With the rate of cremation at an all time high so are the misconceptions. If you have ever looked up the word cremation in the dictionary you will find the definition “the disposal of a dead person’s body by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony”. That my friends is like nails on a chalk board to me – allow me introduce you to not only my number one pet peeve but myth number one.
1. Cremation Produces Ash
Although the term “ashes” is often used, it is in fact incorrect and misleading. What you have left over following the cremation process are the cremated remains of your loved one. They are bone fragments, not ashes. Thus the proper term is “cremated remains.” The bone fragments are then further reduced; the type of equipment that the crematorium uses determines the consistency of what is returned to you. I have seen very powdery ‘ash like’ cremated remains and I have seen tiny ‘pebble like’ remains – similar to course sand or kitty litter.
Why is this important to know? Well because it’s true, but also…
If you plan to scatter – you should be aware of what you will be handling,
If you are purchasing Memorial Jewelry – you should ensure that the particles are small enough to fit into the very small opening of the pendant.
2.You Have To Buy An Urn From The Funeral Home
Nope, totally untrue, you can purchase an urn from anywhere.
You can order online or from a local artist. You can even provide something from home. Legally, you may purchase a cremation urn anywhere and the funeral home cannot refuse it or charge a fee to handle it.
It is completely your choice.
For some helpful tips for choosing an urn.
3. Cremation Is Eco Friendly
The cremation process itself is not eco-friendly in the least. Cremation requires enormous amounts of energy and, consequently, releases tons of toxic, green house gases into the atmosphere.
As the trend to think GREEN continues to gain momentum it seems that the funeral industry has attempted to gain favour with this market. Advertising cremation as the eco friendly option, often using the terms Eco-friendly cremations, Eco-cremations or Natural Cremations.
This is interesting to me because the cremations they are referring to are no different than any other cremation and has no less of an environmental impact. (Unless we are discussing cremation by water which happens to be myth #4)
Perhaps it is meant that the body being cremated can be free of harmful chemicals like those used in the embalming process or maybe they mean cremation with scattering is less wasteful as no space in the ground is required but that’s not an Eco-friendly cremation. I would be sure to specifically ask what part of the cremation process is considered GREEN.
The funeral home may also encourage the purchase of an “Eco friendly casket”, from them of course – do you think this is a sales ploy? I am interested to hear your thoughts on this. I certainly have an opinion – perhaps I will dive into that at a later date.
4.You Can Have Cremation by Water
There is no such thing as cremation by water or water cremation. Cremation is an oxidative process, meaning it reduces a body by incinerating it.
In fact, the explanation of Green Cremation (cremation by water) is quite the opposite of cremation:
“Alkaline Hydrolysis uses water and an alkali solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) commonly found in household products, which when heated, dissolves the body, leaving behind bone fragments and a sterile liquid.”
Want to read more about it? Click Here
That sounds like boiling a body to me.
Cremation = flames not hot water.
Want to read what the press has to say? click here.
Sounds gross doesn’t it?
Now with that being said, I don’t want to give the impression that I think it’s a bad choice. I just believe that a duck should be called a duck.
Here is a website called Peaceful Pets Aquamation. I feel not only is the description much more pleasant they are also not claiming it to be cremation.
5. You Can’t Accompany The Body To The Crematorium
You sure can.
Just because you have chosen cremation not burial doesn’t mean you cant have similar options. Many will have a visitation, a service and then follow the funeral car to the crematorium. Many crematoriums will allow you to watch as the casket is placed into the cremation chamber. Some funeral homes have a crematorium on site and the cremation can begin immediately following the service.
A funeral home may have an additional fee for this and scheduling will have to be considered.
6. You Can’t Have Your Pets Cremated Remains
Most pet crematoriums offer both private and communal cremations.
The private cremation service is an individual cremation of your pet. The process is exactly the same as the cremation of a human and any reputable pet crematorium will treat your pet’s remains with dignity and respect. Following the cremation the remains are collected and returned to you. You may choose to scatter, bury, or keep in an urn.
We offer a beautiful selection of pet urns to cherish the memory of your beloved companion.
Those are my top 6 Myths About Cremation – although I do have a few more up my sleeve. Do you have additional myths that you feel are worth mentioning? I would love to hear them.