Once the initial shock of losing a loved one is over you must make a decision on what to do with your loved ones’ body. Cremation is a viable option for many people around the world. Is cremation the right choice for you? How much does a cremation cost? This article will help you better understand what cremation is and what the cremation cost will likely be.
What exactly is cremation?
Cremation has been practiced by many cultures throughout history. When a person dies their body is burned. For some this is a spiritual practice that is meant to release the soul, for others it is a way to honor the spirit of the deceased. Today the practice continues, and although the above meanings still hold true for many, cremation also proves to be an affordable way to farewell a loved one.
When the human body is cremated it is burned in a special furnace where it is reduced to ashes and bone fragments. These are then crushed so they become granular in texture. This entire process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Most funeral homes do not do the cremation themselves; instead your loved one’s body is transported to a facility that specializes in this procedure such as a crematorium.
The cost of cremation
Not everyone will decide on cremation based solely on dollar cost issues; some people will have religious or other factors that are part of that decision as well.
Depending upon what country you live in the cremation cost may differ. Within the US the cost for a direct cremation will likely be around $495 as a base dollar figure. If you decide to include a funeral service, flowers, a remembrance candle, casket for viewing or a special urn, the cost of cremation will increase to between $2,000 – $4,000 through a funeral home and slightly cheaper directly with the crematorium. You will also need to consider the cremation cost of whether the ashes will be buried in a cemetery plot (possibly requiring a head or foot stone), scattered, or kept in the urn in the family home.
The cost of a direct cremation is basically the same in Canada; around $600. For other countries you would need to check with your local funeral home services or government agencies. Keep in mind that the cremation cost may be covered, or certainly reimbursed to the family, by the government or insurance company.
Do you need to go through a funeral home? Although this may be easier for some people the answer is no. In some states, and other countries, a family may obtain the necessary papers and then deal directly with a cremation service provider.
Cremation of a loved one’s body after death is a much more affordable option for many people but aside from the financial cost of cremation, there is an emotional cremation cost that you may want to consider. For some, the process allows for a release of the soul, both for the one who has passed and the ones who remain. Many friends and families however, find comfort in holding a traditional funeral service and a simple direct cremation may not be therapeutic enough for the grieving process. Direct cremation does not allow the family to celebrate the life of the deceased, nor does it give an opportunity to say goodbye. For others it is necessary to have a physical place in which to visit their loved one. These are important factors to consider when trying deciding if cremation is the right option for you.
Talk with other family members, your spiritual adviser, or even your loved one about whether this method of laying the body to rest will be able to meet your own financial and emotional needs. Read my article on cremation vs burial to further help you with your decision.