What is involved when cremation is selected?
The disposition of cremation can follow a traditional viewing and or visitation and formal funeral service, or cremation can follow a private viewing for the family, or cremation can be an immediate disposal; where there is no viewing and no services. Many people feel that cremation is an immediate, easy and uninvolved way of disposing of a body. Contrary to that belief, a life has been lived and should still be treated with the utmost of respect, dignity and decorum. After death occurs, cremation cannot take place until the following components are in place:
1. A mandatory 24 hour waiting period from the time of death.
2. Signing the NC Cremation Authorization by all direct legal next of kin (unless a healthcare power of attorney is in place).
3. The completion and signing of the death certificate by the attending physician and/or medical examiner.
4. The issuance of a cremation permit by the Medical Examiner if required.
After these things are accomplished the cremation is scheduled with the crematory. Normally, cremation can take place within 2-3 working days following the death.
What is cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service or memorial service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes around three hours at normal operating temperature of 1,650 degrees F.
What happens after the cremation is complete?
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 using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in 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.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds of cremated remains.
In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
The cremated remains are placed in a cardboard container at no charge to you, or they may be placed in the urn of your choice from our 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.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
There are many options. Cremated remains can be buried in most cemeteries, they can also be placed in a niche (a small crypt designed to be the final resting place) a columbarium (bank of niches), a garden of your choice, kept at home, or scattered on private property.
Are there any laws governing cremation?
Yes. There are many laws and they vary from state-to-state. North Carolina crematories are regulated by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service.
Can two cremations be performed at once?
No, 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 practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, Wright Crematory 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 as part of their funeral custom. (some charges may apply).
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
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. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. We only allow certified cremation professionals to operate our cremation equipment.
Listed below is our “Identification Process"
1. A wrist identification band is placed on the deceased.
2. A numbered metal disk is assigned, which accompanies the deceased while they are in our care.
3. Deceased is placed in cremation container (law in North Carolina) and the deceased name and identification number is written directly on the container.
4. Each direct family member signs an authorization for cremation, giving us permission in writing to do the cremation.
Order of next of kin:
Health Care Power of Attorney
All adult children
All surviving siblings
All of the persons in the next degree of kinship
5. The next of kin must sign an identification form, identifying their loved one that is in our care. The family is given time for a private viewing before cremation takes place. (some charges may apply).
6. The death certificate and medical examiner’s cremation permit (if applicable) are signed with the cause of death.
7. Following a 24 hour hold from the time of death, only now can the cremation be performed.
8. The cremation is logged in the record book. The name of the deceased, date of cremation, time started and operator's name are recorded. Copies of identification paperwork are attached to the outside of the cremation chamber. The numbered metal disk is placed inside the cremation chamber with the body.
9. Additional documents are prepared in the office while the cremation is taking place.
10. Immediately following the completion of the cremation, the cremated remains are placed in an urn or temporary container with the deceased's name already on the container.
11. The cremated remains are returned to the family. The family must show picture I.D. and sign a release stating that they are taking custody of the cremated remains.
Do I need an urn?
No. 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 inurned in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary cardboard container. If you wish, you may purchase an urn elsewhere, however, we will not be responsible for placing the remains in the urn.
Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required by state law is a rigid container in which the body is placed to be cremated.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. However, many families choose to embalm for a public viewing or a pleasing final identification memory picture. (embalming charges will apply)
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation. (viewing and bathing charges may be applied)
Why is refrigeration of the remains prior to cremation necessary?
Due to the irreversible nature of cremation, most states require a waiting period before the actual process may begin. Unless a body is embalmed, refrigeration is the only alternative available that will retard tissue decomposition. Refrigeration is a necessity that protects family, friends, the crematory operator and the general public from potential health hazards.
Are there special cremation caskets?
Yes. There is a choice of very affordable cremation caskets that are completely combustible. The selection includes options from a simple pine or cloth-covered caskets to hardwood caskets.
Can a casket be rented instead of purchased when choosing cremation?
Yes. Many funeral homes offer a hardwood ceremonial casket for viewing or funeral services prior to cremation. The ceremonial (or rental) casket is specifically designed to provide a very aesthetically pleasing, affordable and environmentally prudent alternative to purchasing a casket for a cremation service.
Do all funeral homes and cemeteries have a crematory?
No - actually only a small percentage of funeral homes have their own crematories. Wright Funerals-Cremations is High Point’s ONLY family owned, in house/on site crematory.