The death of a loved one isn’t something most people experience too often. So, when this occurs, what do you do? If the choice was made to be cremated, where do you go and how can you be sure you’ve chosen a good provider?
The most common place most families go first is to their local funeral home. Some funeral homes operate crematories, while many work with a separate group to perform their cremations. The funeral home is responsible for helping to make sure everything is done according to your loved one’s wishes and the law in the state where the cremation is being performed. A good funeral director will be able to walk you through the entire process. They can typically arrange for a viewing prior to the cremation, a service if that is of interest, and also discuss memorial options with you.
For those on a budget, another avenue is to research cremation providers near you. While the laws on this vary by state, direct cremations are growing in popularity due to the cost savings involved. With this, your loved one’s body is transported directly to the cremation provider and arrangements are made directly with them.
If you don’t know which funeral home or cremation provider to choose, do a quick online search and check out the reviews. Meet with a few of the local funeral homes or cremation providers and choose the one that you feel comfortable with. You can also discuss your decision with a local religious leader. In their line of work, it is likely that they have worked with funeral-related firms in your area. Their experience with different companies can give you some valuable information.
After doing your research, narrow down your choices. Now it is time to ask important questions. This can include…Do they own their own crematorium, or if they work with an outside cremation provider? If they work with a separate provider, ask them which crematorium they use. Who is the owner, how often is the facility inspected, and are all the licenses and permits current? Ask how many operators do they have and what type of training is required? Are operators CANA (Cremation Association of North America) certified? Does the crematorium have refrigeration? How long does the crematorium hold the body prior to cremations? Do they have liability insurance and the does the facility allow family members to witness the cremation? These are all important questions that will assist you in your final decision making. You are entitled to information that is important to you, and getting answers to your questions will lead to you being more comfortable. You are making an important decision and are entitled to answers to help you with this process.
In addition to finding the right cremation provider, another step is to determine what type of memorial your loved one wanted. Some have this included in their will, or have already discussed this with family members before they passed. And, others have not. With the growing popularity of cremation there are many memorial options now available for people who choose this option – you can grow a tree memorial from a bio urn containing a loved one’s ashes, have their ashes included in a diamond, scattered their ashes at their favorite place, and so on. An online search can also help you identify the best option, or help you find the best company or product to help carry out the wishes of your loved one.