cremation

What about cremation?

You may not be aware that cremation can actually increase your options when planning a funeral service. Many people choose a cremation rather than a burial.

The following information will give you a good understanding of what cremation is. This will ensure that you to make an informed decision when arranging a funeral for yourself or a loved one.

How many crematoriums do we have in the Illawarra?

There are two crematoriums in the Illawarra. There is one at Lakeside Memorial Park & Crematorium (Kanahooka Road, Dapto) and one at Wollongong City Memorial Gardens & Crematorium (Berkeley Road, Unanderra).

Do I have to make different funeral arrangements if I chose cremation?

It depends entirely on how you wish to celebrate your loved one’s life. Cremation provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements.

Some examples:

  • hold a funeral service before the cremation
  • have a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present
  • opt for a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. (Committal services have been held beside the ocean, in bush settings, or at a spot particularly loved by the deceased.)

How soon after the funeral will the actual cremation take place?

In most cases the cremation takes place on the same day as the funeral service.

What happens during the cremation process?

The coffin is placed in the cremator, where high temperatures ensure that after several hours, the body is consumed by heat or evaporation. The remaining bone fragments are known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremator and transferred to the cooling tray, after which they are processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematorium.

Wollongong City Funerals can arrange to place the ashes into an urn of your choice. Throughout the whole process, a carefully controlled labelling system ensures correct identification.

Is everything burnt in a cremation?

Virtually everything is burnt in a cremation. There are some exceptions, such as metal fittings on the coffin or any other fittings which may be bad for the environment. You’ll also find that the nameplate is removed, but this is for identification purposes rather than sentimental reasons. In fact, it is only destroyed once the ashes have been packaged and labelled. It’s just one of the ways authorities take care to make sure that the ashes are correctly identified and find their way to the deceased’s family.

Are cremations done individually?

Yes only one body may be cremated at one time. Exceptions can be made to this rule in special circumstances. (For example: in the case of a mother and baby, or twin children.) Some crematoriums will accept both in the same coffin with the consent of the next of kin.

Is any preparation required prior to cremation?

It is essential that pacemakers and other battery-powered medical devices be removed prior to cremation. They may explode  when  subjected  to  high  temperature,  which  can  be  hazardous  to  crematory  staff  and equipment. It is advisable that personal mementos, like jewellery, be returned to the family before Wollongong City Funerals transfers the coffin to the crematorium. Once the coffin has entered the crematorium chamber the coffin cannot be  opened.  Most handles and fittings are made of combustible material and will remain on the coffin. If they are made from metal, they have to be removed and destroyed.

If I choose cremation, what are the options for a memorial tribute?

There are very broad options for a memorial with cremations. However, keep in mind that it is important for families to have a place to visit, to remember, and be remembered. The cremated remains can be:

  • interred in a cemetery plot
  • retained by a family member in an urn
  • scattered on private property or at a place that was significant to the deceased (Wollongong City Funerals advises that you check local regulations regarding the scattering of ashes in a public place).

It is important to note that once ashes are scattered somewhere outdoors, like your family backyard, they cannot be easily collected if you or your family relocates sometime in the future. Having remains placed, interred or scattered on a cemetery grounds ensures that future generations will have a place to go to remember.

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