The cycle of birth, life and death has been around since the beginning of time, so too has the burial or sendoff of those who pass away.
Each year, more than 2.4 million people in the U.S. go on to greener pastures, and many leave the details of the final farewell to those who are left behind. Those folks are left with a plethora of choices when it comes to burying a loved one, and you can spend as much or as little as you like.
Some families will pick what they want regardless of price, like the copper casket. Others are trying to save a few dollars here or there and will go as low as the pine box.
"A lot of people are going to the green burial, the unembalmed bodies, and just they want the bare minimum," said James Sircy, Funeral Director and Embalmer at Beggs Funeral Home.
More and more people nowadays are taking death into their own hands - making funeral arrangements *long before* they pass away.
"We had a gentleman who built his own casket, out of oak, and nothing precludes that," said AL Hall, President, Funeral Director and Embalmer at Tillman Funeral Home.
Still others are cutting out the burial all together, opting to rent a casket for the viewing, then have their loved one cremated.
"It's a trend that's definitely coming in that's here to stay, I imagine. And that's just monetarily-wise, people gravitate toward that," said Sircy.
Yet some want to make a statement when they leave and will turn to someone like the Glacier Casket Company in Montana to create a one-of-a-kind.
"Whatever they can come up with for expressing themselves or their loved one's lifestyle, we can put that on a casket," said Ron Bealer, owner of Glacier Casket Company.
But be warned, those custom caskets will cost you several thousand dollars, at least, depending on materials, size and design.
Many people also find peace or humor or both in burying tangible items in the casket with the dead.
"I've seen fishing poles, fishing rods, rifles, hatchets, knives, and thank you cards," said Sircy.
"Mom's favorite frying pan, I've had that. Put that frying pan in with Mom. I've had a person who pit a cell phone in," said Hall.
As you can see, most folks around here stick to the classic tried and true when it comes to funerals and goodbyes, but there are others out there who make arrangements ahead of time to make sure they go out in style.