Choosing between a traditional casket burial and cremation is a personal decision, but for the first time in history, cremation is now being chosen by a majority of people across the country. Regardless of why your loved one wanted to be cremated after their passing, it is really just a step in the memorialization process. At Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, cremation offers just as many – if not more – options for friends and family to honor and celebrate their loved one’s life.
As with a traditional casket burial, you can hold a visitation to say your last goodbyes. You can even observe the cremation process if you wish. After cremation has taken place, you can still hold a life celebration allowing you and others to honor a life well lived. The need for this type of service is not diminished by the decision to be cremated and allows you so many more options as to when, where, and how memorialization takes place.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the combustion and oxidation of a deceased individual into a fine ash. Cremated remains are typically buried in a cemetery (either in a plot in the ground or interred in a mausoleum or columbarium niche), kept in an urn by family members, or scattered on land or water. There are also a variety of unconventional ways one may “scatter” cremated remains, such as turn them into jewelry, incorporate them into an artificial underwater reef, make them into fireworks, or shoot them into space, among other options.
Where do I begin?
If your loved one has passed away, please let us know as soon as possible by calling us at (704) 218-9955. A Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service advisor is available around the clock to assist you.
What happens next?
After your initial contact with us, we will make all the arrangements for your loved one to be promptly and respectfully taken into our care.
How long does it take?
Cremation generally occurs within one week after all documents and state approvals are received. These time frames may vary based on local coroner availability, but your Funeral Director will be in touch with you throughout the process to keep you informed.
How are the cremated remains returned?
Once cremation is complete, your loved one’s remains will be placed into the special urn you have chosen and you will be contacted to arrange pick up at one of our locations near you, or we can arrange shipping to another city or state.
How do I know I'm getting the right cremated remains?
We take special precautions to safeguard identity with a personal identification band that is placed on your loved one the moment he or she is taken into our care. Our personal identification system tracks every phase of the cremation process including name, date, time, your loved one’s personal ID number, and the name of the responsible Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service staff member.
We only work with certified cremation technicians who are responsible for reviewing all cremation paperwork, permits and IDs, and who sign their approval prior to cremation. Your loved one’s identification disc is also placed inside the cremation chamber during the cremation process for further positive ID.
Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service personal identification system provides family members with the peace of mind that we will return your loved one’s remains safely back to you.
Can a family witness the cremation?
Yes, families may be present at the cremation. If you choose this option, we will just need to be notified in advance to plan for your visit.
More families are considering the use of ceremonial caskets for final goodbyes before cremation. A ceremonial casket is an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to a traditional casket for a public viewing and visitation for family members and friends. This casket is made with an inner container to hold the body, with the outer container designed to look like a traditional casket.
Memorializing a loved one after cremation can take many forms from keeping the urn at home to scattering the ashes in a meaningful location to placing them in a cemetery. If you choose a permanent resting place in a cemetery, you have several options to choose from including ground burial, cremation gardens, memorial benches, glass front niches in mausoleums, and many more. Selecting a permanent memorial provides a place for family and friends to gather and remember a life well lived.
Whether your loved one chose to be cremated and buried, or wished to be scattered around the world, we offer full cremation services to help you remember, appreciate, and celebrate a beautiful life. For answers to your immediate questions, contact us today at (704) 218-9955.