Demystifying the Cremation Process in Five Steps

If your loved one recently passed away, you may feel overwhelmed by making after-death arrangements. To help you make the right choice for your loved one, read about how cremation occurs in just five steps:

1. The coroner receives permission to cremate

Cremation is an irreversible process, so you must supply a death certificate. After the coroner receives your permission to proceed, your loved one is marked with an identification tag. The tag is returned with their ashes.

2. The deceased is prepped for cremation

Necklaces, rings, and other personal items belonging to your loved one are removed. Medical devices (i.e., prosthetics, pacemakers) are extracted to preserve your loved one’s remains.

3. The deceased is placed in a casket

Cremation is conducted in a retort, an industrial chamber that utilizes high levels of heat to combust the remains. You can choose a casket designed for cremation or a cardboard cremation box, which typically costs around $120.

4. The coroner grinds the deceased’s remains

The cremation process takes two to three hours. Afterward, your loved one’s remains cool before the coroner removes leftover metal fragments by hand or with a magnet. Finally, the remains are placed in a specialized grinder that turns bone to ash.

5. The ashes are transferred to a container

The coroner transfers the ashes into a plastic bag. Most often, families have their loved one’s ashes placed in an urn, but a temporary container is an option.

Think of cremation as an accelerated form of burial. Both processes involve decomposition, but cremation is more immediate and just as ethical. A compassionate funeral home can help you find closure by conducting a cremation with dignity and care.