Cremating bodies has been a decent, practical, and even spiritual means of finalizing a death and coping with the death for centuries, though since its somewhat recent resurgence there has been hearty opposition to it by more conservative, sensitive, and spiritual people.
No matter what your stance is on cremation services– and the idea here isn’t to sway that stance one way or another – when you’re facing down funeral planning, you can be sure that cremation is a viable option that may deserve some consideration. If you are averse to it in any way, or are even looking into it, there are likely some misconceptions you hold if you haven’t had experience with it or done much research yet.
The following are some of the most common myths associated with the service, and finding the truth may help you in making an informed decision when it’s time to make your (or a loved one’s) funeral plan arrangements.
Cremation Creates Ashes
Generally we picture anything that’s burned and so reduced as resulting in ashes, but in cremation that’s actually not the case.
If you ever see cremated remains, you’ll notice there’s a difference in consistency and color, that they’re significantly lighter and denser than ashes. This is because when a body is super-heated for several hours, what remains at the end is actually bone matter. This bone matter is then physically reduced to a finer substance, generally referred to as pulverized bone.
Urns Are Required
For most of us, picturing cremation is picturing an urn. For those who are facing this option on an economic basis and are reluctant to consider the often four-figure price tag of urns, this is generally not actually a requirement.
The remains are usually presented modestly in a cardboard box or some other temporary vessel. Urns are certainly encouraged, but if that’s not what would best befit those surviving the deceased and the deceased his/herself, the temporary vessel can suit for transportation to a more creative means of finalizing the death (scattering at sea, launching into space, mixing into a garden, etc.).
Cremation Has No Environmental Effects
Even the greenest possible means of caring for the deceased can have environmental repercussions, and cremation isn’t an exception.
Though in many ways it’s better environmentally than burial, the process of cremation still involves large amounts of fuel and can release various elements into the atmosphere. All these things should be considered equally, of course, and remember that there may be no “perfect” solution to body-handling on an eco-basis.
There Is a “Right” Thing to Do with the Remains
Though urn storage and display and sea scattering are common and respectable, there really is no “right” thing to do. It’s really up to what will best serve his/her memory and what will aid the grieving process the most for those who survive him/her, so long as no one and nothing is hurt in the process.