What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing human remains to basic elements in the form of ashes and particles of bones through flame, heat and vaporization.  Some choose this process as an economical alternative to the burial of an intact body in a casket.

Cremated remains, or cremains, are returned to the next of kin in a container or an urn with an official affidavit of cremation prepared by American Cremations, Inc.

Final Disposition
The final disposition depends on the personal wishes of the deceased, or in the case where no arrangements were made, the decision may fall on the family.  There are a variety of personal options and services to choose from:

bullet Kept at home.  Cremains can be kept in a decorative urn in the family's home, or perhaps a portion can be retained in a keepsake pendant.  American Cremations may send cremains via U.S. Postal service to the home of a relative for their convenience.

bullet Buried.  Cremains can be buried in the ground at any location or buried as traditional burials in family plots or private property. Most cemeteries will grant permission of cremains to be buried in occupied plots that have already been purchased or are in use.  A funeral ceremony or memorial service can still take place with/without the deceased or cremains.

bullet Stored.  Some prefer to have cremains enclosed in memorial sites or cemeteries or stored in a niche in a columbarium.  American Cremations offers a variety of cremation urns available for your selection.

bullet Scattered.  A popular option here in south Florida  is to have cremains scattered at sea. American Cremations offers an unattended scattering at sea option. Others choose to sprinkle on a special field, garden or mountain.  They can also be scattered in national parks in the United States with a special permit.  (Ask the direct disposer about any legal restrictions.)

bullet Other options.  It has been reported that some families choose to disperse cremains in a variety of unusual ways and locations.  For example via helium balloon, through fireworks or scattered from an airplane.  Some choose to send lipstick sized tubes into space, or incorporate cremains into part of an artificial reef, jewlery, or even mixed into paint and made into a portrait of their loved one.

Should You Go First
 by A.K. Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain,
to walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
with happy days we've known.
In Spring I'll wait for roses red,
when fades the lilacs blue,
In early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain,
for battles to be fought,
each thing you've touched along the way
will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope,
the memory of your helping hand
will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain,
to finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
to make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
we've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
that death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
one thing I'd have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
for soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take
that I may walk the same,
for some day down that lonely road
you'll hear me call your name.