitted by local regulations, your cremated remains can be scattered in a place that is meaningful to you. This can, however, present difficulties for your survivors. Some people may find it hard to simply pour the mortal remains of a loved one out onto the ground or into the sea. If you wish to be scattered somewhere, it is therefore important to discuss your wishes ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to do the scattering. Another difficulty with scattering can occur when the remains are disposed of in an anonymous, unmarked or public place. Access to the area may be restricted for some reason in the future, undeveloped land may be developed or any of a host of other conditions may arise that could make it difficult for your survivors to visit the site to remember you. Even if your cremated remains are scattered in your backyard, what happens if your survivors relocate sometime in the future? Once scattered, cremated remains cannot easily be collected back up. Having your remains placed, or interred at Vacaville-Elmira cemetery grounds ensures that future generations will have a place to go to remember.
Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No, embalming is not required for burial. It is your choice. It may depend on such factors as whether the family has selected a public viewing with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. The Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknowns and Vietnam "Wall" in Washington, D.C., are examples of memorialization which demonstrate that, throughout our history, we have always honored our dead. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one's mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.
What is opening and closing?
Opening and closing are provided by the Vacaville-Elmira cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing includes administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files); opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space); placement of the burial vault; installation and removal of the lowering device; placement and removal of artificial grass dressing at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
What is endowment care?
A portion of the purchase price of the grave is contributed to an endowment care fund. Income from the endowment care fund is used to provide regular care and maintenance at the cemetery. Regular care and maintenance activities can include: cutting grass, regrading of graves, planting and caring for trees, maintenance of water supply systems, roads, drainage, etc. The minimum amount to be contributed to the endowment care fund is set by the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery Board of Trustees.
How do I know that Endowment Care will take care of my cemetery plots?
The endowment care funds are very conservatively managed. Income from the fund can only be spent on care and maintenance of the cemetery -- the capital is not touched. Endowment care funds are governed by laws of the State of California for consumer protection.
What are burial vaults?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, plastic or fiberglass.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
State or local law does not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery requires that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.