What is Direct Cremation?
Direct cremation means the body of your loved one is cremated in the days immediately following the death, without a funeral service beforehand. Choosing direct cremation impacts the cost of cremation. Solace Cremation offers one price for priority direct cremation that includes transportation, priority cremation, all necessary permits and fees and return of remains in a Solace urn in-person or USPS. Unlike the majority of funeral industry providers, Solace does not have a starting price and surcharge model.
Cremation rates are now at their highest in the United States. The rate of cremation in 2019 is projected to be 55.1%. Cremation rates have surpassed burial rates every year since 2015. Compare those statistics to the rate of cremation in 1980, when only 5% of Americans were cremated. Now, there are more than 2,100 crematories in the United States. We’re facing a cremation revolution.
Many are drawn to cremation because it is more affordable than burial. After embalming and purchasing caskets and grave sites, the price of burial reaches the thousands. After the Great Recession, there was actually a jump in the cremation rate because people wanted a lower-cost alternative.
What happens before cremation?
First, paperwork. Before cremation can take place, a cremation authorization form must be completed and signed by next of kin or your loved one’s legal representative. This document gives a cremation provider permission to proceed.
Medical implants and pacemakers are removed before cremation can begin. If pacemakers are left in a body during a cremation, the results are explosive and can heavily damage a cremation chamber.
What happens during cremation?
When it’s time, bodies are moved from shelves in a walk-in refrigerator to a retractable table connected to the cremation unit. The body slides into the primary chamber of the cremation unit and the unit is securely closed. Operators take steps to make sure there is never a mix-up of remains. Operators leave an ID inside the chamber and outside the unit as well.
Next, an intense thermal process starts. The body’s bone fragments are reduced to smaller, uniform sizes. This process usually takes two to three hours. After a few additional hours, the remains are cool and ready for removal. The color of the remains varies for every person. The average amount of cremated remains looks like a 5 lb. bag of flour.
What happens after cremation?
After the cremation process is complete, the remains are ground up and a magnet is used to gather any pieces of metal that were not removed before cremation. Then, the remains are transferred to a container.
Does direct cremation mean I can’t have a service for my loved one?
While there is not a wake, viewing or visitation before direct cremation, you can still celebrate and remember your loved one. Many choose to hold a Celebration of Life or scatter their loved ones ashes around their loved one’s favorite places.