When someone passes away, we may wonder: what’s next?

This question can seem overwhelming in the wake of losing a loved one and can truly be a lot to try and handle. Be patient with yourself and know that grief isn’t experienced in one particular way. Typically, a funeral service or some kind of arrangement is determined quickly and executed within a week of the passing of a person. This represents a lot of decisions, preparations, and commitment for those making the arrangements. 

On top of dealing with the reality of losing a person whose life had an incredible impact on them, the family now has to think about a host of technical questions and aspects surrounding their loved one’s passing. The best-case scenario is one in which work was done ahead of time in preparation for the passing. In these cases, questions like funeral services, finances, and expectations have all been set in motion. 

However, that is not always the case as some people have the unfortunate experience of losing a loved one suddenly or unexpectedly. In these cases, reaching out for help and getting your questions answered directly is the best way to make a difficult process less intimidating.  

Whether you are doing the work beforehand to prepare for these moments or find yourself in the midst of them, here are three types of cremation options you should be aware of. 

What Are Your Options and What Should You Be Aware Of?

The first thing that should be covered is the process of cremation itself and understanding what exactly that means. Throughout history, every society has had a process of dealing with the remains of a loved one once they have passed on. 

This is as fundamental to the human experience as any aspect of culture. When we lose someone we have to find some kind of way of commemorating them and dealing with the fact that their body has been left behind.

So what are common ways of handling the body of someone who has passed on?


One way of doing this is burial. In this case, when a person dies their body undergoes treatments called embalming. This provides that the body does not rapidly decompose and allows for a family to choose to have an open casket and display the recently deceased at a wake or funeral service.

This actually leads to another expense which is the cost of the casket itself. These unique structures are more than just rectangular compartments for storage. They are specifically designed for the purpose of burial and can be rather expensive. 

Donation to Science

Another popular choice is the noble decision to donate their remains to science. This is a way of leaving a lasting impact and a legacy for the entire human race.  

This option does come with some sort of cost to the family and loved ones left behind, however. While a grave can still be maintained to commemorate the memory of someone who has donated their body to science, the selfless act lies in that the body will be used. 


Cremation is the most popular option. In the process of cremation, a person's remains are placed inside a specialized furnace where they are exposed to extreme heat. 

Most of the human body is composed of soft, organic tissue. In fact, 60% of the human body itself is made entirely of water! So when the remains of the diseased are exposed to heat inside a cremation furnace, the majority of their body actually evaporates and turns into gas. What’s left after this sublimation is left behind in the form of ashes. 

The ashes are mostly composed of the denser parts of the human body like the bones and are uniquely the organic remains of the deceased. 

Different Types of Cremation

When it comes to cremation there are specifically three routes that can be chosen. While the actual act of reducing the body down to ashes is the same throughout each, the processes and costs will vary between each type. 

Traditional Cremation

The first type of cremation is called traditional cremation and involves the most formalities and is the most expensive. This option allows for the family to experience all the traditional benefits of a normal burial without the body being buried but instead with the body being cremated in the end. That means that there will be all the traditional services included with a burial, the wake, and the funeral. 

In traditional cremation, the body is actually kept in its whole form through the services. This means that the costs of embalming and casket fees will apply to this cremation option. When the services are finished, rather than traditionally burying the body, the remains are cremated and the family will decide what to do with them. A popular option with this form of cremation is to actually keep the ashes at a cemetery just like in a traditional burial. 

Memorial Cremation

Memorial cremation is similar to traditional cremation and walks the line between both options. This option will still include the traditional services of a wake and funeral however the body will be directly cremated after death. 

This means that the process of embalming or attaining a casket will not be necessary and represents a more affordable path. The body is directly cremated after death and the funeral services are then planned out to the convenience of the family. 

In a memorial cremation, it is up to the family how the person’s remains are displayed for the services. Some families chose to place the ashes in an urn and keep the urn present during the services to commemorate their loved ones. Others chose to not do this and will instead only have pictures of the deceased.

The ashes ultimately will be commemorated however the family chooses. In some memorial cremation services, the ashes are placed in a graveyard, or scattered in a specific geographic location of significant sentimental importance. 

Direct Cremation

This final option is one that is the most cost-effective of the three and the one with the least amount of complexity. The body of the deceased is cremated directly after death and the ashes are then given to the family. In this option, there is no funeral service, no fees, no events, just a simple direct process of cremation. 

Typically this cost is one flat fee and then the family can decide how to commemorate and memorialize the ashes of their loved one. If someone’s last wishes were to not have a service or spend extraneous resources on their post-life services then this option would be the most effective one. 

Memorial Diamonds

One of the most unique aspects of choosing cremation is the ability to create a stunning, one-of-a-kind memorial diamond from the ashes of a loved one. This amazing process allows for a loved one to be forever memorialized in the image of a beautiful diamond that will last throughout the ages.

This process is a deeply impactful way of remembering a loved one and keeping them close to your heart. A memorial diamond is formed by taking the carbon from the ashes of your loved one and placing them in a specialized container that will grow their diamond, likely in a high pressure, high temperature machine (HPHT). 

A diamond seed is also placed in this container. This acts as a blueprint to help the carbon atoms form the correct structures to grow a diamond. Once the carbon is placed in the container, it is exposed to extreme temperatures and pressure for an extended amount of time. This actually mimics pressure near the earth’s crust, where diamonds are naturally formed.

The end result is a one-of-a-kind real diamond that can be cut to specific, custom requests. Your thoughtful, beautiful memorial diamond will last forever as a way of remembering your loved one. 


2021 Breakdown of Average Funeral Costs | Ihlic.com

The Water in You: Water and the Human Body | usgs.gov

Types of Cremation Services | cremation.com

• US cremation rate 2020 | Statista