Ashes to Ashes: What You Need to Know About Cremation
Whether or not you are deciding for cremation for yourself or a loved on it is important to do your research. Here is what you need to know about cremation.
Conversations surrounding death can be difficult to talk about for many people leaving final arrangements to the wayside. But, it’s important to have these conversations ahead of your last days so that your family and friends may be better able to handle your death. This should include your final wishes and how you want your remains to be dealt with.
Planning a funeral is one option. But, it’s also outrageously expensive. That’s one reason why many people are choosing cremation instead.
Cremation is also a green alternative to burial. Not to mention that there are several creative ways to pay homage to your loved one with their ashes such as turning it into jewelry or even having it shot into space!
Whether you’re making plans for yourself or you’re facing the loss of a loved one, cremation is a viable option. Keep reading to learn more about it.
Everything You Need to Know About Cremation
Cremation has actually been a popular rite of passage in many cultures since prehistoric times. Some evidence shows people were cremating bodies in China as early as 8000 B.C. Today, it is becoming a popular option for those that not only wish to save money but also for many spiritual and personal reasons.
Cremation used to be more taboo in the United States. Part of the reason for the surge in popularity was when the Catholic Church began allowing it. Of course, remains are still to be handled with strict care under Church regulations.
Here is what you need to know about your choice to cremate or not.
DIY Cremating Is NOT Allowed
It may seem foolish to discuss but it’s important to note that cremating may only be done in a funeral home or crematory. It is against the law to dispose of a human body by burning.
You may ask the crematory director (and some even offer) if you can witness the cremation. Some providers will even allow you to activate the retort which begins the process.
It’s customary in some European countries for the family to wait until the process is complete so that they can bring the remains home while they’re still warm.
How to Plan a Cremation
Whether you’re planning a cremation for your future or for a loved one, you’ll need to discuss your plans with a funeral director or crematory. They can help you coordinate the arrangements. Cremation funeral services may include transporting the body to the crematory, memorial arrangements, selecting a burial plot or urn, fees, and the actual cremation itself.
There are some things you’ll need to discuss with your funeral director or crematory. Let’s take a further look.
Discussions With the Funeral Director
Pacemakers must be disclosed during the time of arrangements. They will explode during the cremating process and can cause significant and costly damage to the retort. This will inevitably come out of your loved one’s pocket if it is not disclosed up front.
You may also want to discuss whether or not you will have a viewing prior to the final steps. This will involve embalming and renting or purchasing a casket. You shouldn’t need to purchase a casket if you don’t require this step.
You’ll need to purchase certain products in your cremating package which will at least include an Urn. If you will be burying the cremated remains in a cemetery, you may also be required to purchase a grave liner or burial vault. This will depend on the rules of the cemetery.
A headstone may also be something you’re interested in for your burial plot. You can ask the cemetery director for recommendations for vendors or choose your own.
The Cost of Being Cremated
As we mentioned, the cost of being cremated is significantly less than the cost of a traditional funeral. Your costs will greatly depend on whether you choose to have a viewing and/or bury the remains. The casket, burial liner, and headstone can be anywhere from $3500 up depending on various factors.
For basic cremating services, you can expect to pay around $1000 to $3000.
Embalming Is NOT Required
Unless you opt for a public viewing, embalming of the body is not required prior to cremation. In fact, there is a strict ‘Funeral Rule’ set by the Federal Trade Commission which states that funeral directors are required to disclose that embalming is an option but not required. If your funeral director tells you otherwise, you have every right to report them.
Obesity Costs More
It’s important to note that super obese bodies can rarely fit into a regular retort. This means that a specialized retort must be used which can and often does cost more. Super obese is a stage above morbidly obese which can generally be cremated in a regular retort.
How to Handle the Remains
If you choose not to bury the remains, you have a variety of options for handling the remains. Many people choose to scatter them over vistas, water, and destinations where the deceased would have loved to go during their lifetime. Some people choose to keep the ashes in an Urn above the mantle.
Whatever you decide to do with the ashes is up to you depending on your connection with the deceased and your spiritual values.
Religious Perspectives on Cremation
Some religions forbid cremation while others embrace and even encourage it. If you are unsure about cremation for religious reasons, talk to your religious leaders for guidance.
Cremation can be a sensitive topic for some of us and it may be difficult to talk about or ask questions. We hope this information helps you understand the basics so that you may feel more comfortable making yours or your loved one’s final arrangments.
If you do have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. We are dedicated to offering you an affordable, convenient, and practical approach while arranging cremating services. Our staff is kind, composed, and experienced to handle all of your specific concerns and requests.