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The death of loved ones is never an easy time in a grieving family. Arranging the funeral ceremony is both tiring and heartbreaking and strains even the most stoic of family members.
We have put together this FAQ to help answer some of the most common questions about the cremation process. We will also shed some light on what happens to the ashes of a loved one after the cremation.
A traditional funeral service can be a lengthy process and a long service too. Finding a church, the right funeral directors, and then arranging for transportation of the deceased loved one can take time and incur hefty costs. The schedule for a funeral is often stricter than those at a crematorium.
Funerals involve the burial of a loved one in a cemetery, while a cremation process involves incineration that produces the ashes of the deceased.
Cremations are more accommodating to the needs of the family and, depending on religious requirements, can occur at any time after a loved one has passed away.
Most of the time and once the funeral has taken place, the crematorium will start the process immediately, but this can take up to 24 hours after the funeral.
Regulations around scattering ashes are scarce and often fall to individual landowners when on private land. If a family wishes to scatter the ashes at a national park, for example, it is recommended to seek the permission of the park authority before doing so. As there might be areas that need to be avoided for certain wildlife or plant life.
If you wish to scatter ashes at sea, the Clean Water Acts states that you must be at least three nautical miles from the sea in water that is at least 600m deep. Only decomposable items such as the ashes or flowers may be added to the water.
Once the cremation process is complete, the ashes are returned to the family. This should be within 24 hours of the cremation. When the ashes are handed over, the ashes are packaged in a nondescript plain container, which might be the size and shape of a large vase.
However, if you have paid for it, you can get personalized urns for ashes that come in a variety of materials and styles.
Mailing cremated remains will depend on the carrier you use. Some will allow you to transport the remains in a sealed container while others will only allow you to send a certain weight of the remains.
Airlines will allow people to fly with the cremated remains of loved ones either in their handheld luggage or checked luggage. However, all necessary paperwork from the crematorium or funeral directors should be readily available. It is also advisable to take the death certificate as an extra precaution.
This article was contributed by Ryan Carroll, of Urns.com.
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