It’s Not Just a Hole In the Ground

Why is it so expensive to be buried?

When you learn that even the simplest of natural burials costs $1,800 for the site and $1,295 for the burial, record keeping, and continual care and maintenance of the land, it’s hard not to feel nonplussed, rattled, even dazed. After all, it’s just a hole in the ground. Actually it’s not.

Establishing The Meadow required 2 year’s time and an initial investment of $250,000. Of course there is also the value of the land to consider. Then Virginia requires an initial $50,000 contribution to the Perpetual Care Trust which will continue to grow from a portion of the income from every site sold. The income from the trust can only be used to care for the land – forever I might add.

Then there is the initial preparing of the land. Surveys marking boundaries of the cemetery, pathways, and the first burial site sections were required. Landscaping was done to urge the land toward being comforting, beautiful, and safe for people, while keeping it wild and supportive enough for native plants and animals to thrive. And then there were the legal, business, and licensing requirements any new endeavor must expect.

There’s staff training, maintenance, marketing, record keeping, equipment and on and on and on. We’re not only promising to provide you with that hole in the ground, we’ve promised that 20 or 100 years from now when your great, great, great grandchildren come to explore their ancestry, what you wanted to say about life and death will still be echoing on and through this land. Whether you choose to have a marker or not, someone representing The Meadow will be able to show them where and how you chose to be returned to the Earth.

One more thought — if you rented 80 square feet of space, how much might you expect to pay, say by-the month? I just went on line and read that a 5 x 10 ft. storage space costs between $19 and $35 dollars per month. Now doing the math in relation to the cemetery – based on an 8 x 10 site with a 50-year lease(our most expensive site) burial, and maintenance will be $6.32/month. The least expensive full-body burial would average out to $5.16/month. Frankly, that seems cheap to me.

What makes it seem expensive is that all the cost is paid up front. But on the other hand once paid, the price will never change or increase. It’s done.

So –you see – it’s not just a hole in the ground. It’s a statement about death, an investment in the land and the life dependent on it, and it’s a promise made and kept far into the future.