Cremation is a process that some people find preferable to a traditional funeral with a burial. The reasons involved may be religious in nature, or simply something personal. Some are disturbed by the idea of their body, or the body of a loved one, decomposing slowly in the ground over a long period of time, or some may simply prefer the simplicity of having the body of the deceased dealt with immediately, and in a manner that will later allow them a greater range of options regarding its handling. Cremation can also be a much more affordable alternative to a traditional funeral.
Cremations take place in crematories, which are located within crematoriums. A crematorium can be part of a funeral home or even a chapel, but can also be a stand-alone facility designed solely for cremations. A crematory is essentially an industrial furnace that is capable of generating extremely high temperatures, up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of extreme heat is necessary to ensure a complete breakdown of the corpse. The results are generally fragments that resemble dry bone. These pose no health risk and are able to be retained by the family of the deceased, often inside of an urn. In some cases, the remains will be scattered at some point, or can be buried in a cemetery if desired.
Cremation can be viewed as an environmentally sound method of handling the deceased. Traditional burials involve a certain number of known environmental contaminants, often including the coffin itself. Embalming fluids can be another concern. Additionally, traditional burials can involve a large amount of space to accommodate not only the casket, but the vault or liner that the casket will be placed inside of. In some places, this can cause extremely crowded conditions or conditions such that no more burials can even be performed. Conversely, cremation requires virtually no space as the remains are very few and can be easily stored in small containers that can be kept in the home or placed in very small burial plots.
Affordability is another reason that many turn to cremation rather than a traditional burial. A full funeral complete with preparation of the body and purchase of a casket and a plot in a cemetery can run many thousands of dollars, which is something that many families simply cannot afford. A cremation can generally be handled for less than two thousand dollars. Simple urns, or even smaller containers, can be purchased for substantially less than a casket, often for less than one hundred dollars. Of course, more elaborate units can be had as well, depending upon ones desire and budget. While ultimately a personal decision, a cremation is a very viable option to consider when dealing with the loss of a loved one, or when planning ahead for your own passing.
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