Choosing between a traditional casket burial and cremation is personal, but you may be surprised to know that cremation is now the most popular choice for most Americans. Regardless of why your loved one wanted to be cremated after their passing, it is 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, you may have a life celebration allowing you and others to honor a life well lived. Cremation does not diminish the need for a memorial; it presents many more options for when, where, and how memorialization occurs.
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. Other options for memorializing scattered remains include turning them into jewelry, incorporating them into an artificial underwater reef, or solidifying them into Parting Stones (available at many ShareLife funeral homes).
You may incorporate a viewing, memorial service, or both with cremation. We also offer simple cremation that includes only collecting your loved one from the place of death, filing all paperwork, performing a cremation without witnesses, and returning the ashes to you. Simple cremation is the most basic type of cremation and costs less.
Where do I begin?
If your loved one has passed away, please call us at (704) 218-9955 as soon as possible. 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?
The actual cremation process typically takes two days. Still, before cremation, the funeral home must complete all the necessary paperwork and get the Death Certificate and Permit registered with the county. This timeline might be affected by factors beyond our control, such as family availability, coroner availability, medical certifier’s timeliness, and county registrar availability.
In most cases, the entire cremation process occurs within one week after Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service receives approval and the required documents. A funeral director will keep you updated throughout the process.
How are the cremated remains returned?
Once the cremation is complete, your loved one’s remains will be placed into your chosen urn. We will contact you to pick them up at one of our locations near you, or we can arrange to ship them 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 placed on your loved one when they are brought 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 employ certified cremation technicians responsible for reviewing all cremation paperwork, permits, and IDs and signing their approval before cremation. Your loved one’s identification disc might be placed inside the cremation chamber or kept with the paperwork during the cremation process.
Our redundant personal identification system and secure facility provide family members with the peace of mind that we will safely return your loved one’s remains to you.
Can a family witness the cremation?
Yes, families may be present at the cremation. If you choose this option, please let us know so we can prepare for your visit.
More families use 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 has 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, 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 complete cremation services to help you remember, appreciate, and celebrate a beautiful life. Contact us today at (704) 218-9955 for answers to your immediate questions.