Why body repatriation is the better option

Sebastian K.

The death of a loved one is a profoundly emotional and challenging time, further complicated when it occurs abroad. One crucial decision families must make is whether to repatriate the body or opt for burial in the country where the death occurred. While both options have their merits, repatriating the body often proves to be the better choice for several reasons, ranging from emotional closure to logistical considerations.

1. Emotional and psychological closure

Bringing the deceased back to their home country (the process of body repatriation) provides a sense of connection and continuity. Many people have a deep emotional attachment to their homeland, and being laid to rest there aligns with cultural and familial expectations.

Repatriating the body allows family and friends to grieve and support each other in a familiar environment. Funerals are not only about saying goodbye but also about coming together to share memories and support one another, which is easier to achieve when surrounded by a familiar community.

2. Cultural and religious considerations

Different cultures and religions have specific funeral rituals and practices that may not be easily accommodated in a foreign country. The body repatriation, of your loved one, ensures that these important customs and traditions are observed according to the family's wishes.

Religious significance

For many, religious beliefs dictate specific burial practices and locations. Ensuring that the deceased is buried in a location that adheres to these beliefs is crucial for honoring their faith and providing spiritual peace for the family.

3. Legal factors

Repatriating the body ensures that the gravesite is accessible to family members for future visits. Traveling to a foreign country to visit a loved one’s grave can be expensive, time-consuming, and impractical for many families.

Handling legal and administrative processes in a foreign country can be complex and overwhelming, especially during a time of grief. Repatriation simplifies these processes, as families deal with familiar legal systems and languages.

4. Financial considerations

Long-term costs

While repatriation can be expensive initially, it may save money in the long run. Traveling abroad for memorial services and grave visits can incur significant expenses over time, whereas having the deceased buried locally avoids these ongoing costs.

In most cases, choosing to bury your loved one where they passed can be significantly more expensive. This is particularly true in countries with high funeral costs, such as the UK. For example, the cost of a traditional funeral in the UK can reach up to £5000 or more. This includes expenses for the funeral service, burial plot, coffin, and other associated fees.

Therefore, repatriating the body can be a more cost-effective option, ensuring that families can honor their loved ones without the added stress.

Insurance coverage

Many travel insurance policies cover the cost of repatriation in the event of death abroad. Utilizing this coverage can alleviate the financial burden on the family.

5. Honoring the deceased’s wishes

Choosing to repatriate a loved one’s body rather than opting for a local burial abroad is often the preferable option for many families. And, if the deceased expressed a desire to be buried in their home country, repatriating the body respects and fulfills this final wish. Ensuring that their last wishes are honored can provide solace and peace of mind to the grieving family.

At Funero, we recognize the complexities and challenges involved in international body repatriation. If you need assistance with body repatriation or have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact us. We are here to guide you every step of the way.