Preparing for Cremation

A Guide To The Most Important Questions

Cremation is becoming more and more of a popular choice today (it is done in at least 40 percent of all deaths, and experts say that number could increase to 80 percent by the middle of the 21st Century), but, as with any method of disposition, it is accompanied with a multitude of questions. Below are some tips and ideas that will help you prepare for a cremation in your family.

Emotional Preparation:

An individual and family must prepare emotionally for cremation for healthy healing

Cremation has been practiced for thousands of year in cultures across the globe, but it has become popular in western cultures only relatively recently. Therefore, preparing cremation can be an anxious experience. To prepare for cremation emotionally, a good first step idea is to consult trusted pastor or other church leader. Most western religions fully embrace cremation today and have carefully considered the issues around it when deciding to allow it. So, if a loved one is to be cremated (or if you or some other family member is considering it) almost any religious leader will be well qualified to help you cope with any emotional or spiritual issues. Many families may have questions regarding the cremation process itself which could cause concern or stress. Learing about the basic process of cremation can help set the mind at ease. For technical questions, one could reach out to their funeral director or professional who would be handling the cremation.

Official Preparation:

Because, of course, cremation is irreversible, a multitude of legal paperwork can be required before a cremation can begin. States and municipalities differ widely on this legality, and even some crematories have additional policies designed as legal safeguards for both themselves and the families. The resulting bureaucracy may be overwhelming, at first glance, as you prepare for a cremation in your family – but plenty of help is available. Your funeral director or other professional will work with you to make sure all paperwork is completed properly before a cremation, and this service is almost always done at no additional charge. In general, you should expect to provide the crematory with documents such as the deceased’s death certificate, and the professionals in charge of the cremation will assure that all other necessary paperwork is completed before a cremation takes place.

Another important part of the official preparation is to make sure that a cremation ash vessel is available for after the cremation process. Often, the mortuary or funeral home that a family works with will offer a temporary vessel to house the remains, giving some families more time to choose the right urn for their loved one. However, some families prefer for the ashes to be placed right in the final cremation urn instead of in a temporary vessel, often for the simple fact that they want the actual remains to be handled as little as possible. This is completely personal preference but can be quite important for some families so it if that is the case, its best to have the urn in hand. If ordering the urn from an online urn company, a simple call to the company can help ensure that the urn will arrive in time, and often it can even be shipped directly to the mortuary or funeral home.

Physical Preparation:

There are many ways that the body is prepared for cremation since it is irreversible

Again, this is typically handled by professionals at your crematory, but they will need to know a few pieces of crucial information for best results. Perhaps most importantly, for safety reasons, they will need to know if the deceased had a pacemaker or any other battery-operated medical device. The professionals must remove these devices before the cremation because they could explode during the cremation. Professionals typically follow safety measures to assure that all such devices are removed before a cremation begins, but, for safety’s sake, if you know of a device in the deceased, you should tell you’re professional. Removing pacemakers are the most crucial part of preparing for cremation, but that is not the only consideration. Again, these other considerations vary widely, and your professional will make sure that all of the appropriate arrangements are made before the cremation begins.

Needless to say, a lot of thought goes into the decision of whether or not cremation is right for a loved one or oneself. Learning about the cremation process can greatly help make the decision. One main benefit of cremation is that families still have the option of holding a memorial service for the loved one, or even have a traditional internment of the remains in a burial plot or niche. On the other hand, the remains can be stored in a beautiful cremation urn in the home, or (in the proper vessel) even placed outdoors. Cremation truly offers a variety of ways to honor the life and memory of the deceased.