Let’s talk about cremation. Often someone will ask me, “Dr. Canine, I want to be cremated, is that alright?” The answer is absolutely! Society views cremation as a sanitary disposal of the body. The Bible says, “from ashes to ashes.” Cremation is perfectly acceptable. However, I must quickly add cremation should not be chosen because it is less expensive or because it is quick. With every cremation there should be a funeral service, memorial service, or a celebration of life service. All of these services can be with the body present or with the ashes (sometime called cremains) present. In reality there are a lot more options for your funeral director with cremation. And, the funeral home is not limited by any time restraints. I know families that have brought the cremains back to the funeral home a month after the death and had a memorial service.
You should also consider, that unlike ground burial, the cremains are very mobile, wherever you go the cremains can go with you in an urn, vase, or a variety of other containers. These containers even include rings and necklaces that hold a small portion of the loved one’s cremains. When the cremains are divided many family members can have their own keepsake. The funeral director will assist you in dividing the cremains if this is your choice.
I also must point out that there are many options if a family wants a permanent place for the cremains. They include:
- Scattering the ashes; a kind of “giving back to nature”
- Placing the urn in the ground (burial)
- Putting the urn in a mausoleum
- Or, placing the urn or ashes in a memorial garden.
I must admit most of us are not educated as to all the options with cremation. There are many. The funeral director knows and understands all of these options and will help you design the appropriate one for you and your family. Remember the most important thing with all this, is to show the love and respect your loved one deserves by celebrating the life he/she lived.
Updated: November 29, 2011