2015-09-30 “Cremation Part 1”

I’ve been asked to use Marc’s Musings to talk about cremation…

Cremation is the use of high temperature burning and vaporization to reduce a human body to dry bone. With cremation, the chamber that is used to facilitate the cremation (also called a retort) reaches a temperature of between 1100 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 600 – 900 degrees Celsius). The actual cremation process takes between 3 and 5 hours depending on the size of the individual and the type of cremation container or casket used. That time could be broken down into approximately 2 – 2.5 hours for the cremation itself and the remainder of the time for cool down and processing times. After cremation, the cremated remains will weigh roughly 5 pounds…sometimes a bit more and sometimes a bit less.

Prior to cremation three documents have to be completed. Just like a birth is registered in Ontario, a death must also be registered. Secondly, a coroner must review the cause of death and determine that it is okay to proceed with the cremation by signing a Coroners Cremation Certificate. And thirdly, the Crematorium has an Application for Cremation that will need to be completed and signed by both the next of kin (preferably the Executor) and the Funeral Director.

While there are pros and cons to almost anything, the choice of cremation is largely that…a choice. As with any new concept, some folks were okay with cremation right away while others took their time to decide whether it is something they are okay with or not. It certainly is becoming more and more prominent as time goes on; my thought is that locally we will be reaching a 50% cremation rate soon if not already.

Financial considerations may also play a factor in the choice of cremation and I’ll talk about that next week.