Unsure About Cremation? Your Most Uncomfortable Questions Answered

Cremation is more widely chosen in the United States than ever before. In fact, recent statistics published by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), show that beginning in 2016, more people opted for cremation than burial, and the projections through 2030 show the margin continuing to expand. 

People who choose cremation do so for many reasons, some of which may be related to financial or environmental concerns as well as personal choice. If you are interested in cremation but still feel uneasy about incorporating it into your future plan, the following information can help by providing you with answers to your most uncomfortable questions about the cremation process. 

Does cremation require embalming and what steps are taken to ensure identification? 

While embalming can be a part of the cremation process, it is not required in most states. However, if a funeral or viewing is also planned, embalming is done to help better preserve the body. 

Rest assured, however, that the entire cremation process requires careful management, including specific identification processes to ensure that the deceased is correctly identified and that all instructions are followed. 

Is the body clothed or covered during the cremation process? 

The wishes of the deceased or their family members can help determine questions about clothing, coverings, and the removal or recovery of jewelry or dental appliances.

If a traditional funeral has been held prior to the cremation process, the clothing worn for that service is usually left in place. Other choices include paper or cardboard coverings as well as wood, wicker, or other materials that are easily consumed by flames. 

How long does the cremation process actually take? 

The amount of time needed to reduce the body to cremains inside the retort, or cremation chamber, can vary depending on body size. Average time for the cremation process during the retort phase is 1.5 to 2 hours or slightly longer. 

What actually remains after the cremation process? 

Once the cremation process completes, the remains (called cremains) are removed from the retort or cremation chamber. Once they are cooled, they are processed to improve the consistency and make them more ash-like. The cremains are then packed into the container of choice, which can be a vase, urn, or secure packaging, if they will be mailed or delivered. 

Your funeral director or crematorium administrator will be happy to answer any questions you may have, including those that are somewhat uncomfortable to ask.

These discussions can be held privately or with close family in attendance. A tour of the crematorium can also be provided to offer you even more information to use when planning for your final needs. Reach out to a company like Damar  Kaminski Funeral Home & Crematorium to learn more.