Cremation is, basically, the destruction of a deceased body through the use of intense heat. Cremation has become a more widespread option for many as it is currently estimated that roughly 40% of the population are cremated every year. Some do it for specific philosophical reasons while for others it is a reflection of the ever changing and lightning pace speed and mobility of our modern society. Still others do it as a nod to the environment and a growing preference for a “green” funeral and final transition.
- Having a cremation as opposed to a traditional funeral and burial service does not preclude any formal wake of the body or a special funeral service. A body can still be embalmed and placed in a coffin so that the family may hold a memorial service. After, the casket will be sent into the crematorium for burning. Generally, the family is presented with an urn filled with their loved one’s remains.
- A simpler method that some are choosing is the direct cremation. This is a much simplified process in which the un-embalmed body is placed in a simple cardboard box container and then placed into the flames. After, the remains are placed in a simple plastic or cardboard container and released to the caretaker or family.
- The body goes into a crematorium furnace which generates heat upwards of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. Relatives or friends of the deceased may witness and watch the cremation. The process takes usually around three hours or so and reduces the body to ashes and bone fragments. Following that, the remains are crushed and a magnet is used to remove metals and other impurities.
Cremation is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of the deceased. While traditional funeral services remain the rule, your funeral director can certainly discuss cremation, as well as other “green” options with you to determine what will be the best solution for your particular situation.