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8 Odd Facts About Passing Away in the Netherlands

You, therefore, intend to pass away there. Not too much planning the unplannable, if you will. Here are 8 weird things to know about Dutch funerals.

Many societies around the world place a high value on death, and much like cultures, there are some variances you’ll observe. Let’s just say getting to your goal in the land of toilet calendars, cheese, and krentenbol has its own peculiarities.

You may lease a grave when you dead in the Netherlands


In the Netherlands, renting a grave place for up to 20 years is more typical than purchasing one, after which the remains are transferred to a communal grave.

The Netherlands’ shortage of graveyard space is primarily to blame for this. With two or three bodies in each burial, there are currently an estimated 2 million populated graves.

Families frequently have general burials where up to three coffins are buried on top of each other due to the great demand for cemetery space. By doing this, they can keep their loved ones close by in death without taking up too much room.

Families do have the option to rent a grave rather than buy a plot, although this option can still be expensive.

You may decide on a biodegradable casket, Dutch funerals


A Dutch start-up created the compostable coffin, often known as a “living coffin,” which is now available as a more environmentally friendly option for individuals interred in the country. The fungus-based coffin biodegrades. This speeds up the body’s normal decomposition process and aids in re-integrating the body with the environment and soil.

You can elect to be buried naturally.


While we’re on eco-friendly burials, in the Netherlands, you can opt for a “natural burial,” which might take place in a forest.

Those who elect to do so are buried without a casket. As an alternative, they are shrouded and the body is allowed to decompose into the soil, rejoining the earth and the cycle of life.

However, people who do so are not permitted to have a gravestone to serve as a memorial. In its place, they can decide to erect a tree over the grave or use a simple memorial with an inscription. It sounds like a nice and easy method to pass away and then resurface in the earth.

Applying for assisted suicide is possible, Dutch funerals

Patients in the Netherlands with long-term medical conditions have the option to seek euthanasia if they believe it is the only way to stop their suffering and poor quality of life.

Although a depressing solution, it does give patients and their families some comfort. The consent of the child’s parents is required for children under the age of 16 to request euthanasia.

Since 2002, when the Netherlands became the first nation to approve such a bill, the act of euthanasia has been permitted.

In the Netherlands, the majority of individuals elect cremation.


In the Netherlands, 66.95% of fatalities as of 2019 were cremated.

For many families, cremations can also be a sentimental decision. You do not have to use the area of a grave for mourning; instead, you can say goodbye therapeutically and lovingly by dispersing a loved one’s ashes in their favorite location.

With a price range of €725 to €1,000, this option is also considerably less expensive than burial.

For people who passed away alone, there is a service that produces poems.

A service that creates poems to remember those who had no friends or relatives present at their funerals is a sad but incredibly nice idea.

The Lonely Funeral Foundation was founded in 2002 with the intention of honoring the deceased and celebrating their lives.

The foundation’s major objective is to “give the unclaimed lonely dead a dignified and respectful valediction,” according to its website.

It’s a reassuring feeling to know that someone, somewhere will be thinking of us, even though we don’t want to think that no one will remember us when we die away, whether it be friends or family. In addition, the poetry is exquisite.

Netherlands organ donation


In the majority of nations, a person’s organ donation to those in need after death is a personal decision.

However, it’s a little different for the Dutch. On their 18th birthday, individuals receive a letter offering them the chance to decide if they want to participate in this scheme.

If they don’t reply to this letter, their decision will be recorded as having “no objection to organ donation” once they pass away.

This indicates that, in the Netherlands, it is assumed that your (supposedly) healthy kidneys are up for grabs unless you expressly specify that you do not intend to donate your organs after death.

Even though it sounds a little grim, we can take comfort in the fact that we are extending the life of another person. In any case, that is cause for celebration!

No later than six days following your passing, you are buried, Dutch funerals


Either buried or incinerated, I suppose. The Dutch prefer to arrange funerals quickly when a loved one passes away so that everyone has time to assemble and grieve.

A wake is typically planned for Dutch funerals, and it is mostly a family affair. The wake, which is typically held in a friend or relative’s house, provides an opportunity to somberly consider the life of the deceased.

The Netherlands, however, actually has a legislation requiring that a person’s cremation or burial take place no later than six days following their passing.

It was a short turnaround, but at least the family could grieve in privacy once the preparation bustle was finished.

We want to provide you with some insight into what to expect if you or a loved one dies away in the Netherlands, or even just a little bit of specialized cultural knowledge.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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