Many people are choosing cremation as an alternative to traditional burial when planning or pre-planning funeral services. Some of the advantages of cremation services in Mercer Island, WA include savings on traditional burial and a smaller footprint that allows for creative uses of the remains. At Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory, our experienced funeral home director and staff are ready to answer your most commonly asked questions about cremation.
Can I Still Have a Funeral With Cremation?
Yes, our cremation packages include options for all the amenities that come with traditional burial. Before the body is cremated, we offer the change for the loved ones to visit, and after we’ll arrange a full memorial service according to your wishes. Cremation services can be as involved or as basic as you want, and our basic cremation package is an ideal choice for those who want professional care for the body but are planning a private memorial at home.
What Are the Advantages of Aquamation Versus Traditional Cremation?
Traditional cremation is done in a cremator, a powerful oven that burns the remains down to sterile bone ash. With an oven that goes up to 1,800 degrees fahrenheit, the process is done in under an hour. Aquamation is an alternative that uses an alkaline solution to break down the body and speed up the process of decay. While it takes longer – an average of two and a half hours – it produces the same result and has a lower carbon footprint for environmentally-minded clients.
Can I Have the Remains Buried or Interred?
For clients who have a family plot or crypt, a common concern when choosing cremation services is whether they can keep the family together. It’s common for cremation containers holding the ashes to be placed underground in a ceremony similar to a burial, or in an above-ground mausoleum. This offers the benefits of a fixed place to gather, but with a smaller space footprint and a lower cost.
What Are My Options for Storing the Remains?
If you choose to take the remains home, the most common option is a large centerpiece urn that can sit on a mantle as a way to keep your loved one close. The urns come in a wide selection of artistic designs and can be personalized with inscriptions. For those who want to divide the remains between multiple loved ones, we offer smaller urns or vials that can be worn on the person. We can also work with third-party companies to arrange for the ashes to be turned into jewelry.
Is It Safe and Legal to Scatter the Ashes?
Many clients want to scatter the remains at a place that was meaningful to the departed. We offer a selection of scattering urns to make this easier. Cremation ashes are sterile and can be safely scattered, and there are no laws governing the scattering, so any public place should be acceptable. If you have a private location in mind, consult with the owners first to arrange a scattering.
We’re happy to answer any other questions you might have at a consultation about cremation services in Mercer Island, WA. Contact us in person at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory at our offices at 4567 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle, WA, 98118, only a 15-minute drive from Mercer Island, or reach us on our website or by phone at (206) 722-1100.