Debunking Some Cremation Myths

CremationSome people stay away from the cremation option because of some myths that are attached to the practice. These misunderstandings have people anxious about what to believe and what others believe about burning bodies in a furnace for the ashes.

To clear up these myths or misunderstandings, here are some explanations and clarifications:

It is purely a prehistoric practice

Some people think that cremation is a practice straight out of prehistoric times. Who could blame them? A King Arthur film shows that the dead body burnt in a royal fire started off with a bow and arrow. There may also be references to basically getting rid of bodies during the bubonic plague. Fire, after all, is used to prevent disease from spreading. People would like to believe that there is no need to resort to that nowadays when disease is fairly controlled and those affected can be placed under quarantine.

It produces powdery remains

When one thinks of cremation, he can imagine the result as a soft, powdery substance. After all, the remains are referred to as ashes. However, the result is more of a softer consistency of gravel rather than the smooth, fine, and powdery result people expected. The “ashes” are the result of pulverized calcified bones after the body has been incinerated. They are not the direct remains of flesh and muscle as some may imagine.

It is a one-step process

Some believe that cremating a body is a one step process. Place the body in an incinerator and then just let it burn. This is the core of the process but it definitely is not the only thing that goes on. Before the cremation can even start, the incinerator has to be preheated. This incinerator is already capable of producing 2000 Fahrenheit maximum temperature, but preheating still should be done.

The body is placed inside the incinerator and the door is closed, sealing in the heat inside. After the time provided, the bones are retrieved and pulverized. The result of the pulverization process is gravel-like sand that stands for the ashes placed in the urn. Some may think that the ashes are simply collected from inside the incinerator.

It is completely different from a traditional burial

It is not the complete opposite of a traditional burial. Cremating a body does not mean to say that there are no memorials and prayers involved, unless the family wishes it to be that way. A memorial could be held before or after the deceased body is burned to ashes. The remains could still be placed in a small container to be brought down into the ground. So, it could well be just an added process in a traditional burial. You don’t really have a clear-cut separation between a cremation and a traditional burial. You could well have both or neither.

It always results to ashes kept in urns

Cremating a body does not necessarily have one result: ashes that are kept in urns to be displayed in homes. The result varies, depending on the wishes of the family. It is similar to having an embalmed body placed in a casket to be entombed in a crypt, a mausoleum, or in a forest or woodland. Anything can be personalized nowadays. The families add in the details, based on their own wishes for their dead or based on the explicit request of the deceased before he or she passed on.

Therefore, cremating a body is not as simple or as straightforward as one would imagine. There is room for creative license, religiosity, and a high degree of respect for the dead. When it was basically an unknown, it may inspire myths that should be debunked.

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