Cremation has become more commonplace in the United States over the years.
However, many people still have questions about cremation, and many are unsure if this is how they would want to lay their loved ones to rest.
If your loved one has chosen to be cremated after their passing, you may have a few reservations about the choice if you’re not familiar with cremation in general. Many families choose traditional burials, but if your loved one has decided on being cremated on their will or otherwise, it’s always best to stay true to their last wishes.
Even so, you may feel many complicated emotions knowing that your loved one will be cremated after death. Here is a comprehensive guide to the process of cremation to help you understand and prepare for it when the time comes.
1. Transport of the Remains
Shortly after the passing of your loved ones, the funeral home of your loved one’s choice, if predetermined, will arrive at the place of death and transport their body to the crematorium.
It should also be noted that as per Pennsylvania law, the cremation can only take place after a waiting period of 24 hours.
2. Storing of the Body
After your loved one’s body arrives at the funeral home, it will be placed inside cold storage. The body will remain here until you and your family complete all the necessary paperwork, plan out the funeral service, and decide when the cremation will take place.
In addition, during this time, you and your family may want to decide if you want to remove any jewelry from the body of your loved one and figure out how you want to handle their ashes after the cremation.
3. Cremation of the Body
The process of cremation starts with removing objects such as pacemakers from the body. After this, your loved one’s body will be moved into the cremation chamber where it will be incinerated at a temperature of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
After this process, the body will be reduced to ashes and bone fragments.
4. Processing of the Ashes
After the cremation, the ashes are carefully removed from the cremation chamber. The ashes are then processed to remove any metal, such as those from dental fillings and titanium implants. Later, the ashes are further processed until they become a fine powder, making it easier to place them inside an urn or scatter them.
5. Collection and Storage of the Ashes
After the ashes have been prepared, they can be stored in a temporary container or an urn. The temporary container will be used if you and your family wish to spread your loved one’s ashes while the urn will store the ashes permanently so you or your loved one’s immediate family may keep it.
6. Options for the Funeral
Many are hesitant about cremation as they believe a ceremony cannot be held when cremation is chosen—this isn’t true. You may still choose to have a traditional funeral ceremony for your loved one after cremation, in which case the urn will be present at the ceremony, instead of a casket.
Also, you can choose to have the ashes buried the traditional way or have the urn placed inside a columbarium after the ceremony.
7. Scattering of the Ashes
In Pennsylvania, there are no state laws that dictate where you can and cannot scatter the ashes. You can scatter your loved one’s ashes in public places such as parks, but you should still ask the proper authorities if it’s okay to do so.
Alternatively, you can scatter your loved one’s ashes at sea, if that is what they wished before their passing.
Speak to a funeral home about the process of cremation
The process of cremation may sound difficult to comprehend, especially when you’re grieving. However, getting in touch with a funeral home that provides cremation services can help demystify the concept of cremation to help you come to terms with it and fulfil your loved one’s final wishes.