Understand your service options.
Selecting cremation does not limit your ability to have a service. In fact, there is a wide array of service choices open to you. It is important to remember a service is a valuable, healing step in the grief process. Family and friends are given a time to remember and share stories, and to say a last goodbye.
You may choose to have a "traditional" service with a casket present for the visitation and funeral with cremation following. You may wish to have a funeral service with an urn present. Or a memorial gathering without the presence of an urn. It may be your request not to have a service at all, which is referred to as Immediate or Direct Cremation. Cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery, placed in a columbarium niche, kept at home, or scattered where permitted.
What exactly is cremation?
The practice of cremation has been around for centuries and is increasingly becoming a more common choice for a variety of reasons - economic, environmental, personal values, etc. Cremation is considered one of the four means of final disposition in the State of Wisconsin. Meaning, by selecting cremation you are not having earth burial or entombment of a casket, or donation of your body to medical science.
The cremation process itself is a method used to reduce the body to bone fragments through the application of intense heat. Over a period of three to four hours the body is altered to a state of small skeletal fragments, not fine ash as believed. These fragments are then processed to become small pea gravel sized remains which are placed into a cardboard container or in an urn provided or purchased by the family.
Before cremation can take place, we are required by the State of Wisconsin to ensure the following: 48 hours lapses from time of death; the Coroner/M.E. from the county in which the death occurred view the body/issue a cremation permit; and a Cremation Authorization Form is signed from the next of kin or authorizing agent. If you wish to have cremated remains present for a service, please keep in mind that all these requirements must be met before cremation can take place. This could delay the cremation process beyond the 48 hours. With our own on-site crematory, we are able to perform the cremation as soon as all requirements are met.
ALL crematories must be licensed by the State of Wisconsin AND operated by a licensed funeral home. The city of Eau Claire conducts annual inspections to renew the operating license of our in-house crematory.