The cremation of human remains has a long history. The following information explains much about the cremation process. There is also a section on cremation costs that may affect your decision-making.
A Brief History of Cremation
On Wikipedia, you can read about the earliest cremation being conducted at least 20, 000 years ago in Australia. In Europe, there is proof of cremation that goes back to approximately 2, 000 B.C. Cremation was frequently performed in ancient Rome and Greece. It remains the standard means of dealing with human remains in India. The use of cremation declined in Europe by the fifth century and during the Middle Ages, as it was mostly used to torture heretics or to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In modern times, cremation has been chosen over burial with increasing frequency across the globe.
The Flame Cremation Process
Traditional cremation reduces the body into brittle, calcified bones through the application of extreme heat. These bone fragments are then pulverized into what we know as ashes. These ashes are given to the family in either a temporary urn or a more elaborate urn purchased by the family. The family can choose to inter, place the urn in a columbarium niche, keep it at home or scatter the cremains. Some choose to have a portion of the ashes incorporated into keepsake jewelry or put into a piece of cremation art.
Michelle Kim, the author of How Cremation Works, explains the cremation process. She writes that “[i]n modern crematories, the body is stored in a cool, temperature-controlled room until it’s approved for cremation. The body is prepared by removing pacemakers, prostheses and silicone implants. The body is then put into a container or casket made out of flammable materials such as plywood, pine or cardboard.” This container is put into the retort where it is subjected to high temperatures for three to four hours, reducing the average adult body to ash. After cooling, the cremated remains are processed into a uniform, pebbly material and contained in an urn. This urn is given to you and your family.
The Costs of Cremation
Although the fact that cremation is often less expensive than burial is a major reason it is selected by families, cremation alone does not provide a fitting tribute to a loved one or the healing experience needed by the family. A memorial service is a sound way to unite family and friends in memory of the deceased and in support of each other.
Please Talk to Us
We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the options that cremation offers. We have much to share with you in this regard, and we hope that you will seek our guidance and support by calling 708-532-5400 to arrange for a conference. You may also pay us a visit at our funeral home whenever it is convenient for you to do so.
Wikipedia, “Cremation,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cremation.