March 9, 2021

What You Should Know About Above Ground Burials

As you’re deciding where to lay your loved ones to rest, you should know that there are a lot of different options that you have available. Above-ground burials are only one of many different options you have, but they have grown in popularity within the past few years. 

Here are a few options you should consider when deciding if an above-ground burial is right for you and your family. 


A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person. Most cemeteries have various public mausoleums to offer to families. There are two different varieties that can be offered.

Indoor Mausoleum: An indoor mausoleum is an indoor structure that allows mourners to walk past and view a wall of crypts. Crypts are labeled with plaques that have the deceased’s name inscribed on them with birth and death dates listed below. Many indoor mausoleums can be quiet, peaceful areas for families to come to visit and pay respects to their loved ones. Some may offer benches and even soft music in the background. Each cemetery will be different, but the average price for burial in a mausoleum is $4,000. However, costs can range from $2,000 – $40,000 depending on the area and cemetery. Always be sure to check with your local cemetery before making a decision. 

Garden Mausoleum: A garden mausoleum is another option for families. A garden mausoleum doesn’t have an indoor space for families to visit, and the vaults are typically open to the outside. Mourners are able to visit the crypt in the same way that they would visit a headstone. Garden and indoor mausoleums have similar costs, so ultimately it comes down to the wishes of the family. 

Both garden and indoor mausoleums offer options to have multiple caskets next to each other.


A sarcophagus is an ancient stone-carved casket that is meant to hold a corpse. These are not very common, and you would more than likely see them in a museum rather than most cemeteries. They are oftentimes highly decorated and are considered more like a work of art. 

If a sarcophagus is in your final wishes, you may struggle to try to find one for sale in the United States. If you are lucky enough to find one, placing it in a public cemetery could be very expensive. For example, a cemetery in New York charges $220,000 for a 378 square foot area to place the monument. 

Sarcophagi may look the right size and shape to hold the remains of a body, but they typically are just shells placed over a buried casket. This was a popular memorial in the United States near the end of the 1800s, but this trend dwindled around 1950 when headstones became popular due to easier maintenance. 

Garden Walls

Similar to indoor and garden mausoleums, there are options to be buried in a garden wall. Garden walls are exposed to the outdoor elements much like traditional in-ground burials, but they are placed along decorated walkways. These walkways will have benches for visitors to sit on while paying respect to their loved ones. 

The price of a garden wall will vary greatly depending on the location and amenities offered to mourners. 

Scattering of Remains

Depending on the cemetery, you may be offered a scattering garden. These are available to the surviving family members of the deceased. A scattering garden is a decorated area with the sole purpose of scattering the ashes of your loved one. Ashes provide a natural fertilizer for flowers and plants and meet the wishes of those who choose to be cremated. They also allow family members to have a quiet, timeless area to visit and mourn. 

Don’t Make the Tough Decision Alone

Trying to decide on the perfect burial option for your loved one can be stressful and emotional, especially if your loved one didn’t have any final wishes. Let our staff help guide you along that path. It’s our job to make sure every family gets their loved one’s wishes carried out.

Don’t go through this journey alone when you don’t have to. Come visit us at the cemetery or call us today at (402)-474-3600.


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