When we have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, many of us experience moments of calm intermixed with moments where we are flooded with emotions and sadness.
After the initial sadness following a death, one might find themselves experiencing moments of normalcy, with breaks as they remember the loss. One of the moments of remembrance comes when the call comes in that the ashes are ready to be picked up.
It is surreal, painful, saddening, and even sobering. You may have already said your goodbyes, but there is still this moment of returning the remains back to you.
There might already be significant amounts of uncertainty left in your life with loss. With your health and mental well-being in mind, we have put together a few items to help establish what to expect when it comes to the receipt of cremation urns.
When can I expect to receive the ashes of my loved one?
Typically, you can expect to receive the ashes within approximately seven to ten days. The funeral home you’re working with should be able to establish a deadline if it differs from that.
How will I be notified that the ashes are ready?
The funeral home will call you when the ashes are ready. They understand the difficulties of what you are going through and will use the most personal method available to inform you.
What should I expect to receive?
If you have already selected a funeral urn for the ashes, and the funeral home has it available, you can expect to receive them in the urn. If the urn is not ready or you have not yet picked out the cremation urn, the company will use a temporary box or urn that will allow you to transfer the ashes into the final receptacle. The ashes themselves will be inside a bag, which you can empty into the final urn.
How will they be given to me?
This is typically done in one of two ways, and should be something you establish with the funeral home ahead of time. Some funeral homes deliver the cremation to you at your home, while others might ask you to come to pick them up.
How heavy will the cremation be?
One person should easily be able to carry the cremation urn. Funeral urns for the ashes take up most of the weight. Cremation urns and the ashes typically weigh between four to six pounds. Typically, the ashes weigh close to 3% of an individual’s body weight. As the urns for the ashes of adults are going to be larger than the ashes of someone younger, you can expect less weight with a smaller loved one.
What do ashes look and smell like?
Cremation ashes are typically very fine, almost more like a soft sand. They are a gray-ish color, sometimes more pale and sometimes more dark gray. Generally, they are odorless and without any particular smell.
What do I do when I’ve received them?
This wholly depends on what you and your family have planned. Funeral urns for ashes might be used to hold a funeral celebration, whether in private or arranged through the funeral home. Perhaps you’ve already held a funeral, and plan to have a celebration of life, and bring along the urn for mom as a memorial piece. Some families might opt to take the ashes and urn, and spread some of the ashes in memorable locations. Other families might simply choose to place the ashes and urn on the mantle in their home for it’s final resting place.
There might be a thousand other questions you have, and your local funeral home or cremation facility should be supportive and willing to address any other needs or questions your family might have.