Cremation Questions and Answers – Coral Gables, Florida

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to the cremation process and our cremation services.

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The residue which is left is bone fragments, known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner. The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in the container provided by the crematorium or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately three hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labelling system ensures correct identification.

Yes. Laws require that only one casket or container is cremated at a time.

Because cremation is an irreversible process and because the process itself will eliminate any ability to determine exact cause of death, many states require that each cremation be authorized by the coroner or medical examiner. Some states have specific minimum time limits that must elapse before cremation may take place

It is essential that pacemakers and other medical devices be removed prior to cremation. They may explode when subjected to high temperature, which can be hazardous to crematorium staff and equipment. In addition, any special mementos, such as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process. Anything you wish to keep should be removed by the funeral director before the casket or container is transferred to the crematorium.

Due to the irreversible nature of cremation, most states require a waiting period before the actual process may begin. Refrigeration is the only alternative available, other than embalming, that will retard tissue decomposition. Refrigeration is a necessity that protects family and friends, the crematory operator and the general public from potential health hazards.

In many cases, if you choose to have a viewing before cremation, embalming may be required. Embalming is a process used to sanitize and temporarily preserve the body of a person who has passed away. It also can enhance the appearance of a person that has suffered damage from an accident or illness. By preserving the body through embalming, we can give you and your family time to make personalized and meaningful arrangements.

No. It is your choice. It may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket, or to enhance the deceased’s appearance for a private family viewing; if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the cremation.

No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard, however, in some states no container is required.

Yes, arrangements can usually be made through the Cremation Authorization Form for immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.

Yes they can; arrangements can usually be made through the Cremation Authorization Form for relatives or representatives of the deceased to witness the cremation.

An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.

Yes — It would be advisable that you discuss this situation with your cremation provider prior to the cremation. The size of your urn will be of great importance if you plan to have your loved one’s entire cremated body included in this container.

It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a crematorium chapel.

It’s completely a matter of family preference. Many times when a family is split regarding the decision to cremate, a compromise may be achieved by having a traditional service first – to be followed by cremation.

With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place.) Cremation is just one step in the commemorative process– the preparation of the human remains for memorialization. Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose. Memorialization is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial serves as a tribute to a life lived and provides a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for future generations. The type of memorial you choose is a personal decision. The limit is set only by your imagination.

Cremating at the optimum temperature (1400 – 1800 degrees), the average weighted remains takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Several more hours may be required before the cremated remains are available to the family.

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.

The cost depends on the type of permanent memorial, location of the memorial, urn and placement selected.

Cremation Planning Can Be Difficult. Let Us Make It Easier in Coral Gables Fl