Columnists

Witnessing Cremation

Issue 41.13

Fifty-two years ago, I had the opportunity to witness an open cremation on a Native American Indian reservation in southern Arizona.  Open cremation was the tribal custom, and, to say the least, it was an interesting experience.  At that time, I never would have imagined that I would later become an owner of a funeral home and cremation center.

We designed the Cremation Center of Southern Utah exclusively for families choosing cremation.  We have discovered that many people are interested in understanding how our business operates, while others wish to witness a cremation to ensure that the cremains they receive are indeed the remains of their loved one.  For some, witnessing a cremation is a form of closure, much the same as witnessing a burial.  Whatever the reason, we believe in allowing individuals the opportunity to witness the cremation of a family member. 

Witnessing a cremation does not mean that you watch the actual process itself.  Instead, a witness first views the body being placed in the cremation chamber.  After a period of approximately three hours, the remains are recovered from the chamber.  After a cooling period, the remains are processed and placed in an urn. 

Our facility offers a special “witness room” with a large window that looks into our cremation area.  This area houses our state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly crematory, otherwise known as a retort.  Those wishing to witness a cremation have the option of viewing the body enter the retort, and then waiting in our witness room or in another comfortable area of our building during the three-hour process.  This witness room is unique to our facility, as other funeral homes may be hesitant to allow the public to view their retort or family members to witness a cremation.  Our open-door policy is just one of many factors that set us apart.  Being allowed to tour and inspect our facility, view the equipment, and become familiar with our record keeping system and operating protocols can be very comforting and helpful to those considering cremation for themselves or for their loved ones.

At the Cremation Center of Southern Utah, we invite anyone interested in learning more about cremation to stop by and personally tour and inspect our facility.  We offer a free planning guide and are located just off Riverside Dr. at 1316 S. 400 E., St. George, UT, or call (435) 986-9100, www.CremationCenterSU.com.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>