The subject of cremation isn’t exactly something most families talk about around the dinner table, yet it’s the overwhelmingly preferred method of disposition, or the manner in which a person’s remains are finally handled. Because people tend to avoid this topic, and the topic of death at all, most families have no idea what to actually expect when they’re inevitably faced with having to plan cremation services for a loved one. By educating our community about the process and what they can expect, we hope to shed light on the process and provide comfort through knowledge when it comes time.
1. Cremation isn’t necessarily more affordable than burial.
Alone, cremation usually is more inexpensive than a burial. But many factors should be considered when comparing costs. First, costs differ between funeral homes and cremation providers. Secondly, the price of cremation services alone does not factor in costs of funeral or memorial services, the type of urn a family chooses, whether or not the family chooses a private or public viewing, whether or not the loved one was cremated immediately, or if the person was embalmed prior to cremation or not. Families should also know that cremated remains can still be buried, with or without a graveside service. These additional elements all account for the final cost of a cremation.
2. Cremation doesn’t have to be performed as soon as possible.
There’s no reason cremation must be rushed. In fact, certain laws ensure that cremation isn’t rushed. If a family needs more time to make their decision, a loved one can safely be held in our care for as long as the family needs. Only when a family is ready and the required paperwork is submitted, including a death certificate and cremation authorization signed by the legal next of kin (which can take several days to process), can cremation take place.
3. Cremated remains aren’t actually ashes.
The term ‘ashes’ is how most people refer to the matter that remains after a body is cremated. But it’s not actually correct. During cremation, the body is exposed to extremely high temperatures, but not actually fire, that reduce it to bone fragments. The fragments are placed in a machine that turns them to a course, sand-like material, which is then returned to the family. The family can then decide what they would like to do with the remains.
4. You can choose cremation and have a traditional funeral, too.
Cremation is only how you decide to take care of the deceased’s body. How you honor their memory is completely up to the family, or dictated in a will. Cremation is one part of memorialization. A funeral, memorial service, burial, graveside services, open casket viewing, rosary, wake, scattering ceremony, and military honors are all possible options with cremation. Miller Jones can help walk you through your options, and help you decide what type of remembrance best fits your loved one and your needs.
5. It’s not illegal to scatter ashes.
There is a misconception that it’s illegal to scatter a loved one’s ashes. In the state of California, you can scatter ashes on your own private property. California is home to breathtaking public and federal land, but if you want to scatter on any land that is not your own, please keep in mind you must acquire written consent prior to scattering. Most national parks in the U.S. allow people to scatter ashes in select areas as long as they apply for and receive a permit before scattering and require that you do so away from major trails. With California’s beautiful coasts, many families prefer to scatter at sea. The Federal Clean Water Act states that ashes can be scattered in the ocean at least three nautical miles from shore. Many of California’s major harbors have boating services that will take families out the proper distance from shore in order to scatter.
The knowledgeable staff at all of our locations (Hemet, San Jacinto, Menifee, Perris, Moreno Valley, and Murrieta) is always available to answer any questions you may have regarding cremation and other services we provide. Please reach out if you’d like to learn more.
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