Talking about death is never easy, but if you are considering cremation for you or your loved ones in the future, it will be beneficial to be familiar with the process. If you have questions about what happens when you are cremated or whether you can view the actual cremation, we hope to help you make an informed decision with the information below.

How does cremation work?

Once authorisation for cremation has been obtained, the body will be prepared for the procedure. Medical devices (such as pacemakers, prostheses, or any implants) are removed from the body. Should you wish to have a public viewing of the body before the cremation, such as at a traditional funeral service, the body will first have to be embalmed before being placed in a casket. Next, the casket or container will be moved to the cremation chamber. A typical cremation occurs at a temperature of between 800 to 1000 degrees Celsius and can range between one to three hours. The body will be reduced to bone fragments and skeletal remains, which will be collected in a tray and ground into a finer consistency. The sand-like remains are finally placed in an urn or container and given to the deceased’s loved ones. Should you or your loved ones wish to view a cremation, you can typically arrange this with the crematorium in advance (bear in mind that space may be limited).

• Do you have clothes on when you are cremated?
Funeral homes will typically ask whether you have selected clothes for the deceased to wear.

• Does the body feel pain during cremation?
No, the body is no longer capable of feeling any pain. While you or your loved one will not be able to feel any pain during cremation, rest assured that crematorium staff handles the body with the utmost care and respect.

 

What should you do with the ashes?

Relatives have various options in this regard. The urn with the deceased’s ashes can be displayed at home, buried in a place that carries significance, or the ashes might be scattered at a special location or locations. More contemporary options include jewellery designs that incorporate the ashes, or a biodegradable urn, which will see a memory tree or flowers grow from a loved one’s ashes.

Should you want to discuss our funeral cover policy for cremation coverage for you or your loved ones, contact Total Risk Administrators today: www.totalriska.co.za