Cremation 101: Commonly Asked Questions About Cremation and Their Answers

The thought of talking about death and cremation often makes people feel uncomfortable. But frank and honest dialogue is often precisely what is needed to put people’s minds at ease. The following guide covers some of the most commonly asked questions we get about cremation along with their answers.

Are you clothed when you are cremated?

Cremation of a body can be done with or without clothing. Typically, if there has been a traditional funeral (with the body) present, the deceased will be cremated in whatever clothing they were wearing. If the cremation is done right after death, then it is usually done with the deceased wearing whatever clothing they were wearing at the time they died.

How long after you die are you cremated?

In most cases, you will have to wait somewhere between 24 and 72 hours after death before a body can be cremated. Certain paperwork is required and may take several business days to obtain. In Canada, many provinces including Ontario require a coroner to sign off on the cremation before it takes place.

Are bodies cremated one at a time?

The law states that only one body can be cremated inside the chamber at a time.

When a body is cremated what happens to the casket or container?

A body is cremated while still inside a cremation casket or container.

Can people be cremated with personal objects?

If desired, it is possible for small personal objects to be cremated with the deceased. These objects will be burned with the body. Glass, rubber and large metal items can not be cremated.

Any objects that you wish to keep such as jewellery or other items should be removed prior to the cremation.

Can I view the cremation?

Yes. If you wish to view or participate in the cremation, please let us know and we will make arrangements to accommodate you. There is an addition fee for this service.

How does cremation work?

Cremation is a process of preparing the remains of a person who has died. Most people think of cremation as only the burning of a body, when in reality that is only the first part of a two-part process. Any crematorium in Ontario built after 1998 must have a CEMS (Continuous Emission Monitoring System) installed to monitor emissions.  The minimum temperature for cremation in Ontario is 1800 F.  What is left behind is the bones of the deceased. The second part of the cremation process is that the bones are then placed in a processor where they are ground down to the consistency of granular. So, what we commonly call a person’s ashes, are not technically ashes at all but rather they are bone fragments. Once processed, the remains are placed into a container of the family’s choice and then given to the family.

How long does cremation take?

It depends on the size of the body, but most cremations take between two and three hours.

cremation urn

How much cremated remains (ash) does a cremated body make?

People are often surprised by how much cremated remains they get back after a body has been cremated. All bones are left they do not evaporate.  The bones are then reduced in size to a granular consistency.

The cremated remains of an adult typically weigh between five and eight pounds.

How long after cremation are the cremated remains ready?

Once the cremation takes place, it usually takes between 3 to 5 days business days for the cremated remains to be returned. Cremation London & Middlesex will arrange a date and time for you to pick up them up.

What is the least expensive way to get cremated?

The least expensive way to get cremated is to simply go with a transfer services, such as Cremation London & Middlesex. This includes a consultation with a licensed funeral director, transportation of the deceased, documentation, cremation container and cremation.

At Cremation London & Middlesex, this can be done for as little as $2,222.45 including HST. There may be additional fees required or by choice.

How much does cremation cost vs. burial?

On average, a cremation is about a third of the cost of a burial.

When you factor in the costs of a casket, a cemetery plot, and a cement burial vault, burials can cost $6,500 or more. A basic cremation, by contrast, can come in at less than $2,500.

Of course, extras such as flowers, urns, stationary, etc. can add to the costs of both cremations and burials.

Do transfer services pick up the bodies from the hospital?

Yes, Cremation London & Middlesex will pick up the body from the hospital or place of death and transport it to our location. This is included in the price of the cremation, although additional charges may apply. If travel of more than 25km is required, then there will be an additional fee of $1.45 per km each way. There will also be an additional fee if the body needs to be transported from the home or other location where it is necessary to have more than one person to help move the body.

What are some typical things people do with loved one’s cremated remains?

Because grief and loss are so personal, the variety of things that people can do with their loved one’s cremated remains is practically endless.  Keeping a loved one’s cremated remains in a nice urn in a place of prominence in the home is common, and so is dividing the cremated remains among different family members.

Some people choose to inter the cremated remains in a cemetery or scatter the cremated remains in a location that was meaningful to their loved one.

For those looking for something a little less traditional, there are many companies that specialize in doing unique things with cremation ashes including:

  • turning them into jewellery,
  • planting them (in something called a living urn),
  • putting them into a stuffed animal,
  • putting them into a tattoo,
  • compressing them into a vinyl record
  • sending them into space.

If you wish to scatter the cremated remains of a loved one, you have several options for legally doing so. These include:

  • Purchasing the rights to intern (bury, scatter or place in a columbarium) the remains at a registered cemetery.
  • Scattering the remains on private property provided that you have the consent of the landowner.
  • Scattering the remains on unoccupied Crown land (including water) such as provincial parks or the Great Lakes. The exception to this is areas with signs posted that say scattering is prohibited.
  • Scattering the remains on unoccupied municipal land where there are no by-laws that prohibit scattering.

Is cremation eco-friendlier than burial?

There is a lot of debate on the topic of whether cremation is eco-friendly than burial.  Cremation chambers use fossil fuels (usually natural gas or propane) to burn the bodies.

The one circumstance in which burial would be considered more environmentally friendly than cremation would be in the case of a “natural” or “green” burial in a cemetery that focuses on sustainable practices.

What happens to prosthetics or implants?

These days more and more people have prosthetics and implants, so the question naturally arises – what happens to these at the time of cremation? The answer is it depends.

Inert prosthetics such as silicone breast implants typically remain with the deceased and are burned in the cremation. Metal implants such as gold fillings or metal hip or knee replacements that do not burn are separated from the bone fragments after the body has been burned.

Some prosthetics, however, must be removed prior to cremation. Pacemakers and internal defibrillators, for example, have batteries that can explode during cremation. Such explosions can damage the cremation chamber and even pose a serious danger to those working nearby.

Although Canada do not take back used pacemakers and artificial limbs, there are some organizations that do accept donations of these and send them to developing nations where many people would not be able to afford these.

What is cremation jewellery?

Cremation jewellery (also known as remembrance or memorial jewellery) is any type of jewellery that somehow incorporates the cremated remains of a loved one into a piece of jewellery. Cremated remains can be mixed with coloured glass or compressed into a crystal.

Cremation jewellery includes rings, pendants, bracelets, lockets and any other type of jewellery you can imagine. Some cremation jewellery is a miniature urn that holds a small portion of a loved one’s ashes.

Other cremation jewellery is more intricate as it involves compressing the ashes at a high heat until they form a diamond-like stone which can then be inserted into the setting of your choosing. To create a crystal, it generally requires a little more than a pound of the cremated remains.

Is the cremation container extra?

No. A cardboard cremation container is part of the basic cremation package. If you require an oversized cardboard container an additional fee would apply.

Is paperwork (CPP funeral benefits and death certificates) included in the fee?

Yes. Information is provided in the cremation package.

How many death certificates will be provided?

To handle the affairs of someone who has passed away, you will typically need eight Funeral Directors’ Certificates of Death.

Is the obituary included? If so, where will it appear?

With your consent and in the newspaper of your choosing we will help you create an obituary. All newspaper notices will be charged at cost.
 

When my wife passed away I was very distraught when the hospital told me I needed to inform them where I would like her body sent to. I had no idea how to proceed. I really lucked out when I found these very kind Souls on the internet. Bailey and the rest of the staff we're very informed and professional and helped me through all the steps that I needed to take. They also put all the information in a nice folder that came in handy for all the other paperwork that I needed for the lawyer, Etc. I would highly recommend them.
At a time when decisions are difficult turn to the kind staff at Cremation London. I lost someone very close to me. Cremation London was knowledgeable, helpful and extremely accommodating.
Amazing! I can not be any more happy with the professional, caring and compassionate service we received . Kelly was PERFECT!!! I feel we have become FRIENDS after dealing with the most tragic experience of losing a family member so suddenly. That shows her true caring heart. She went beyond expectations!

Cremation London & Middlesex Inc. • 60 Ridout Street South • London, Ontario • 519-858-2467info@cremationlondon.com facebook
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