Arrangements following cremation | Answers to your questions
Are you concerned that you cannot have a funeral or memorial service if your loved one is cremated? It is very fitting and comforting to honor your loved one with a visitation, funeral service or memorial service. At Starks Family Funeral Homes we can help you with the cremation arrangements as well as with the services afterward.
Your loved one will be treated with the utmost care and respect
At Starks, we have our own crematory so at no point will your loved one leave our professional and compassionate care. We will safeguard and honor your loved one’s cremated remains until they are in their final resting place or with you.
Arrangements following cremation
When you meet with your chapel funeral director to talk about cremation, we will discuss whether you wish to have a visitation, funeral service or memorial service and help you with the planning. If you wish to have an open-casket viewing during the visitation, we can postpone cremation.
Whether or not you choose to have a funeral service or memorial service, we can assist you with how you honor your loved one’s cremains. Here are some choices:
Interment or entombment of your loved one’s cremains. You can place your loved one’s cremains in the ground at a family cemetery plot or in a columbarium niche. Ask our staff to share with you our area’s interment or entombment possibilities.
Graveside services. You can gather with family and friends to share meaningful readings, reflections, prayers, songs and special activities to honor your loved one.
Scatter your loved one’s cremains in the cemetery, a memorial garden, over water or across any special site that your loved one enjoyed or requested. There are some considerations that we can share with you when we meet. You may also choose to scatter some of your loved one’s cremains and retain others to place in an urn for interment or in a keepsake urn, box, piece of art or jewelry.
Keep your loved one’s cremains in multiple urns or keepsakes. You can then share them with family and friends so they can find comfort in having your loved one near them.
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about cremation
If you are not sure whether cremation is a good choice for your loved one, you and your family are not alone. When you sit down with us, we will help you work through your decision. But here are some answers to questions families often ask us.
What is cremation?
The Cremation Association of North and America describes cremation as, "the mechanical and/or thermal or another dissolution process that reduces human remains to bone fragments."
How long must we wait after their death before we can cremate a family member?
Unlike burial, cremation is irreversible. This requires us to be extra diligent in obtaining cremation authorization from the legally identified next-of-kin, as well as those from any necessary agencies (such as the medical examiner). During these 48-72 hours (depending on state-mandated requirements); the deceased will be held in a secure, refrigerated environment.
If we choose cremation, does my loved one have to be embalmed?
No, it is not required by law, but there are times when it is prudent. If you wish to have an open-casket visitation, embalming will ensure your loved one will look his or her best. The Federal Trade Commission requires that you give us permission before we provide embalming services. In addition, we must provide you with written disclosures before doing the embalming.
What is the cremation process?
- We will ask a family member to confirm the identity of the deceased loved one.
- Before we prepare the body for cremation, the person in charge of the arrangements will complete the necessary paperwork.
- We will then clean and dress the body. We will ask you during the arrangement meeting if there are special clothes you would like your loved one to wear (a military uniform, a favorite dress or shirt). If you prefer, your loved one can be undressed. We will also remove jewelry, medical hardware and prosthetics. But we will honor, as best we can, including any keepsake items you request that we add to the cremation casket. Talk with us about your or your loved one’s wishes.
- Then we will place our loved one in a combustible, cremation casket and respectfully put it in the cremation furnace. At the highest point, the chamber temperature can reach just below 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The process will take 2 to 2.5 hours. What remains will be an ash-like substance made primarily out of bone fragments.
- After a required cooling period, your loved one’s ashes will be returned to the family in an urn or cremation container of your choosing.
How much will I have to pay for the cremation?
When you talk with us about the cost of your loved one's cremation, whether on the phone or in person, we are legally obligated to share our General Price List (GPL) with you. That list details the actual cost of our cremation services, which is a combination of our basic professional services fee, the fee charged by our crematory and any additional charges related to the transportation and safekeeping of the deceased before the cremation and funeral or memorial services after. For more specific information about our payment policies, please call or meet with us and we will be forthright with our answers so there are no billing surprises.
Can I purchase an urn from another source, or must I buy one from Starks?
You have the right to purchase a cremation urn or keepsake container from a second or third party. We will not charge you an extra fee if you make your purchase elsewhere.
What do I need to bring to the funeral home?
You'll need to provide the documents/information required to complete your loved one's death certificate and obituary. If you are planning to have a service, you may also wish to bring in a collection of family photographs to be used in making a tribute video or in the decoration of the service location. Other items may be needed at some point, depending on the arrangements made. Your community chapel’s funeral director will provide you with an exact list of the things they would like you to bring along to the arrangement conference.
I'd like to write my loved one's obituary. May I?
Yes, you may; in fact, any member of your family (or even a close friend) can step up to take care of this task.
If you have additional questions about cremation, please ask us.
Your chapel’s funeral director or one of our cremation specialists will address any of your inquiries or concerns.