Cremation is becoming increasingly popular due to its affordability, flexibility, practicality, and convenience. In fact, more than half of Americans choose cremation over traditional burials. A report by Choice Mutual found that 44 percent of Americans plan to be cremated. The National Funeral Directors Association estimates that this figure will go up to 78 percent by 2035.
Cremation is a personal decision made by the individual or family member. If you’re considering cremating a loved one, you might want to learn how it works and what you need to do before and during the process. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in the cremation process.
How Does Cremation Work?
Cremation involves using intense heat and open flames to eliminate fluids, organs, and other soft parts in a cremation chamber or retort. The family will need to provide or purchase a container or casket appropriate for cremation. The ashes collected afterward consist of primary bone fragments. The amount you pay depends on the body size and the process used.
Depending on the person you’re cremating, mental preparation is key, especially if you’re cremating for the first time. Unlike traditional burials, it’s almost impossible to visualize what happens in the cremation process. That’s because you don’t see what is behind the scenes. However, understanding what happens eases anxiety often associated with the process. Today, many cremation facilities allow families to witness the cremation, which takes two to three hours.
Cremation Process Explained: Step-By-Step
Here are the steps involved:
1. Body Identification
Body identification regulations vary from one state to another. Every facility has its own specific procedures for identifying the body. In general, body identification simply involves a family member confirming the identity of the deceased. Upon confirmation, a metal ID tag will be placed on the body that will remain intact through the process. It will be placed together with the remains for final verification.
2. Procedure Authorization
Once the body is identified, the next step is completing the paperwork to officially give permission for cremation. The paperwork should outline details such as who will be responsible for picking up the remains and the type of container used in cremating the body.
3. Body Preparation
Every facility has its unique ways of preparing a body for cremation. The general process involves cleaning and dressing the body. Jewelry and other metallic items are removed unless specifically requested by the family. If the individual requested to be cremated with specific items like devices, the batteries may be removed to avoid reaction from battery properties.
4. Inside the Cremation Chamber
The body is cremated in a furnace-like chamber exposed to temperatures above 18000 degrees. It takes two to three hours, depending on the size and weight of the body. The ashes are left to cool before they can be handled.
5. Processing the Remains
The cremators will check for any metallic objects left behind. These could be screws, joints, and pins the deceased had surgically placed when they were alive. Metals are removed using magnets, and the cremated remains are ground using a particular processor to produce powdery ashes.
6. Transferring the Ashes
The ashes are placed into a container or urn purchased by the family and shipped or handed over to the family.
To learn more about cremation or cremation products in South Carolina, Contact Steedley Monument Works, and we will be happy to help.