FAQs

What happens during the cremation process?

The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber.  After approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, the cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner. The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematory or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately four hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labeling system ensures correct identification. 

Are cremations done individually?

Yes. The law requires that each person must be cremated individually. 

When after death can a cremation take place?

Because cremation is an irreversible process and because the process itself will eliminate any ability to determine exact cause of death, B.C. law requires that a minimum of 48 hours pass before a cremation can take place.

Is any other preparation required prior to cremation?

It is essential that pacemakers and other medical devices be removed prior to cremation. They may explode when subjected to high temperature, which can be hazardous to crematory staff and equipment. In addition, any special mementos, such as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process. Anything you wish to keep should be removed by the funeral director before the cremation takes place.

Is it true that the bones are crushed after cremation? I've heard you don't get ashes back -- what do you get?

A complete cremation is a two-step process. Firstly, the actual exposure of the deceased to several hours of intense heat and flame; after which the remains are mostly ash except for certain bone fragments, then the entire remaining ash and fragment volume is gathered and run through a processor, creating a uniform powder-like texture. 

Is a casket required?

Yes. For sanitary reasons, ease of placement and dignity, it is required that the deceased be cremated in a combustible, leak proof, rigid, covered container. This does not need to be a casket as such. What is required is an enclosed, rigid, container made of wood or other combustible material to allow for the dignified handling of human remains. 

Can I bring my own urn?

Yes — It would be advisable that you discuss this situation with your cremation provider prior to the cremation. The size of your urn will be of great importance if you plan to have all of the cremated remains included in this container.

Can I watch the start of the cremation?

Yes. Arrangements can be made through A Simple Cremation for relatives or representatives of the deceased to witness the start of the cremation. There is an additional fee for this service. 

What can be done with the cremated remains?

With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, scattered on privately owned property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place.)

If I am cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?

Yes — Depending upon the cemetery’s policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.

Can I take the cremated remains home?

Yes. The remains are normally placed in an urn. Most families select an urn that is suitable for placement on a mantle or shelf. Urns are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.

Do all religions permit cremation?

Some religions prefer cremation; some do not recommend the practice; most permit you to choose. Should you have any questions or concerns, we suggest you speak with a member of your clergy, or contact your local prearrangement provider.