Helping Loved Ones Understand The Choice Of Cremation

A person's final wishes are not always easy to understand. Trying to decipher these desires after a person is gone can make the loss even more difficult to endure. For those choosing cremation as an option for burial, it can be beneficial to discuss the arrangements with loved ones in advance and offer answers to questions that commonly arise.

Why choose to be cremated?

Each person will have his or her own answer when it comes to the choice of cremation. For some, cremation is an economic choice. In reality, it can be more cost-effective to be cremated versus purchasing a casket and arranging for a burial plot. The average cost for cremation is around $1200.

Some people choose to travel in their later years. Because of this, cremation offers an opportunity to have remains taken back to a hometown location without considerable expense.

According to The News-Herald, in 2010, the number of people choosing cremation over traditional burial increased significantly. By 2025, almost 60 percent of deaths will result in cremation. While it is not necessary to explain why you want to be cremated, it can help family members be more accepting and at ease with the decision.

What happens during cremation?

For some family members, the less they know, the better. In these situations, there is no need to explain how the process works. However, if someone wants to know, it is helpful to have a general idea of how cremation is handled.

  1. The body placed in a cardboard container and taken to a crematorium.
  2. Next, it is placed in a stainless steel chamber with gas jets.
  3. A high level of heat begins to consume the body, burning everything except for small pieces of bone.
  4. The leftover bone is removed from the chamber and ground up into even smaller pieces. (The consistency of the remaining bone is like sand. Individuals often mistake the left over portion for ashes.)
  5. The pieces are then placed in a sealed container and if requested, returned to the family.
  6. Families can opt to have the remains placed in an urn. (For many, this is easier than receiving just a bag with a loved ones remains.)

Where will we go to remember you?

Individuals that go through the cremation process still opt to have a memorial service to allow friends and family members to grieve. Some choose to have the service before the cremation. Others ask that the service be held after the cremation so that their remains can be deposited in a specific location.

Because there is no grave site, there is no centrally located place that a person can go to spend time remembering a loved one. If you haven't already made arrangements, consider what should be done with the remains, where the urn should be located or whether a plaque or memorial would help your family deal with the loss.

If you have already chosen cremation as part of your final wishes, be prepared to get questions and concerns from family members. While this is your decision, it is normal for others to question it. Help them understand your decisions by talking about why you want to be cremated, how they will be able to remember you and if they are interested, how the cremation process works.

For more information, contact Suess Bernard Funeral Home Inc. or a similar location.