Busting Cremation Myths and Finding Facts

Cremation has become an increasingly popular choice for Canadians saying goodbye to loved ones. However, many uncertainties and misconceptions still surround this practice. Let’s explore some of the most common myths about cremation in Canada and shed light on the realities involved.

Myth #1: Cremation is Forbidden by Most Religions

Traditionally, some religions held reservations about cremation. However, in Canada, most major religious denominations now accept cremation as a respectful option. It’s always advisable to consult with a religious leader to ensure the practice aligns with your specific beliefs.

Myth #2: Cremation Involves Burning the Body

While fire is used in the cremation process, it’s not an open flame burning the body. Instead, cremation chambers reach extremely high temperatures (around 1800°F) that essentially reduce the body to bone fragments. These fragments are then pulverized into a fine, sand-like substance commonly referred to as ashes.

Myth #3: You Can’t Have a Funeral Service with Cremation

Cremation and funeral services are not mutually exclusive. In Canada, many families choose to have a memorial service or visitation before the cremation takes place. Alternatively, families can hold a service after cremation to scatter or bury the ashes, or keep them in an urn for safekeeping.

Myth #4: Cremation Always Costs Less Than Burial

The cost of cremation can vary depending on the funeral home or crematorium you choose, the type of urn selected, and any additional services included. While cremation is generally less expensive than a traditional burial with a casket and cemetery plot, it’s important to compare costs from different providers to find the option that best suits your budget.

Myth #5: Ashes Contain Bones or Recognizable Remains

As mentioned earlier, the cremation process reduces the body to bone fragments that are then pulverized into a fine powder. The resulting ashes do not contain any recognizable remains.

Myth #6: There are Legal Restrictions on Scattering Ashes in Canada

In Canada, there are generally no legal restrictions on scattering ashes. However, it’s always a good idea to be respectful of the location you choose. Consider scattering ashes on private property with the landowner’s permission, or in designated scattering gardens offered by some cemeteries or public parks.

Myth #7: You Can’t Take Cremation Ashes on a Plane

Transporting cremation ashes by air within Canada is generally a straightforward process. Most airlines simply require the ashes to be in a sealed, leak-proof container and accompanied by a copy of the death certificate. However, it’s always best to check the specific regulations of the airline you’ll be flying with well in advance.

Making Informed Decisions about Cremation

By understanding the realities of cremation and dispelling common myths, Canadians can make informed decisions about their final wishes or those of loved ones. Don’t hesitate to discuss your questions and concerns with a funeral director. They can provide guidance on the cremation process, legalities, and help you navigate the various options available to create a meaningful and respectful farewell.