Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be complicated by the necessity of dealing with practical concerns. The first thing you have to decide is whether you will have your loved one cremated or buried. Here are four steps to take if you've decided on cremation for your loved one:
1. Decide what to do with your loved one's ashes.
If your loved one left a will, they may have specified what they want done with their remains. However, if they haven't made that decision, you will have to make a choice yourself. There are benefits to either scattering their ashes or keeping them. Some people find comfort in having their loved one's ashes nearby, and some people find scattering their ashes very freeing. There are no wrong answers, so you should do what you feel is best.
2. Purchase an urn.
If you do decide to keep the ashes, you will need a container to store them. Urns are traditionally used, and they can be simple or very ornate. Choose an urn that you would enjoy having in your home, or pick one that you think your loved one would have liked. Many funeral homes that do cremations also sell urns as part of their services.
3. Schedule cremation.
Next, you will have to schedule a cremation at the funeral home. According to Everplans, you can still hold a funeral ceremony complete with open casket viewing, even if you choose cremation. If you want a ceremony, the cremation will be done once the funeral is over.
4. Pick up the ashes.
Once the funeral home has cremated your loved one, they will call you to come pick up their ashes. Cremations can take a little over a week, so expect to receive a phone call in 7-10 days. Picking up the ashes of your loved one may be an emotional experience, so you might want to bring a trusted person for moral support. Remember that there's no shame in grieving, and you should allow yourself to feel any emotions that naturally come up.
These steps will help you through the process of arranging your loved one's cremation. Although death is always a tragedy, you can commemorate and honor your loved one with a beautiful funeral ceremony and respectful handling of their ashes. If you have any questions or special needs, don't hesitate to ask your funeral home for assistance.