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Death Takes its Toll

It is often said that one of the primary reasons to preplan a funeral is that doing so spares the surviving spouse and family members the burden of having to make funeral and burial arrangements under great stress. Just how much stress does a surviving spouse endure after the death of a beloved husband or wife? According to a recent medical study published in a leading cardiology journal, the risk of heart attack spikes 21 times higher than normal in the first 24 hours after the death of a close relative or friend. The average age of the study's participants was nearly 62, and the risk of heart attack jumped even among those with no previous history of heart disease.
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Commonly Asked Questions

Do we have to have a funeral involved with the cremation?

This is a personal decision. Many people choose to use the services of a funeral home. It is not necessary to engage a funeral home unless you wish. Our staff and facilities are fully insured to carry out all of your desires.

Is the deceased person cremated unclothed?

For dignity, we prefer the deceased to be dressed in some type of garment. In addition, we encourage the placement of personal items with deceased.

Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?

No state law requires embalming prior to cremation.

What do cremated remains that are returned to the family look like?

The quantity of cremated remains of an adult is comparable to the size of a 6 inch square box. The appearance resembles crushed seashells. The remains are placed in a plastic bag inside the urn selected by the family.

What happens to medical devices such as hip implants and pacemakers?

Fragments of metal are separated and removed prior to pulverization. Pacemakers have an explosive risk, and are removed prior to cremation with permission from the next of kin.

If I don't have a funeral with the body present, I would still like to have some sort of ceremony so that family, friends, and associates can gather to commemorate the event. What are my choices?

Cremation offers a wide array of ceremonies to choose from. A private or public visitation can be held before cremation is done. A memorial service can be held in a place of worship or at the cremation provider's facility, with or without the cremated remains. This can be delayed as long as necessary after the death to allow family and friends to gather from distant locations. Some churches and retirement communities routinely handle these memorial services themselves, without the involvement of the cremation provider. Other possibilities include graveside services at the cemetery or columbarium. Visitation can also be held following the cremation if you desire. A scattering ceremony offers a personal touch only cremation can provide.

If my family knows I want cremation, is that all I need to do in advance?

No. Just stating your wishes will not necessarily assure their being honored. To assure your wishes will be honored and to prevent your survivors from having to make decisions and arrangements at the time of your death, you can choose a cremation provider and prearrange your cremation. The cremation provider can also keep the personal data and authorizations which will be required for your death certificate, so that your survivors will not have to be asked for this information during an emotional time. You may also prepay the expenses of your cremation if allowed by state law.

Exactly what happens at the crematory?

The deceased is placed in the cremation chamber. After cremation, metal from clothing and implants is separated. The remains are processed further by pulverization and then placed in a selected urn. Family can choose to receive the cremated remains at the crematory or they may be transported by U.S. mail.

Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?

No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required is an alternative container which is cremated with the body; this can be cardboard or unfinished pine.

Can The Family Witness The Cremation?

Yes, family members can be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber.

Why should I prepay for my cremation service?

The main reason is to safeguard against inflation. If fully funded the cremation cost will be completely covered at the time of death. This is accomplished through an irrevocable guaranteed contract. This can be advantageous as circumstances change and funds become depleted. Another advantage is that important personal information collected as part of the pre-arrangement is obtained prior to death. This information is beneficial for obituary notices and possible monetary benefits for the family.

What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?

There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. We also offer scattering services. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.

Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?

Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing area.

Is cremation less expensive than a traditional burial?

In most circumstances cremation can be less expensive. However, most people choose cremation not for the cost, but for the flexibility in timing of the service as well as simplifying the process. With cremation you have the option having a traditional service based on personal decisions and beliefs.

Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?

Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings.

My family may be willing to accept my plans for cremation, but they would like me to have a funeral service with the body present. Is this possible?

Yes, if such a funeral is desired, the deceased can be embalmed and placed in a ceremonial casket. With cremation the full funeral can be held without the expense of purchasing a casket or vault.