People usually don't like to talk about death. Planning your own funeral, when life is raging nearby, seems illogical. Unfortunately, the human body is not eternal. Sooner or later, relatives have to solve the issues of the funeral of the deceased person. The modern burial industry offers several options at once.
Some people choose to turn their ashes into diamonds, become part of a coral reef, or even go to the moon after death. Increasingly, in the civilized world they try not to bury the body in the ground, but to cremate it. During this process, the corpse is burned at a high temperature, even the bones become brittle and turn into ash. The tradition itself dates back to prehistoric times, but has become popular today.
Cremation is preferred because of the convenience of this option, it turns out to be both more practical and more convenient. It is worth refuting some of the most popular misconceptions about this procedure.
Cremation is cheaper than a regular burial. Many people choose cremation because it is considered cheaper than a traditional burial ceremony. In fact, you can save on the fact that there is no need to hold a public farewell ceremony with an embalming of the body and an expensive coffin. In the West, cremation costs range from $ 600 to $ 1,000. In Russia, amounts are limited to thousands of rubles. But this value is not finite. Many people order the traditional embalming and farewell ceremony prior to cremation. Relatives often wish to bury cremated remains in a cemetery or columbarium. Farewell memorial services are held, which are also expensive due to flowers, food and mementos. These additional services can ultimately make cremation more expensive than a regular burial. If you try to minimize your budget, then burning your body will actually be cheaper. But when choosing the option of saying goodbye to a friend or close relative, people often do not think about money or simply do the last will of the deceased.
Cremation is prohibited by major religions. I must say that different religions have their own attitude to this procedure. You can often hear that in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, cremation is prohibited. The Greek Catholic and Protestant Churches insist on the burial of the body. It is believed that there will come a time in the future when the dead will be resurrected. But over time, the Catholic Church relaxed its demands. Cremation is now allowed after a requiem and permission from the bishop, although traditional burial is still preferred. But Orthodoxy takes a more rigid traditional position on this issue. Judaism is loyal to cremation, because this is a fairly ancient practice, which was followed by Jewish kings. In Islam, cremation is prohibited, as is the embalming of the body. This is considered disrespectful to the deceased. In Buddhism and Shintoism, cremation is considered permissible. In Hinduism, cremation is generally one of 16 life rituals. It is believed that with its help the soul will more easily leave the body and can then find a new refuge. In any case, this practice is gradually finding acceptance throughout the world, even where burial was traditionally practiced.
Cremation is an environmentally friendly procedure. Whatever the fans of this method of destroying the body may claim, it cannot be considered completely safe for the environment. We can only talk about saving the space required for burial. Cremation requires burning fossil fuels, which can leave harmful chemicals behind. We can talk about carbon monoxide, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, hydrofluoric acid and mercury. The solution to this problem could be the installation of filters in ventilation systems. This will reduce the impact on the environment, but carbon emissions will still remain significant. An eco-friendly alternative is bio-cremation, in which the remains are dissolved with chemicals. In order for the smoke to be really clean, you should not use special products for quick combustion. Poisonous smoke can also be generated by containers made of rubber or plastic.
Cremation leads to air pollution. Modern cremation ovens already meet all the most stringent air pollution requirements. Filters contain all hazardous elements. It is no coincidence that the United States and Europe are not afraid to place crematoria in the centers of large cities. And this myth does not contradict the previous one. Only the most modern equipment and careful adherence to standards allows crematoria to remain environmentally friendly.
Cremation involves the destruction of the body in a fire. This statement seems natural, the more interesting it is to refute it. During the cremation procedure, the body of the deceased is placed in a specially designed oven, where it is exposed to a very high temperature. It shrinks the body by removing gases and softening bones. After this process is completed, the remaining fragments are machined, which turns the body into ash. This substance is passed on to relatives. Fire is not used in modern cremation methods, and destruction of the body has become a quick and easy process.
When cremated, the remains are reduced to ash. Many people refer to cremation as turning the body to ash. In fact, the remains are not ashes. They resemble small stones, which are bone fragments. After the body is exposed to extreme temperatures, the fluid evaporates and only parts of the bones remain. They are additionally processed in a high-speed blender-grinder. It turns the remains of bones into fine gravel, with a texture and color reminiscent of ash. This sand is placed in a temporary container so that it can be handed over to relatives.
Cremation involves the rejection of traditional burials. For some reason, many believe that the cremation of a loved one implies a rejection of the traditional farewell to him in an open coffin. In this regard, cremation is no different from an ordinary funeral. Relatives can conduct traditional farewell ceremonies with their loved ones by ordering any services associated with the funeral. It is also possible to hold a memorial service.
The cremation body is placed in a coffin. Even if you don't watch the person's body being sent to the oven, it will still be placed in a special container. The transfer of the deceased from the funeral home to the crematorium is done in the best possible manner, as respectful as possible for the occasion. And it is preferable to leave the body in the coffin. However, there are many forms of such a container. There is no reason to leave the body in an expensive coffin, which will not be visible during the entire procedure. The most economical container options are generally made of cardboard and many crematoria offer this option for free.
At the moment of burning the body, the head explodes like an egg in the microwave. There is a common misconception that a whole head without wounds will simply explode during cremation. However, this legend was debunked by forensic experts, who specifically observed the burning of several dozen bodies, wishing to debunk the myth. And the legend itself appeared thanks to the firemen. They often found bone fragments of the victims' skulls separate from the body. In fact, the bones of the head have thin areas in some places, becoming brittle when exposed to fire. Falls or water jets from pumps can separate these fragments from the skulls.
All that remains of a person after cremation is a pinch of dust. Complete burning of an average body lasts 2-3 hours. After that, from one and a half to 4 kilograms of dust remains. There is no need to talk about a "pinch". The mass of the remains depends on the structure of the bone tissue and the volume of the body. But in light newborns, they don't even have bones, only cartilage. After cremation, nothing may remain from them.
When cremated, the body does not need to be embalmed. Usually no embalming is required. But if you are planning a long-distance transportation of the body to the cremation site or a long farewell ceremony, then it is better to turn to embalming.
During cremation, you must purchase an urn for the remains. After the body cremation procedure, the ashes of a loved one are returned to their relatives in a temporary container. What to do next is up to him to decide. The urn is a common solution, although there are many other options for placing ashes. It is poured into the sea (in America there are even certain standards setting the distance from the coast), placed in reefs, sent into space and turned into decoration. In modern cemeteries, you can place the remains of a loved one in a columbarium, an individual memorial, a family crypt or niches. Since the ashes are non-toxic, there are no restrictions on the type of container used.
The cremation procedure for animals is completely different from that for humans. The pet cremation process is almost identical to what is suggested for humans. Usually a veterinarian organizes the process, but you can also directly contact a crematorium specializing in working with animals.
Cremation is a rare procedure. Today cremation is becoming more and more popular in big cities where there are obvious land problems. Even in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 50-70% of the dead are cremated. This method is also popular in the West. It is believed that soon every second deceased in the world will be cremated.
In the crematorium, several bodies are sent to the oven at once. Some relatives are openly afraid that their loved one will be cremated at the same time as someone else. This can lead to mixing of the ashes. However, this is contrary to all existing rules. Moreover, most ovens are not designed to handle more than one body at a time. Sometimes relatives, on the contrary, wish that two bodies were cremated together. But here we can only recommend a special urn for storing the ashes of two people at once.
A body or organs that have been in the morgue for a long time can no longer be cremated. Such a body can also be cremated. The cold stopped the process of decomposition and the body seemed to be mummified for a while. And cremation will be even better, since the tissues will be dry and burn better. The exhumed remains have also been successfully cremated.
The cremation procedure cannot be seen. Most crematoria offer such a service, but on a paid basis and in the case of a person's involvement in a specific funeral. No one can just come and watch the burning of a stranger without good reason. Relatives of the crematorium are offered a special room in which they can observe the process.