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Why Does the Look of a Burial Vault Matter?

Avatar for Jill Darby Jill Darby       November 17th, 2020       9:48 am
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The primary purpose of a burial vault is simple: protection. Burial vaults protect the casket space from outside elements such as water, insects, and soil. This type of protection provides peace of mind to surviving friends and family while also protecting the investment of the casket. But why does the look of a burial vault matter?

At Trigard, we believe burial vaults also serve a secondary purpose that can be just as valuable. They provide memorable aesthetics that begin the grieving process which encourages healthy healing. In some regard, the burial vault can be viewed as the final gift bestowed upon a loved one. The most meaningful gifts are personal and intended to last for years to come. For these reasons, there are several factors to take into consideration when selecting a burial vault for a loved one.

The Law of Recency

The law of recency says that, within a series of events, humans tend to remember the most recent event the most vividly. Following your loved one to their final resting place is a tradition that has been around for thousands of years. For families who choose a graveside service, the funeral director gives the option of witnessing the interment or leaving the cemetery immediately following the final committal prayer. This is subjective to one’s needs and desires.

Why Does The Look Of A Burial Vault Matter

To some, the last memory of the casket sitting above the grave satisfies their need for closure. For others, staying and watching the casket lowered into the burial vault, the sealing of the burial vault, and the filling of the grave with soil takes care of closure as they feel they have followed their loved one through the entire process. It is important for families to leave the cemetery with a positive mental image of the burial site and the burial vault is a key component of that visual.

Quality Affects Peace of Mind

Even if a vault is structurally sound, a low-quality appearance from even the most structurally sound vaults, can tarnish the graveside service experience.” Many families consider the vault a way to honor their family member as an expression of their love. Therefore, burial vaults help provide that last bit of closure families need to begin the grieving process, and a sub-par quality product can negatively affect that closure.

Personalization Helps with Healing

There are so many options when it comes to personalizing a burial vault. From name plates to paint colors to Appliqués®, the possibilities are endless. Talk with your funeral director about what options you have available. We love seeing vinyl Appliqués on vault lids. There are a wide range of Appliqués available. Some have family photographs, signify a veteran, showcase a hobby or reflect one’s spirituality.

These custom Appliqués can trigger memories and conversations at the graveside service that are such an important part of the healing process. Many families can attest to how personalization of the vault made one of the most difficult times of their lives a little easier.

Have a unique and personal ceremony with the Aegean Healing Tree vault

“I wear the ring on my necklace when I feel like I need to be closer to my mom. It just makes me feel better.” Family Served by J. Richard Ward, Proud Trigard Dealer, Montgomery Vault, Maryland

“My uncle…was a member of the local Fire Department where he faithfully served for 22 years. He also worked for the Department of Transportation for 29 years. When I saw his vault…my breath was taken away. The Appliqué was absolutely breathtaking. What a way to memorialize a loved one.” G. Brown, Trigard Customer

A study highlighting the effectiveness of using positive memories and images to help generate positive emotions has been published by researchers. The work suggests that savouring positive memories can generate positive emotions. Increasing positive emotion can have a range of benefits including reducing attention to and experiences of threat.

“These results suggest that the BMAC (Broad-Minded Affective Coping Procedure) has the potential to be a practical and effective method for boosting mood amongst individuals with specific mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.”

In our society, first impressions are often considered the most important. However, when applied to the passing of a loved one, the last impression can be the most important part for families. Departing the graveside after services are concluded can be one of the most difficult parts of the funeral experience. Family members can be at ease knowing their loved one’s remains are protected by a strong vault.

Personalization of the vault will further enhance the last visual of the loved one’s final resting place and can be a conversation piece for years to come. Thus, the appearance of the burial vault can generate positive, long lasting memories and start families off on the right foot to begin the healing process.


University of Liverpool. “Can positive memories help treat mental health problems?” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2016.

Avatar for Jill Darby

Jill Darby

Jill is a member of the Marketing team for Trigard Vaults, Trigard Memorials, Hall of Fame Plaques & Signs and Sunset Funeral Home and Memorial Park. She grew up in the funeral industry, as her family owned funeral homes in the Midwest. After graduating from Miami University (OH) in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Jill worked for a global funeral product manufacturer. In 2011, she married Rich Darby, COO of the family-owned Darby companies and began working in several areas of the business. In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband, four adorable granddaughters, and 2 labradoodles.

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