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A Step By Step Guide To The Cremation Process

Even today, the whole concept of cremation is still shrouded in mystery, making many people shy away from it. Are you planning or considering cremation for yourself or a loved one? Do you need a deeper understanding of the process?

Notification of Death

The first step following the death of a loved one is to inform your cremation service provider of the death.


It is important to identify the body correctly. You will need to provide the cremation facility with the necessary documentation. The required documents vary from state to state. Typically, you will need to provide the name, date, and place of birth, social security number and driver's license of the deceased. You may also be required to give their father's and mother's particulars such as date and place of birth.

Transportation to the Facility

The next step is to transport the body to the cremation facility. Find out from your service provider whether they offer this service.

Organizing the Service

Organizing the funeral service is done in consultation with family members of the deceased. Are there any ceremonies you want to conduct? What do you want done with the ashes?

Obtaining and Signing of Official Documents

The main document required here is the death certificate. You will need this to get a cremation permit. The death certificate is signed by medical authorities who will indicate the official cause of death. Under normal circumstances, the process of obtaining these documents will take about one week. It may even take longer in case the police are involved or in case there is an autopsy to be done. To avoid delays, start the process as early as possible

The Actual Process

The cremation process will typically last 2-3 hours. Family members are allowed to witness the process, though the space is often limited. The body is first prepared for cremation. It is bathed, dressed, and tagged. Jewelry and medical devices are removed. The body is placed in an appropriate container such as a cardboard box. It is then exposed to flames in an enclosed furnace called a retort.

The remains are reduced to a minimum. They consist of bone fragments of the deceased mingled with parts of the cardboard box and will weigh 3-9 pounds. After cremation, the remains are ground and put in a temporary container or urn and given to the family representative. Cremation need not be a mystery. It is just another way of disposing of the remains of your loved one. Call a funeral home like Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home for advice and specific information.