3 Things You May Not Know About Cremation

When you are planning your own final arrangements, you might consider cremation. However, if you're like many people, you might not know much about cremation or what can be done with cremated remains. Here are three things you might not know about cremation.

The Body is Not Burned

Most people think that the body is placed into a bed of flames during cremation, much in the same way that some ancient death rituals consisted of setting fire to a funeral pyre. However, that is not true, and in some places, burning the body in such a way is illegal. 

The typical cremation process is very modern and the body is never in direct contact with fire. The body is placed into a chamber that is heated to high temperatures. In that chamber, the body breaks down into bones and gases quickly.

There are No Ashes

People usually call cremated remains "ashes", since they believe that the ashes are the incinerated remains of their cremated loved ones. The truth is that there are no ashes that result as part of the cremation process. After the body is heated and reduced to gas and bone, the bones are put into a processor that turns them into a material that is similar to sand.  Those sandy remains are what people commonly refer to as "ashes". The remains are collected and stored in a container for a relative or loved one to take away.

An Urn is Not Necessary

Contrary to popular belief, an urn on one relative's mantelpiece is not the only way that cremated remains can be stored over time. They can be buried in a traditional burial plot, or they can be stored in a mausoleum. Some people store the cremated of their loved ones in a columbarium, which is a mausoleum that only houses cremated remains.

There are even much more creative ways of dealing with cremated remains. Cremated remains can be packed into fireworks, and loved ones can watch a scheduled, private fireworks display. Some people choose to have the remains converted into diamonds that can then be incorporated into necklaces, rings and other jewelry. There are even some people who choose to send cremated remains into outer space.

Now that you have more information about cremation, you can make a better informed choice as you plan your final arrangements. Examine every option (consult with professionals such as Suess Bernard Funeral Home Inc.), and talk to your family and loved ones, to determine what will best suit you.