Cemetery Solutions

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Imagine not having a place to bury a loved one. This problem is a growing reality in areas across the nation.

Verlyn Brock, the funeral director for Whiddon Shiver Funeral Home in Thomasville, says, "Some metropolitan areas may be experiencing such a thing, but not in south Georgia."

But small towns grow as well, so fast forward a few generations, and here is what the plan may be for our community if space runs low for burials.

"To conserve space there would be eliminating headstones, since they do take up space," says Brock.

Other options are to stack caskets one right on top of the other in one plot or increasing the number of tombs in a cemetery, but the problem could fix itself as funeral directors say the percentage of cremation has increased to 15 percent, compared to just five percent a year ago.

Darrell Allen, the funeral director of Allen and Allen, says, "The rise of cremation helps alleviate concerns for space because that doesn't take up the kind of space an earth burial does."

Some residents see cremation as an easy solution.

Bob Loehne, a resident of Thomasville, says, "Myself, I'm going to be cremated, and I don't see any problem with that, dump my ashes over somebody's backyard, that'll take care of that."

Not only is cremation a good way to save space, its also less expensive. It costs about a third less to cremate a body versus burying a body.