CHANGES TOWARD CREMATION
The construction of the first crematory in the United States was in 1876 in Pennsylvania. Between 1876 and 1900 cremations represented less than 1% of deaths.
Today, 23 percent of the deaths in the United States result in cremation, and by the year 2010, it is predicated that 42 percent of Americans will choose cremation.
Research from the Cremation Association of North America highlights 8 trends that contribute to the increase in cremation:
URN SIZE & PURPOSES
Cremation Urns can be used to hold ashes for interring, either in a cemetery niche or at home, scattering or both. To measure for sizing: One cubic inch equals one pound of body weight.
Mementos, such as a lock of hair, a letter, a small piece of clothing, a ball, collar, leash, or special toys, can be placed in the urn as a memoriam of remembrance for your loved pet. If ashes are scattered, a permanent place of remembrance can still be made either at home or at a cemetery.
Keepsakes and keepsake jewelry urns are to keep a very small amount of cremains "as a keepsake". Some keepsakes can accommodate a lock of hair or collar, toy. etc.
Often time’s people wish to prearrange their pet's funeral, so the family doesn't have to make difficult decisions during their time of grief. This is also possible when considering cremation.
WHAT IS CREMATION?
The dictionary defines cremation as a process of incinerating the body of a dead person. It has also been defined as a rapid rate of oxidation accelerated by intense heat.
Before the cremation process takes place, certain medical devices and/or implants must be removed from the body. These many include pacemakers, prosthesis, mechanical and radioactive devices materials, or other implants. Not removing these items could cause damage to the cremation chamber or to crematory personnel.
Today, bodies to be cremated are placed in cardboard or wooden containers. Embalming prior to cremation is not necessary and it is against the law for a consumer to be told that the body must be embalmed first in the United States.
Depending on state and local laws, there may be a waiting period of up to 48 hours from the time of death before the human remains may be cremated. Many state laws require a waiting period of 24 hours.
The casket or container and the body are placed into the cremation chamber and consumed by the intense heat and flames. The temperature ranges between 1400 and 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
All soft tissue are vaporized, and the skeletal body framework is reduced to bone fragments and particles. The bone particles removed from the chamber vary in size and shape and may be mechanically processed, or ground down, to reduce them to a manageable consistency for placement into an urn.
The time required for cremation to be completed may vary depending upon the weight and the size of the person or pet. Generally cremation takes 2 to 3 hours, with a cooling period of an additional 1 to 2 hours.
Cremated remains normally weigh between four and eight pounds. This can vary depending on the individual. The cremated remains will be placed in an urn or cremated remains container that you provide.You can request that the ashes be put into a few small urn containers for family members, or a single large urn or even a portion in a dissolving urns and some in an urn, which can be interned.
You have several options. Some prefer to keep the cremated remains in their personal possession. Others feel that it is more appropriate to put the cremated remains in a formal or permanent location. It is common to bury the urn just as you would bury a casket. The burial site offers a permanent place for loved ones to visit and reflect on the life of the deceased pet. Burial can also be in an urn garden or private crypt.
A columbarium (mausoleum niche), either indoors or outdoors, can provide a permanent place for the family to visit. The columbarium niche is marked with a nameplate listing dates of birth and death. A choice may also be to keep the urn at home.
Scattering is also an option. Cremated remains are often spread over a lake, river, ocean, mountain, field or scattering garden. Water scattering can include a biodegradable urn, which is also included in the scattering.
As people develop new traditions and rituals, it is important to understand that there are choices and options available.
So, be sure to consider all of your options before making your decision.
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