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Decomposition of the remains in the earth (after burial) is the slow oxidation of the body tissues.

Cremation, on the other hand, provides rapid oxidation.

No casket or embalming is legally required for cremation. A simple container, which is strong enough to hold the remains is adequate. As a minimum crematory requirement, this container may be constructed of press board, or heavy cardboard.

Most crematories require the container to be combustible.

Cremation Choices

If the remains is cremated:

  1. You may take the cremated remains and distribute ("scatter") them over the land or water (in some locations certain requirements may apply).
  2. The cremated remains can be placed in a niche within a columbarium.
  3. The cremated remains can be buried in the ground in a regular plot or in a smaller cremation plot.
  4. The cremated remains can be entombed in a crypt within a mausoleum.

Why People Choose Cremation

Here are some other reasons you might choose cremation:

If You Are Distributing The Cremated Remains

Some jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the scattering of cremated remains; others require a permit. Ask your funeral director.

Also, ask if there are any firms in your area that specialize in unique ways of distributing the cremated remains, such as a plane to spread them over a mountain, or a ship to scatter them at sea.

Think of places that were especially loved by the deceased, close to home or far away. You can walk in the woods, by a favorite lake, or on the old family farm.

Be sure to ask permission if you want to use private property.

What about using the cremated remains to create new life, by planting a tree? Some survivors choose to mix the cremated remains with the soil in flowerbeds and rose gardens at home. Every time the roses bloom, you will be reminded of your loved one.

If you decide to do this, however, consider what will happen if, some day, you move away.