What is cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is some type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
Is there any special preparation required prior to cremation?
Families should remove all jewelry and mementos from the deceased prior to cremation. Also, families must notify the cremation provider if any medical devices are present.
Can I still have viewing with cremation?
Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to do so. Choosing cremation only indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way. Whether you’d like to have a visitation beforehand, arrange a funeral service before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.
How long does the cremation process take?
It depends, but generally it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.
If I am cremated, and my spouse chooses ground burial, can my ashes be placed in the same gravesite that my spouse has?
There are several options: If the first spouse is cremated, the family may keep that family member at home until the second spouse passes, then place the urn inside the casket. If a spouse is cremated and the first spouse is already buried, then you may be able to place the urn in a urn vault and bury them on top the casket of the first spouse.
Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. We only allow certified professionals to operate our cremation equipment.
Does a crematory pose as a health hazard?
Not ours. After several thorough inspections of our equipment and method of installation, inspectors stated that we had "gone above and beyond" the standards set for cremation operation. They even stated that they would like to see our operation set as a new standard for others to follow. We installed several pollution controls on the unit, so there's no odor or pollution released from our crematory. Our crematory is as clean as the rest of the facility.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the cremated remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary container.
Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required by state law is a rigid container which is cremated with the body.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.
Are there restrictions on scattering ashes?
That depends. If it is your private property, there are no restrictions. If it is someone else’s private property, you must have their consent, and it’s a good idea to get it in writing. If it’s public land such as a park, contact your local government or the agency in charge of that space to see what their policies are. Even if you are scattering in a cemetery, you should contact the person in charge before you scatter to see if they have any protocols in place. If you’re not sure, contact us and we would be more than happy to assist you in the legalities of the process.
Can I personalize my service?
Absolutely! Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and incorporating their loved ones' hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services. Don’t hesitate to make a request because you think it might be too “out there” — we’re honored to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey.
What do I do when a death occurs away from home?
First, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel such as the police and EMS. Then just give us a call, and we will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible.
What should I say when I run into the bereaved in public?
What you’ll say depends upon whether or not you’ve already had contact with the bereaved. If you’ve already offered your condolences, or attended the visitation or service, simply greet the bereaved warmly and express an interest in their well-being. If this is your first meeting since the death and you’re in a public setting, it’s best not to bring up the death directly. Instead, say something like, “I understand these must be difficult days for you,” and perhaps ask about when might be a good time to visit, or suggest that you meet for lunch.
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
As more people are choosing cremation, funeral service professionals are striving to give consumers a true sense of what their many options are for a funeral service. Often funeral directors find that people have a preconception that they have fewer choices for a ceremony when selecting cremation for themselves or a loved one. Therefore, they request direct cremation and deny the surviving friends and family the opportunity to honor them with a memorial service. In actuality, cremation is only part of the commemorative experience. In fact, cremation can actually increase your options when planning a funeral. Cremation gives people the flexibility to search for types of tributes that reflect the life being honored. But, this doesn't mean that aspects of traditional funeral services have to be discarded. Even with cremation, a meaningful memorial that is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased could include:
- A visitation prior to the service
- An open or closed casket
- Special music
- A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship, or other special location
- Participation by friends and family
Commonly, cremated remains are placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium, interred in a family burial plot, or included in a special urn garden.
Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the remains. This can be done in a designated cemetery garden or at a place that was special to the person. Today, cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into diamonds.
Where can I get more information on cremation?
We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral or memorial service with a cremation. For more technical information about the cremation process, we encourage you to view information online at the National Funeral Directors Association.
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a place for the interment of urns containing cremated remains. They’re often located in mausoleums, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain numerous small compartments, or niches, designed to hold urns.
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