5 things you may not know about cremation

02 February 2022
close up of white rose

"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away."

Terry Pratchett

In recent years, cremation has risen in popularity in part because it is seen as a more affordable option than a traditional burial. There are many other reasons for selecting cremation for a loved one such as a personal preference, religion or environmental reasons. Cremation is a strictly regulated process in Australia so many of the stories you hear are just not true.

What exactly is cremation?

Cremation is a method of disposing of the body of a loved one through burning rather than burial. It is done by placing the body inside a purpose built cremator and exposing it to very high temperatures. The final ashes are then collected and given to the family.

What do ashes look like?

Cremated remains are called ‘ashes’ but are primarily calcified bone fragments which are ground into dust. They tend to be a pale to dark grey colour and have a similar texture to thick sand.

Do I have to store the ashes in an urn?

The ashes will be provided to you in a sealed container but what you choose to do with the ashes is up to you. If you choose to keep the ashes at home, it is up to you how you store and/or display them. Cremated remains are not a health hazard so there is no safety regulation around handling or storing ashes.

You may choose to have the ashes interred behind a memorial plaque at a cemetery. Or you may scatter their ashes somewhere that has special meaning to you. Or you may choose to keep them with you at home in a container of your choosing. Choosing an option that’s right for you and your family is a personal choice that we can help guide you through.

How do I know the ashes are mine?

Cremation is a strictly regulated process in Australia. Before cremation, an ID number is assigned and stamped on a metal plate. This metal plate then accompanies the deceased person through the whole process until the ashes are returned to the family.

Can I take the ashes overseas?

Yes. It is possible to take cremated ashes overseas but you should definitely contact the embassy for the country that you intend taking the ashes to so that you can ensure you comply with any local requirements. Generally, you will need to carry the ashes in a sealed container in hand luggage and carry a copy of the death certificate, and a copy of the statement from the crematorium identifying the deceased person and details of their cremation.

If you have further questions or need assistance with planning a cremation, please contact us.

View memorial urn or keepsake jewellery options here, or download our Urn brochure here.

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