Submitted by Reid Trimble, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Trimble Funeral Homes & Crematory
You’ve decided you want to be cremated upon your death. However, it’s important to note that cremation is the alternative to casketed burial, and not a substitute for a funeral. Your decision about cremation is important and gives your funeral director and family instruction as to the disposition of your body at the time of your passing, but it does not address how your life will be memorialized. Without your input, your loved ones may struggle with decisions and possibly incur unnecessary expenses.
Options can range from a simple cremation to a full-service funeral. A simple cremation, also called a direct cremation, means that no services will be held, with cremation taking place after your funeral director obtains all proper written authorization.
A full-service funeral can be identical to that of a traditional casketed funeral, but with cremation taking place before or after the services. A funeral service is when the body is present, and a memorial service is when the urn, picture, or both is present in lieu of the body. Those funeral homes with an on-site crematory make it possible to have a public viewing with cremation taking place overnight, and a memorial service the following day. This alleviates the concerns of those that say, “I’m not opposed to a viewing, but I don’t want this to drag on for days.”
A Fast Growing Trend
The reasons people are choosing cremation are varied, but the majority of individuals who make this selection state it is for environmental, financial, or personal reasons. Cremation is beginning to become “tradition” for many families, as those making plans for themselves have had parents who have been cremated. The evolution of hospice care is also causing more families to opt for cremation. Family members are able to travel home to say goodbye, thus altering what the family feels they need out of an immediate service.
Pre-Planning Is Essential
More people are pre-planning with funeral directors to ensure that their wishes are known. The most important decision to make is whether you want the body present for a public viewing, have no viewing at all, or allow for a private “Time to Say Goodbye” for family.
When pre-planning with your funeral director, you have three options:
- Document your information and plans without pre-funding
- Paying for the funeral ahead of time, which locks in the costs at today’s prices
- Making payments over time to help fit into a budget
All pre-funded funerals are completely transferrable for those that move to a different region or opt to change funeral homes.
When pre-planning for cremation, you can sign your own cremation authorization forms, which include an option that states, “I do not wish to allow any of my survivors the option of cancelling my cremation.”
How is a body cremated?
Cremation is carried out at a temperature ranging between 1400 and 1800 degrees. The intense heat reduces the body to its basic elements and dried bone fragments. These are then ground down into a finer sand-like consistency, resulting in 3 to 7 pounds of cremated remains
Where does cremation take place?
At our funeral home, we have a private on-site crematory. Once we take custody of your loved one, he or she will never leave our care. Our Reflection Room is a family viewing room with a window adjoining the crematory. Family members can say their last goodbyes and witness the beginning of the cremation process.
Some important questions to ask your funeral home when planning for cremation services
- Do you have refrigeration if I opt for no embalming?
- Prior to cremation, will the body be under your care or held at another location?
- Will cremation take place at your funeral home or is it performed by a third-party at another location?
- Can my loved ones have a time to say goodbye without embalming?
- Is it possible for family members to “witness” the cremation if they choose?
Trimble Funeral Home & Crematory, 701 12th Street in Moline, has instituted a program called Cremation 101, a complimentary two-hour informational session. Licensed staff will explain the process of cremation, legal requirements, and answer questions. The class includes an optional tour of the crematory and the Reflection Room. Call 309-764-1144 to pre-register for our spring session, or to request a full funeral resource kit, complete with pricing and essential information Form.