Cremation is an afterlife process that is slowly becoming a more preferred alternative to burial. While its popularity is growing, it still remains a practice that few people seem to fully understand.
There are still many questions about the process: how it is done? Also, how long does it take to get ashes after cremation?
The Death Certificate Must Be Filed First
How long it takes to receive the ashes, also known as cremains, after a cremation depends on when the cremation takes place.
A cremation may only be scheduled after the death certificate has been filed with your local registrar.
You will also need to obtain a permit for the cremation from the registrar.
How Soon May a Body Be Cremated
After the death certificate has been filed and the permit received, a cremation can be scheduled. The time frame for the cremation generally remains up to the family.
Because a body that is being cremated is not embalmed, it can start to decompose quickly. However, crematoriums have refrigeration on-site that can preserve the body much like embalming would, so you have some time.
Consult your crematorium to choose the date for the cremation.
Families who want to view the body or have a religious service before the cremation usually can do so; you will need to check with your cremation center to learn more about their policies.
How Are The Ashes Returned
Once a body is cremated, it typically takes seven to ten days to return the ashes to the family.
Your crematorium will schedule a day and time to deliver them to you. You can also elect to have the ashes placed in an urn, box, or some other closed receptacle of your choosing; the cremation center is happy to comply.
Often, if no receptacle is chosen, the cremains are poured into a plastic bag, which is placed inside a box. This is because crematoriums are required to have the ashes stowed safely in a durable container with a lid. If you plan to divide or scatter the ashes or you’re just not sure what you want to do with them yet, you may want to choose this option.
If you are planning to inter the ashes in a memorial at a cemetery, or the ashes are those of a veteran, you can often make arrangements to have them transported to the final resting place, such as the cemetery of your choice or the veteran’s National Cemetery.
If you choose Better Place Forests for instance, the ashes can be shipped directly to us.
What Can I Do With The Ashes After I Receive Them
There are a number of options available for what can be done with a person’s ashes; it all depends on how you want to memorialize your loved one. Many people are content to place the urn upon their fireplace mantle, so family can view it anytime they want.
Some may decide to keep their loved ones close by at all times: they can have the ashes put into jewelry, or possibly mixed them with ink and get a tattoo done with this special ink.
Here in California, a number of people choose to scatter the ashes. Your family members may have been nature lovers, spending lots of time outdoors or at the beach, so you want them to be in the place they loved when they were living. California permits scattering of ashes in the water as long as you are at least 500 feet away from the shore when you do it.
You can also choose a tree memorial: this option lets you pick a beautiful tree so you can scatter the ashes at its base. The tree becomes your family member’s memorial, so you can come back and visit that particular tree whenever you want.
A conservation spreading forest is protected land, so no one will be able to come in and remove trees or disrupt any of the resting places.
If a tree memorial sounds like the perfect idea for your family, you can contact Better Place Forests to get more information. We’re available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give us a call at 1-888-958-7674.
Written by Brad Milne
Co-founder & COO of Better Place Forests