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Cremation 101: Understanding Costs, Processes, and Aftercare

Cremation

Have you ever thought of what happens when someone passes away? Making an end-of-life plan is one of the important life decisions you have to take. In the myriad of options available, cremation is increasingly becoming popular. 

 

Cremation is hailed as a simpler and cheaper alternative to a traditional burial. You can also make it personal and special for your loved one. But you might wonder what the cremation process is like and how much it costs. Don’t worry; we got you covered. 

 

We’ve compiled a guide to take you through everything you need about cremation, from the types available to what you can do with the ashes. This guide will help you make an informed decision and give your loved one the goodbye they deserve.

cremation

How Much Does Cremation Cost?

Cremation costs vary widely in the US, with the national average for cremation with service and viewing costing around $6,970. The average cost for direct cremation with no service is around $2,183. 

 

State-specific costs can also differ greatly, with Alabama averaging $1,292-$7,775 for cremation, while Alaska ranges from $1,500 to $3,300. Pets’ cremation services can range from $50 to $1,500, depending on the option chosen, the weight of the pet, and the area where you live. 

 

In contrast, traditional funerals cost significantly more, with the national median cost of adult funeral services, including burial, exceeding $11,000. The median cost for a funeral with cremation services and viewing is around $6,515, according to the 2021 National Funeral Directors Association. 

 

The cost of urns for storing ashes ranges from $200 to $250. However, costs for cremation have remained steady since 2020, with the median cost of an adult funeral, including viewing and cremation, being around $7,000 in 2021.

How Long Does Cremation Take?

Cremation times can vary depending on body weight, composition, and the crematory’s schedule. On average, the cremation takes about two to three hours, during which the body is reduced to bone fragments. 

 

However, the entire process of cremation, including paperwork and processing of the remains, can take anywhere from 10 to 15 business days. Different states have laws on the waiting period required between death and cremation, ranging from 24 to 48 hours. 

 

The cremation typically lasts between one and three hours, followed by a cool-down period of 45-60 minutes. Cremation services generally last around 30 minutes, with about 20 minutes of speaking. 

 

The remains, usually three to seven pounds in weight, are returned to loved ones once the processing is complete. The cost of cremation can vary depending on the location and the type of container used for the body.

 

Now you know ​​how long cremation takes.

How Much Ash is Left After Cremation?

The amount of ash left after cremation varies depending on several factors, including the body’s weight and size. Experts suggest that cremation will produce one cubic inch of ashes for every pound of body weight. 

 

Therefore, the ashes produced by an adult can range from 183 to 213 cubic inches, while a child’s ashes can range from 54 to 122 cubic inches. A premature baby’s ashes can be as small as 18 to 43 cubic inches. 

 

It’s important to note that the crematorium will know the exact volume of ashes. It’s also worth mentioning that while the remains of a cremated body are often referred to as “ashes,” this term is not technically correct. 

 

Instead, the final product is a collection of small ash-like fragments weighing 4 to 8 pounds, with approximately 5% of non-organic material remaining. Additionally, after the cremation, an urn typically weighs 4 to 6 pounds, or about 3% of its original weight, with children’s ashes weighing about 2.5% of its original body weight. 

 

Some alternative cremation methods, such as aquamation, can produce very little residual ash due to the high temperature of the process, which evaporates all the organic matter in the body through evaporation and leaves behind only bone fragments. 

 

Overall, the amount of ash left after cremation depends on various factors and can be accurately determined by the crematorium.

cremation

How Does a Crematorium Work?

Cremation is a process that involves converting a body into ash. The process usually occurs in a crematorium, where temperatures are between 1400 and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

The body is heated to a point where the organic matter is vaporized, leaving behind only bones. The cremation chamber is closely monitored throughout the process to maintain heat. 

 

Once the process is complete, any remaining metals, such as dental fillings, are removed using a magnet. The remaining ash is then collected and placed in a container, which can be used for scattering, burying, or keeping as a memorial. The whole process typically takes two to three hours.

Traditional Cremation

Traditional cremation involves placing the body in a casket or container in the cremation chamber. The chamber is heated to a high temperature, and the body is slowly reduced to ash. 

 

The ash that remains is then collected and placed in a container. Depending on the location and services provided, cremation can range from $1,000 to $8,000. A traditional service beforehand can significantly increase costs, particularly if a viewing or a casket is needed.

Aqua Cremation

Aqua cremation, also known as water cremation or alkaline hydrolysis, is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation. The body is placed in a container with a water and alkali solution, which is then heated and pressurized. 

 

This causes the body to break down, leaving only bones, similar to traditional cremation. However, the ash produced is typically larger in volume and more finely textured than traditional cremation. 

 

Aqua cremation is a longer process, taking between six to eight hours or 18 to 20 hours, depending on the heat used. The resulting ash is pure white and can be collected and used for memorialization like traditional cremation.

 

Pet Cremation

 

Have you ever wondered what happens to our furry friends after they pass away? 

 

Well, one option is pet cremation. The process takes place in a cremator machine and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the pet’s size. The remains are then processed, and the bone fragments are reduced to smaller pieces.

 

After the cremation, you have a few options for what to do with your pet’s remains. You can scatter them outside, bury them in your yard, or store them in a columbarium at a pet cemetery. 

 

Sometimes, you can even select an urn or box from the cremating company and have your pet’s remains returned to you in the urn or decorative container. 

 

While some human cemeteries allow people to be buried with their pet’s ashes, in most cases, it is not allowed due to health and safety concerns. But, if you feel strongly about being buried with your pet’s ashes, some pet owners will go to great lengths to make it happen.

 

Our pets are like family; according to a 2020 study, 79% of pet owners consider their pets their best friends. So, it’s understandable that many people want to honor their furry friends even after they’re gone.

cremation

Costs involved in Pet Cremation

 

The cost of pet cremation can vary depending on the type of cremation you choose. 

 

Communal cremation is the least expensive, usually costing around $70, while private cremation can cost up to $250 and often includes a basic pet urn. Other costs to remember are pick-up fees, often charged when you need the service outside of business hours, and viewing fees if you wish to view your pet’s cremation.

 

It’s important to start the planning process for pet cremation early, even though it can be difficult to think about our special friends passing away. Paw to Paw Pet Cremation and Paws, Whiskers & Wags are just a few pet cremation companies to consider.

 

How Much Does It Cost To Cremate a Cat?

 

Have you ever thought of how much it costs to cremate a cat? Cat cremation and other pet cremation costs are almost similar.

 

The cost of cremating a cat usually depends on these two factors. Let’s discuss them in detail.

 

Firstly, where you are located can have an impact on the price. Secondly, the type of cremation you choose will also affect the cost. For instance, communal cremation is usually the cheapest option, ranging from $30 to $70 on average. 

 

This is where your cat is cremated with other pets, and the ashes are not returned to you. On the other hand, if you opt for a private cremation, it will be more expensive, ranging from $100 to $200 on average. In this case, your cat has been cremated alone, and the ashes are returned to you.

 

If you want to be present during the cremation, you’ll have to find a facility that offers that service. Some crematoria allow humans to be present during their cat’s cremation, but not all. 

 

Private cremations can cost even more if you add additional services like transportation or keepsakes. These costs can range from $150 to $300. There may also be options for ceremonies, cremation viewings, or burials, which will cost more.

 

How Much Does It Cost To Cremate a Dog?

 

When we tried to find out how much to cremate a dog, we realized it’s not a straightforward answer. The price range varies depending on a few factors, like how heavy your furry pal is and the type of cremation you choose.

 

From what we gathered, the cost of cremating a dog could be anywhere from $50 to $400! Crazy, right? Private cremations are the fanciest option and could start at around $175 for a little guy like a Chihuahua, but for a larger breed like a Great Dane, it could cost you over $250. 

 

And if you want your dog to be cremated alone, which means you’re guaranteed to get only your dog’s ashes, it’s called individual cremation, and it could set you back anywhere between $50 to $350, depending on the place and the weight of your dog.

 

If you’re not too fussy and want to save some cash, communal cremation is where your dog gets cremated with other pets. It could be an option for you, costing you between $45 to $200, depending on your dog’s weight.

 

What Can You Do With Cremated Ashes?

 

When looking for things to do with cremated ash, there are quite a few things you can do with it. It is contingent and depends on what you want to do with them. Some would like to scatter them at a special location; others might want to keep them in an urn. 

 

Some folks even have the ashes turned into jewelry and even artwork. And that’s not it; you can use it to plant a tree. Adding to the list, some have the ashes turned into a diamond! So, it’s all up to you and what you want to do.

 

How To Choose An Urn?

Choosing an urn to honor the memory of a loved one who has passed can be challenging. Consider what you intend to do with the cremated ashes, as it will determine the type of urn you need. 

 

You can personalize the urn by adding an inscription, quote, scripture verse, or a timeless message. Research the different types of urns available, including metal, wood, ceramic, and biodegradable materials. 

 

Urns can vary in cost depending on material, size, and design. Keep personalization simple, with a maximum of three to four lines of text with 40 characters each. Choosing the right urn is essential to honor the memory of your loved one, whether you display it at home or scatter the ashes.

cremation

How Much Does It Cost To Turn Ashes Into Jewellery?

The price of memorial diamonds can cost anywhere from $1,400 to $24,500 for a diamond ranging from .25 carats to 2.00 carats. Other factors that can influence the price of the diamond include the diamond’s color, cut, and clarity. 

 

How Much Does It Cost To Turn Ashes Into Diamonds?

 

Different companies have different pricing structures and options, but the price generally starts at around $1499 and can go up to $24,500.

 

Some companies require 100 grams of ashes or 2 grams of hair for each memorial diamond, while others have different requirements. The diamond’s size, cut, and color also affect the price. Some companies offer engraving services or different colors of diamonds that come with an additional fee. 

cremation

How Long Does It Take For Cremation Diamonds To Form?

 

The first step in creating a diamond is to isolate the carbon, which can take many weeks. The pure graphite powder is refined and filtered until it reaches 99.9% carbon. After that, the carbon is placed inside a high-pressure and high-temperature machine to crystallize. 

 

This process can take up to 18 months, and the result is a rough diamond that can be cut into the desired shape and placed into a special box for shipping or fixed to its jewelry setting. 

 

So, it seems that creating a cremation diamond is time-consuming, but the result is a precious symbol of eternal love.

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