I recently had the opportunity to visit my local crematorium. The tour and the guide were very informative and we were given an extensive experience of what happens after the funeral. We were shown the process of how the coffin is placed in the furnace and then how the various levels of burning, collecting and handling of the remains are carried out.
I can firstly dispel a few myths…the coffin is delivered closed and remains closed and all of the identity tags are checked. The coffin is burnt including the handles.The furnace has three levels of burning in three separate chambers and the ashes are scraped down into each chamber thoroughly so there is no mixing of the ashes. Whats left is mostly bone and this is the ashes that you receive. Any metal bits are removed including joints and medical parts.
My impression from the experience is one of astoundment at how much of an efficient body disposal process it is.It felt very factory like and left me questioning the spiritual, connected aspects of it.I had an ideal vision of being gently lowered into the flames…nothing gentle about it. I also saw how environmentally it is toxic and consumes much energy and questioned whether we could do it in a way that atleast recycled the handles of the coffins!!!!! The experience left me with many questions and more to research.On a positive it was great to have seen and experienced the process to be able to understand it and explain what happens.