This page is about the cremation process. We will handle it as delicately as possible, but have included images depicting the empty crematory.
The thumbnail pictures below depict an empty crematory chamber. These photos are presented to provide accurate information about the cremation and to demystify the process. If you are uncomfortable with these images and do not want more information, hit your back button.
First, when human beings die choices must be made by survivors. The most common choices involve burial or cremation. If we are buried, our bodies will decompose and return to the earth over a period of years. If we are cremated, our bodies will decompose to a base skeletal structure over a period of hours.
Sounds like a matter that can be reduced to a simple intellectually reasoned decision. WRONG!!!! I have watched families disintegrate into brawling idiots over this issue, regardless of their educational level, religious affiliation and economic status. It is a complex mix of intellectual and deep emotional feelings. Talk about it NOW with your family.
The second issue involves peoples' expectations. Funeral service attempted to dissuade consumers from cremation in the 1960's and 70's because...
Funeral service critics believed (often correctly) that funeral directors were just protecting their narrow self interests. Just as bad, critics romanticized the cremation process to further their agenda and trivialized the human need for ceremony and a "place" for the dead.
Now, my editorial comment: NONE OF IT MATTERS! Here we are today, let's just deal with it. I believe my role as a funeral director is that of a servant. I further believe it is none of my business why my customers choose the services they do and I take issue with those in our "profession" who believe they REALLY do know best. How arrogant! My job is to provide the service my customer requests. If they're "avoiding" the death by choosing a disposition without a service that is too bad. But, it is their problem and they will have to deal with whatever "unresolved issues" arise later.
We humans are messy creatures when we're alive and when we die. No form of disposition is going to be perfect for everyone.
We treat everyone with care and respect. It doesn't matter whether they are being placed in a cardboard cremation container or a solid bronze casket. The form of disposition is irrelevant. It is still a person loved by someone.........And that "someone" trusts us. It's not just a job....It's a professional responsibility.
Clicking on an image will take you to a larger version that includes text about that photo.
View of crematory and safety signs
Interior of crematory chamber
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Copyright©1998 by Donald C. Dimond II