How to Describe the Cremation Process

by Hilary Reeves

Although cremation can be difficult to discuss, it's important that families weigh every burial option carefully and understand the procedures for each. People choose cremation for a variety of reasons -- it is less expensive; requires less land for burial; is often much simpler than drawn out religious rituals and ceremonies; and loved ones can choose to keep the remains.

Explain that the body is placed in a casket or approved container which is then placed in a cremation chamber. The heat and flames in the chamber rise to between 1,400 and 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and all substance is consumed by the flames except for bone fragments.

Explain that following a cooling period the next step involves sweeping the remains from the chamber.

Explain that after the remains are removed from the chamber, any non-combustilble material that was not removed prior to cremation is separated from the bone fragments and disposed of in the appropriate manner. The bone fragments may then be further processed in order to create finer, more uniform particles.

Explain that the final step is to package the remains for burial or scattering. Tthe family is responsibile for supplying the crematory with an urn to store the remains. If an urn is not provided, an inexpensive container is used.

Tips

  • The time it takes to cremate a body varies with its size and weight, but averages between one and a half and three hours.
  • The final weight of the cremated remains also varies, by bone structure of the deceased, but averages between four and eight pounds. The remains are usually white.
  • When explaining the process of cremation to family or friends, it's important to note that rules and regulations vary by state.

About the Author

Hilary Reeves began her writing career in 2001, often covering business and politics. She has been published in various Seattle-area newspapers, including "The Enumclaw Courier-Herald," "The Port Orchard Independent" and "The Business Examiner," where she worked as a managing editor. Reeves received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Washington.

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