Cremation Frequently Asked Questions

We frequently receive questions about the cremation process from families in the Stamford, CT area. You can find answers to some of the most common inquiries below, or contact us today at (203) 348-0443 to learn more about the cremation process.

What is cremation?

To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. The cremation process is not final disposition of the remains, nor is it some type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

What is a Direct Cremation?

Direct cremation is a disposition option in which the body is cremated in the days immediately following the death, without a funeral service beforehand. Direct cremation is the most economic (affordable) option for disposition.

How long does the actual cremation process take?

The length of the entire cremation process depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, the cremation process takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F

What happens after the cremation process is complete?

After the cremation process, all organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the front of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as by using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. At the conclusion of the cremation process, items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.

Following the cremation process, what do the cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The cremated remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds.

In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?

The cremated remains are placed in a basic container at no charge to you, or they may be placed in the urn of your choice from our large selection of urns available for purchase.

Are all the cremated remains returned?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from
the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family when the cremation process is over.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

There are many options for remains following the cremation process. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements you wish to make the cremation process what you envision.

Does the V.A. pay for Cremation?

Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for the most current information. In short, the answer is yes, but restrictions and dollar limits may apply.

Concerns About the Cremation Process

Are there any laws governing cremation?

Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state. As a result, if you are inquiring about the cremation process in a particular state, it is best to contact a local cremation provider.

Can two cremations be performed at once?

Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus, it would be a practicality impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.

Can the family witness the cremation process?

Yes, for a nominal fee. The state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this practice as part of their funeral custom. If you are interested in viewing the cremation process, discuss this option with us.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains following the cremation process?

We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error during the cremation process. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. Only certified professionals are allowed to operate cremation equipment.

Questions About Urns, Caskets, & Embalming

Do I need a Cremation Urn?

Following the cremation process, many families choose to store remains in an a urn. An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the cremated remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary cardboard container after the cremation process.

Is a casket needed for cremation?

No, a casket is not required for the cremation process. All that is required by state law is a rigid container which is cremated with the body.

What are Cremation Containers?

When a body is cremated, it must be placed in the cremation chamber in a rigid, fully combustible container. This container may take the form of anything from a traditional casket to a cardboard box; the only requirement is that it cannot have any metal parts.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

Absolutely not -- embalming is not a legal requirement of the cremation process, and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes. Immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to the cremation process in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.

If you have further questions about the cremation process, do not hesitate to contact us today at (203) 348-0443.