Cremation Services

Some people struggle with the concept of cremation because it raises questions regarding memorialzation, grieving and saying goodbye. However, there are many options that can help us remember our loved ones when the choice is cremation.

What is Cremation?  The word cremation means to reduce the body to ashes and bone fragments.  This occurs through the application of intense heat.  Cremation is an irreversible process.  Once the decision is made and the cremation is conducted you cannot then bury the body as it was before the cremation.

The Service:  Just because you choose cremation does not mean you cannot have a funeral or memorial service for your loved one.  A service provides a way for people to say good-bye to the one they loved.  Some of the following options for people who have chosen cremation.  One or all of them can be selected.

 1.   Visitation:  Graumlich Funeral Home offers the choice to rent a casket for a viewing or to buy a casket made for cremation.

 2.   Funeral / Memorial Service: A traditional funeral or memorial service can be held if you choose that for yourself or your loved one.  A casket can be purchased or  rented for  this service.  Just as in a traditional funeral, music selection, video presentations, memorial boards, choice of service location, and religious services can all be used.  Family and friends are welcomed to attend.

Memorialization:  After the cremation has been preformed there are multiple ways to remember your loved ones.  Depending on the type of person and the way you grieve one alternative might appeal to you more than another.

1.  Placement in Mausoleum: A mausoleum or columbarium is a building where you can house cremated remains.  It is normally located on the ground of a cemetery.  The remains are placed in an urn and generally placed in a niche on a wall.  There are multiple selections of urns available through Graumlich Funeral Home.

2.  Placed In Burial Plot: The cremated remains can be placed in a family burial plot or a new burial plot can be purchased. 

3.  Placement In Your Home: Some people may prefer to put cremated remains (cremains) somewhere in their own home.  Usually an urn or some other container that has special meaning is used and placed on a mantle or bookshelf.

4.  Garden Memorialization: Companies are now providing options to build your own memorial garden in your backyard.  If you move you can take the garden with the plaque, along with the cremains, with you.

5.  Scattering The Remains: Depending on your local laws, there are specified scattering gardens where you can scatter the cremains.  Within your garden you can purchase a spot to place a memorial plaque.  You also, with permission, can scatter the remains in the ocean or other natural environments.

Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

The word cremation means to reduce the body to ashes and bone fragments.  This occurs through the application of intense heat.  Cremation is an irreversible process.  Once this decision is made and the cremation is conducted you cannot then bury the body as it was before the cremation.

Is a casket needed for 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.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No.  In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, most crematories/funeral homes allow immediate family members to briefly identify the deceased prior to cremation.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber.  Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.

Can an urn be brought into church?

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.  Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass.  It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error.  Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do the cremated remains look like?

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.

Are all the cremated remains returned?

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.

Do I need an urn?

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.