Saying goodbye to your loved ones is first on the list of stress-inducing life events. People have been searching for different ways to memorialize their deceased loved ones from the start of humanity. Cremation is quickly becoming the most popular way to process the remains because traditional funerals are getting more and more expensive. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about it.
1. It Isn’t a New Phenomena
Contrary to popular belief, cremation is older than funerals for a few thousand years. It is estimated that cremation dates back to about the year 3000 BC, and traditional funerals have been conducted for only 150 years. Cremation was done in ancient Greece and Rome, and it was a popular practice among Celtic Druids and Vikings.
It has been a controversial subject for centuries due to the laws and practices of the Catholic Church. The first modern cremation chamber was made in the 1870s. In the last few decades, it has become so popular that experts estimate that in the 2040s this practice will replace traditional burials altogether.
2. Are Cremation Ashes Really “Ashes”?
One of the biggest misconceptions about cremation is that you get the ashes of your loved one after the cremation. In reality, the content that is put in memorial urns is not ashes at all. It is the bones ground up into a fine substance. They are ground up by a large grinding machine until they look like ashes, and that is how the misconception came to be. Bones are the only thing that remains after the cremation. The body is not actually burned, and they are the only thing that remains, without any soft tissue. That brings us to the topic of how the cremation is actually done.
3. The Process of Cremation
A lot of people aren’t aware of the cremation process. As we previously mentioned, the remains are not burned at all. They are subjected to intense heat and fuel. The cremation temperature is extremely high, at about 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cremation chambers can only fit one body at a time, so you shouldn’t be worried about any mix-ups. Burning more than one body at a time is illegal in many states. The whole process only takes about 2 to 3 hours. The intense heat that the body is subjected to melts down all the organic compounds. Also, certain items, like pacemakers, are removed before the cremation begins.
4. You Can Still Hold a Funeral
Holding a memorial service is common after the cremation. The memorial urn can also be buried in the soil. Some cemeteries don’t allow this option because its contents may get up mixed with the soil. In some cemeteries, there are structures called columbariums, which are essentially vaults in which the remains of your loved ones are stored. As we previously mentioned, cremation is becoming increasingly more popular in part due to its affordability. Monuments, caskets, and cemetery lots are becoming more and more expensive. Some people choose to bury the remains in their backyards. However, before you decide to do that, you need to consult with your local council because it is illegal in many places.
5. People Often Transform the Ashes into Keepsakes
In the last few decades, people have found many creative ways to store their loved ones’ remains. Some use the cremated remains and compress them into diamonds. Some choose to make figurines out of a glass made from the remains. There are also “green” options, which are becoming increasingly more popular. You can get specialized urns that use the remains as soil for planting a tree. It is a nice way to stay connected to your loved ones after their death. One of the more shocking options is to contain the ashes into the fireworks and scatter them that way. Nowadays, possibilities are endless, and there are more of them each day.
6. People Regularly Scatter Ashes in Disneyland
One of the more popular urban legends involving cremation is that people often scatter the ashes of their loved ones who were obsessed with Disney in Disneyland. This is unfortunately true. It has become so common that the staff has protocols to regulate this kind of thing. It is illegal and against the amusement park’s rules to do so, but many find a way to get around them. People who get caught doing it will get escorted from the park, and they will be banned permanently.
More and more funeral homes are offering cremation services. It is one of the most affordable options, and it can even be good for the environment. You have many options for preserving cremated remains. Many of them will make you feel like your loved one is still there with you. However, make sure to follow the rules, and if you choose to scatter the remains, don’t do it without permission!