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.