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 being more common in Asia and Europe. Recently, it has become a growing choice in the U.S. as well. Cremation is a means of final disposition as compared to earth burial or entombment of a casket, or donation 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 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, the State of Wisconsin requires the following: 48 hours to lapse from time of death; the coroner from the county in which the death occurred must view the body and issue a cremation permit; and signed authorization(s) received from the next of kin. If you wish to have cremated remains present for a service, please keep in mind that all these requirements must be met and therefore could delay the cremation process beyond the 48 hours.
Operating our own crematory allows us to perform the cremation as soon as all requirements are met. Selecting a funeral home which uses an outside cremation provider could result in a longer waiting time to receive the cremated remains of your loved one.
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.