Understanding Cremation Options
There are some issues to consider when deciding between cremation and burial. Families may encounter some discomfort with cremation and resistance from family members for a variety of personal reasons.
Will your family be comfortable with cremation? Some family members are disturbed at the thought of death itself, much less cremation, which many perceive as a cold and uninvolved process. They may resist your wishes when the time comes. Address it with your family now if you want to be cremated. You can put their unease to rest, and have peace of mind knowing your wishes will be carried out.
Direct cremation is another option--many people request to eliminate "all the bother of funeral services" for family members. Funeral services aren't provided for the deceased--they're there to help support and comfort the living. Take time to consider family and friends and their need to work through the grieving process before you make this decision.
Scattering requests should be given careful consideration as well. Emptying the urn of all that remains of a loved one can be a traumatic experience--carefully consider the feelings of the family in deciding whether or not to do this.
Another factor you should consider when deciding whether or not to choose cremation include the fact that crematories are operated by dedicated people with great respect for the deceased.
For purposes of safety and dignity, it's generally required that bodies are cremated in a rigid container such as a casket or other container approved for cremation.
Restrictions on cremation are different from state to state, even from one cemetery to the next. Depending on the final resting place you choose, requirements may include an urn, urn vault, and other items. Making your choices now can help your family down the road. In most cases, cremation satisfies federal clean air requirements.
You should check to ensure that all personal property has been removed from the deceased at the funeral home and returned to the family or executor unless otherwise instructed. Families should also be mindful of valuables and mementos placed with the loved one. For more on the cremation process, and what happens before, during, and after, visit the cremation process information on Funeralplan.com provided by the Cremation Association of North America.