No one is ever really prepared to lose a loved one. Losing someone you share a deep bond and connection with can be devastating and in some cases, could lead to momentary shock. That’s because it hurts so much when you realize that person is gone for good.
For a lot of people, what follows the death of a relative is but a blur. They may have an idea of how burial processes work but it’s often always just that- an idea. But, for cremation, most don’t even have the slightest inkling about how that works although the history of cremation dates back to over 2000 years.
This is because not a lot of people get to see what goes on behind the scenes. But the anxiety that many feel about this process will be eased once they understand how it works. In some families, it’s customary to have their deceased loved ones cremated. In some cases, although not customary in the family, the deceased may have asked to be cremated. Regardless of which category you fall into, if you find yourself in need of this service, this article should guide you on how to go about the whole process.
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What is Cremation?
It is a body disposition method that serves as an alternative to conventional burials and funerals. It involves reducing a deceased body to its essential elements by exposing it to open flames and intense heat, basically, incineration. This process takes place in an industrial furnace called a retort or cremation chamber. Most crematories or crematoriums require a container for the body that is appropriate for the process.
Although the remains from this process are basically bone fragments, they are commonly called “ashes”. Families should know that the remains will be mingled with any remains from the container. Cremation typically produces between three and nine pounds of remains. However, the exact amount depends on the process employed by the crematory and the size of the body.
How Does it Work?
The entire process typically takes about three hours to complete but the family may have to wait much longer to receive the remains, also known as cremains. Most states laws dictate that only one body be cremated at a time to avoid any identification issues. However, in addition to this law, crematories have a reliable labeling system used for identifying bodies. The following is a summary of how it works:
- The crematory, upon receiving the body, removes any implants or medical devices.
- The container housing the body is then placed inside the chamber where the temperature gets as hot as 18000F (9820C).
- After about three hours, most of the body will have been consumed by heat or evaporation, leaving only bone fragments.
- The bone fragments are then taken out of the chamber and cleared of every metal component before being ground to powder or “ash”.
- The cremains are then placed into a temporary container or into an urn provided by the family. Click here to learn more about the process.
Choosing A Cremation Service
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, cremation is one of the most popular options for final arrangements in the U.S.
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The following are some of the reasons for this:
- Lower cost
- Flexible options
- Better for the environment
- Simpler arrangements
There are several cremation service providers that families can choose from. Which one will be a fit for your family depends on your budget and the type of service you prefer.
Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Many funeral homes offer this service and deal directly with the crematorium so that grieving families have one less thing to worry about. If you prefer someone else handling all the details and processes, funeral homes are a great option. They offer several other services including memorial service, viewing, and urn options.
These are societies or groups that offer memberships and then special discounts and pricing to their members. Many people join these societies when pre-planning their memorial, however, you can still work with these societies for immediate service. The prices these societies offer are not always cheaper compared to other options, so, you’d want to be sure before finalizing any arrangement.
This group focuses only on cremation and is not usually involved with burials. They provide much less service compared to funeral homes; however, they are way more affordable. Their service ranges in price between $500 on the low end and up to a few thousand dollars. You can visit sites like https://eternalcremations.org to get started choosing a cremation service.
These are organizations that have locations in several states and provide their services on a national basis. They are suitable for families that expect to move to another city in the future.
With the increase in the demand for this option, many cemeteries now have a crematorium on-site or are affiliated with a provider of the service. If you have a cemetery around, you could inquire if they offer the service. If they don’t, they may be able to refer you to a reliable service provider.
Although it may seem like a lot, it is recommended that you visit the facilities you’re considering before making a choice. Usually, this helps with deciding faster who to work with as following one’s gut is a good way to make these types of decisions.