Deciding where somebody should rest after they pass away is never an easy topic to discuss, no matter who the person in question is. Because of that, many people avoid it altogether.
However, having a clear plan can make the difficult process easier.
Today, around 44% of Americans plan on getting cremated after they die, and experts expect that number to climb even higher over the next several years.
What exactly does the cremation process look like? What sort of steps should families expect to go through?
Keep reading to learn all about the different steps for cremation.
Decide Whether or Not Cremation Is Right for You
While cremation is sustainable, cheap, and provides many other benefits, there are some things you’ll need to consider to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
Religions like Catholicism have changed their original stance on cremation and now support it, but others continue to oppose it. Islam and Judaism are two such religions.
Make sure to take the religious beliefs of you and your family into account.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that cremation is permanent. After someone’s body is cremated, other people won’t be able to exhume it. Ensure that it truly is what you and everyone else in your family wants.
Find the Right Crematorium
A crematorium is a place where cremations take place. Some funeral homes might have crematoriums built into them, but in most cases, they’re in separate facilities.
Most crematoriums allow families to witness the cremation procedure. Do some research and Google “cremation in my area” to ensure that you end up working with a reputable and considerate facility.
It’s also a good idea to inquire about the facility’s identification measures. There are some terrible stories where families ended up taking home the wrong remains due to misidentification.
Consider Begining With a Funeral Service
Many people believe that getting someone cremated means that they won’t be able to have a funeral. However, the truth is quite different.
If you want to have a traditional funeral with the body present, then consider waiting to cremate the body until after you have time to arrange a service. That gives you and your loved ones the time to come together.
You can even look into renting a casket for a period of time, then returning it after the funeral service has ended.
Other people choose to have a funeral service with the ashes there with them. In that sort of setup, your loved one is still there with everyone, just in a different form.
Cremation chambers in crematoriums look nothing more than high-tech holes in walls. In essence, that’s what they are.
Most of the time, crematorium workers put bodies inside of temporary caskets. Also known as alternative caskets, most are made from either wood or cardboard.
In other cases, families may choose to wrap their loved ones in a shroud or piece of cloth.
To get the process started, operators begin by setting the cremation chamber to a temperature of around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a temperature that’s hot enough to incinerate bones and vaporize organic material.
The Actual Cremation
Once the room is ready, operators move the body into the chamber. Most modern facilities have equipment that does this automatically. In older establishments, they may have to move the bodies themselves.
On average, the cremation process takes around two hours to complete. Depending on the age of the person (our bones become less dense as we age), it can take a bit longer or a bit shorter.
Before family members can take the ashes home, the ashes need to cool. This takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
Collect the Ashes
After cooling down, operators work to remove pieces of metal and other materials from the ashes. Most will use a metal detector to do this, but some may do it by hand.
They then put the ashes into a cremulator, which is a special type of grinder. This pulverizes the remains and transforms them into the consistency that people then take home.
Finally, crematorium operators put the ashes into a temporary container. Loved ones are then free to take them home.
Decide What to Do With Them
After the ashes are handed off to family members or friends, they then get to decide what to do with them. While everyone is going to want to do something a bit different, there are some common practices that people choose to do with ashes.
Many people choose to keep the ashes of their loved ones in their homes. They might choose a decorative vase or a special holder to ensure that their loved one stays close to them at all times.
Other people prefer to return the ashes of their loved ones to nature. They might sprinkle them in a special spot, bury them in the ground, or put them in water.
Remember that there is no right course of action when it comes to ashes. Do what feels right for you and your family.
Understand What Goes Into Getting Cremated
Whether you’re considering cremation for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to understand the different steps that go into getting cremated.
Use this guide as a resource to help you understand everything that goes into the process. Having a better understanding of it beforehand can help you come to terms with the beauty and fragility of life, as well as what comes next.
Did this guide help you better understand the different cremations steps? If it did, make sure to check out some of the other posts on our site. You’ll find many other helpful explanations, guides, and tips.