What is cremation?
Cremation is the process by which dead human remains are reduced to several pounds of organic and inorganic compounds. This is accomplished by exposing the body to intense heat and flame for a 1-3 hour period at a temperature of around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. After cremation, the cremated remains are removed and processed by mechanical pulverization to a consistency of coarse sand or gravel.
What is direct cremation?
Direct cremation is just that...a direct cremation. There are no services with the body present before the cremation process takes place. The body is not embalmed or prepared for viewing in any way. Many times, an alternative container is used instead of a casket.
Do I need a casket?
No. In Washington State you do not need a casket for cremation. The minimum alternative container requirement for cremation is a rigid enclosure. However, if you wish to have a funeral service, such as one with a public visitation or viewing, you will be required to purchase a suitable cremation container. We maintain a large selection of cremation oriented containers.
What do I do with the ashes?
After cremation, the cremated remains will be placed in a temporary container or an urn. Urns can be made of almost any material and in a variety of shapes and types. We have assembled a very affordable selection, and we maintain catalogs of special urns at Beck's Funeral Home.
You have many options for final placement of cremated remains. They can be placed in a columbarium niche, in a cemetery cremation garden, or in a family grave. Many cemeteries, including ours, have places especially designed for the placement and memorialization of cremated remains.
What about scattering?
In Washington State scattering is legal in many places. The scenic backdrop of the mountains and water provides an attractive option for some families. We usually suggest that this decision be thought through carefully. It is common for people to eventually regret not making provision for a permanent memorial site. We often suggest that a portion of the cremated remains be scattered and some memorialized in a place where family and friends can come to remember.
I don't want a funeral. Do I have to have one?
Of course not. Many people modestly proclaim that they don't want family and friends to mourn their loss, and they don't want a somber funeral ritual to be held at their death. Well meaning and usually thoughtful people sometimes don't realize the impact of those expressed wishes.
Any time we lose someone close to us, there is a powerful and emotional human response. There are some basic needs that must be met in order to move through the experience of loss in a healthy way. The funeral was originally intended to address those needs. For many it still provides a way to begin the healing process, yet for some it no longer has relevance.
Our lifestyles, beliefs, and values may be such that a different form of remembrance is more appropriate. It may take the form of a celebration, an informal time of sharing, a reception, or a memorial. Today the choices are nearly unlimited.
One reason for the popularity of cremation is the freedom to hold a service at any time. It does not have to be scheduled to coincide with the actual cremation itself.
It is important to remember that the final decision is yours. We'll provide the information, materials and resources for you to make a decision that feels right for you. We're here to help.
Does cremation cause air pollution?
Modern crematories are well engineered and employ proven technology to prevent pollution. When properly operated by qualified technicians, they have proven time after time that they are not a significant source of pollution.
This is not an unfounded claim. Government agency testing results demonstrate that crematories are clean and safe for the environment.
Old and inefficient crematory equipment can create visible emissions.
Our contract crematory operates modern state of the art equipment and employs well-trained and certified technicians to perform cremation services.
Why should I choose Beck's for cremation?
When you are calling for cremation information you will find a range of prices for cremation services. Beck's is not the least expensive provider and we are not the most expensive. Some firms advertise a low price for direct cremation. The way they do it is by cutting corners, or limiting the level of service you receive.
At Beck's we believe there is a better way. Caring and professional service can be provided at affordable prices. We want every family to get the best value for what they spend, and to be assured that their trust is well placed.
Beck's is a member of the Cremation Association of North America. We are pledged to conduct ourselves according to the highest standards of crematory practice. That commitment is not taken lightly. Jim Letson, the owner of Beck's Funeral Home and Restlawn Memorial Park, served as a board member of CANA for 8 years and as President in 1997.
We audit the operating procedures and facilities of our contract crematory on a regular basis. They are CANA members as well.
We know that we can respond to the cremation needs of the community with respectful care of their deceased loved ones, compassion and understanding for surviving family members, and with sensitivity to their financial as well as emotional needs.
We invite your call to compare Beck's to any alternative you may be considering.