When someone dies, the two options for their funeral are normally either a form of burial or cremation. Many people choose cremation for different reasons, often because it is seen as being a more final act, and one that can be more personalised than a traditional burial.
What happens during a cremation
The actual act of cremation happens away from the view of the deceased's family and friends, which is important in some ways but can also create an element of uncertainty. It is always a good idea for the people involved in the funeral to understand the process of cremation and the various options involved.
Cremations involve the burning of a body, together with the coffin, to a point where it is reduced to ashes. These ashes are then transferred to a container normally known as some type of urn, which is then returned to the family.
Aside from the burning of the body, a cremation can be very similar to a traditional funeral service, or is often a more simple memorial service, allowing friends and family to celebrate the life of the deceased in their unique way. This often appeals to people who do not consider themselves particularly religious and they feel they have more freedom to say goodbye in the way they choose.
What happens before cremation
When someone is being cremated, much of the focus is on what happens during the actual cremation itself. It is also important to understand what happens beforehand as it can affect the nature of the planning of the service itself.
When someone dies, a funeral director will be employed to oversee the collection of the body, the storing and the embalming of the body, the preparations for the funeral and all the formalities involved in registering the death with the relevant authorities, etc.
The director will discuss with the family what and if any were made before the person passes away. If cremation has been pre-planned, then it is likely that a decision has been made about whether to hold a formal funeral service with a cremation happening at the end, or for the cremation to take place and then a memorial service to happen a few days later.
It is also important to discuss with family and friends what goes into the coffin alongside the body of the deceased. The family may want the body dressed in a particular way, they may want to add certain personal items or private messages that they can write as their way of saying goodbye.
The body also needs to be checked for any electrical items such as pacemakers which normally need to be removed. It is also usually not advisable to include any other electrical items such as someone's phone.
Once the ashes of the deceased have been returned to the family, they can be disposed of as the family sees fit. Many people like to have their ashes scattered in a particular place.
Other people may prefer the ashes to be interred in a more formal sense, and this can often be done in many crematoriums. The crematorium may also be able to provide some type of plaque, which can be a type of memorial for family and friends to visit and pay respects to the deceased, in the same way, that they might visit a grave after a traditional funeral.
For more information on cremations, contact a professional near you.