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How Does Cremation Work? Your Complete Guide to Cremation

Most people have no idea how the cremation process actually works. If you are going to make the decision to cremate your loved ones, it is essential to understand the process in order to help release and let go of their physical presence.
How Does Cremation Work
How Does Cremation Work

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According to the National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA), approximately 54.8% of people chose to be cremated in 2019. Cremation is becoming more of a trend these days, and for many good reasons.

Cremation is known to be more environmentally friendly, more economical, and less of a hassle than a burial. All of these factors make a difficult and emotional decision much easier to make. 

So how does cremation work, anyway? 

Keep on reading to learn about the different options of cremation, how the process works, and what you need to know. 

The Different Types of Cremation

There are two main types of cremation that are most recommended, water cremation and flame cremation. Flame cremation is the most well-known type of cremation service. Both options are environmentally friendly, but water cremation is a bit more green than the other. 

Water Cremation

Also known as Aquamation, water cremation uses a water solution comprised of 95% water and 5% alkali solution. The process begins with heated water that breaks down the chemical bonds that form the body’s proteins together. After heating, this becomes very similar to traditional earthen burials and how they decompose of the body.

After approximately sixteen hours, the body has been broken down into the basic elements of peptides, amino acids, sugars, and salts. From this step, those particles will be taken to a bigger machine, which will break them down into pulverized remains and handed back to the family.

Why Use Water Cremation? 

Water cremation used about 90% fewer carbons and energy than the commonly known flame cremation. Even with flame cremation being more eco-friendly than burials, the amount of carbon released can stack up with so many cremations per year. 

While there is water being used during the process, it is only 300 gallons, which is the equivalent of three-days usage of water for one person. 

Water cremation is also known as a much safer process for both the body, the environment, and the operator.

Environmentally Friendly Flame Cremation

For those who are wanting more of the traditional flame-based cremation, but do not want to be responsible for adding more co2 into the air, there is an environmentally friendly option for you!

This is done by reducing the carbon footprint before, during, and after the cremation process. We use more eco-friendly transport for the body, use paperless transactions, and fewer resources than the typical crematorium.

While other crematoriums use plastic sheeting around the body, our environmentally friendly process uses only a cotton sheet and cardboard, which releases fewer toxins into the environment.

Why Use Flame Cremation?

While more and more people are using water cremation nowadays, there is still a level of comfortability that keeps some people using the traditional flame method. The flame cremation is more commonly known and can leave people with a more comfortable feeling knowing what is happening to their loved ones. 

How Does Cremation Work?

Now that you understand how the physical process of the cremation works, there are other steps that need to be taken as well. These steps start from the very beginning of the decision.

  1. Paperwork. Varying from state to state, there are certain protocols involved with identifying the body and the family members associated with it. After this process, an ID tag is placed on the body to ensure everything runs smoothly afterward.
  2. Authorization. After the body is properly identified, there needs to be an official authorization for the crematorium to continue the process. This is done by reviewing the will and having the authorized signatures of the family involved.
  3. Preparation. Now that the crematorium has the approval, they need to prepare the body for the cremation. The body will be cleaned and everything such as clothing and jewelry will be removed and handed back to the family. If there are medical implants, those will be removed in order to prevent any extra carbons or toxins released.
  4. Cremation. The body will be placed in the water or flame chamber, exposed to high temperatures. Afterward, the remains will sit in a cooling process until they can be removed. 
  5. Inspection. The remains will be filtered to check for any metal particles that may have been in the body. Then the remains will be pulverized for placement in the container of choice.

The History of Cremation

The process of burning a body after their soul has left them has been around since the prehistoric times. Research has found evidence of cremation in China that dates back to 8000 B.C. 

Cremation continued through the Viking age, then discontinued due to the influence of Christianity around 1050 A.D. It wasn’t until the French revolution began when Anarchists and revolutionaries saw cremation as a way to use less of the church’s power. 

Finally, with big opposition from the Catholic church, cremation was re-introduced around the 20th century.

Learn More About Cremation and Its Benefits

Making decisions regarding your deceased loved ones is not always an easy process. It is painful enough saying goodbye and letting go of their physical presence, so deciding how you will dispose of their remains is a very emotional process.

At Green Cremation Texas, we are highly experienced with the process of grief and we fully understand the pain you are experiencing. We have certain processes that will help to take the weight off your shoulders and make your decision making easier, so you can get back to spending time with your family and celebrate the life of your family member.

That is why we created this article, after hearing many people ask us “how does cremation work?” we knew it was important for you to know before you make your decision. 

If you have any questions or inquiries, contact us at any time. We are happy to help. 

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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