More and more people are asking about how cremation works when they start thinking about end-of-life planning. Cremation has become a more-economical approach to a burial, and that is one of the top reasons it has become the choice of a growing number of Americans.
Cremation reduces the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. After a body has been exposed to the heat and flame, the material that is left is cremated remains (not “ashes” as they are sometimes called). Cremated remains actually resemble coarse sand and are white to light grey in color. The remains of an average-size adult generally weigh between four and six pounds.
While 76% of New Hampshire residents now choose cremation instead of a traditional cemetery burial, we still receive a lot of queries about how the cremation process works. This post sheds some light on how cremation works.
The Cremation Process at Phaneuf
Your funeral home representative at Phaneuf will outline the entire process for you, explain your options, coordinate all details to your specifications and put to rest any concerns. But in the meantime, here is an overview of our 10-Step Identification, Security and Control Cremation Process to offer you a clear understanding of everything that happens:
- A member of our team escorts the body of the deceased to our cremation facility.
- A unique ID medallion is assigned to the body that remains throughout the process to ensure that proper documentation is maintained at all times.
- Our tracking system maintains the unique ID information, and of your loved one’s personal items are inventoried.
- A medical examiner conducts an evaluation.
- All forms and records related to the death and cremation are examined.
During and Post-Cremation
- Your loved one’s record will be updated with the exact time and date of the cremation.
- All cremation remains are cooled and processed.
- An identifying number is designated to the urn. Both the remains and identifying medallion are placed in the urn.
- Your representative at Phaneuf will meet with you when you pick up the urn. They will sign our two-part cremation certificate, giving one copy to you and retaining a copy for our records.
- All information that has been collected throughout the cremation process is entered into our database and retained as a permanent record.
Another thing to note is that there is a mandatory 48-hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation process may begin in New Hampshire and a 24-hour waiting period in Vermont.
The cremation process is often an important step in healing after losing a loved one, but a cremation service can provide some closure for loved ones, too. Those who choose cremation can also have a viewing or funeral service before the cremation. A memorial service after a period of time or at the final disposition of the cremated remains are other options for honoring a loved one. Some cemeteries allow an urn with cremated remains to be buried in the same plot with a casket.
Important things to note about the cremation process
- Phaneuf owns and operates our own crematorium, but funeral homes that do not will use a third-party business to complete the cremation process. This can result in additional fees such as transportation of the body and/or remains. A best practice is to ask your funeral home exactly how their cremation process works and for a breakdown of costs.
- Funeral homes that utilize a third-party crematory also hand off your loved ones to another company. We encourage people to ask about that funeral home’s safety and security protocols so that you can feel 100% confident that the cremated remains you receive are those of your loved one.
- Embalming the body is not required for cremation, unless there will be a viewing of the body prior to cremation.
- A casket is also not necessary with a cremation. All that is required by state law is an alternative container to be cremated with the body.