Des Moines Cremation  

Questions About the Cremation Process

What is cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone particles and ash through the application of direct flame and intense heat.

Can I have a service with cremation? 

For those desiring cremation, you actually have more options and flexibility when it comes to service offerings. A memorial service can be scheduled after the cremation has occurred. These services can take place at your church, home, park shelter, country club or hotel.

What are the legal requirements for cremation in Iowa? 

There are three basic legal requirements which must be met for a cremation to be performed in Iowa. First, a legally authorized individual must give permission for the cremation in writing. Second, our Medical Examiner must give approval for the cremation by signing a Cremation Permit after investigating the death. Third, the cremation must take place within 72 hours of the time of death without embalming. 

How long does the cremation process take? 

It depends on the size of the individual and the type of cremation container or casket. Typically, the process takes 2 to 3 hours at a normal operating temperature of 1600 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

What happens following the cremation process? 

Following the actual cremation, all bone particles and other materials are retrieved from the cremation equipment by sweeping them into a stainless steel collection pan for cooling. Once cooled, all metal materials, including metal casket parts, hip joints, & bridgework, are removed by both visual inspection and use of a strong magnet. The remaining bone particles and ash are then reduced into a small, consistent size and placed in the selected urn.

What do cremated remains look like? 

Cremated remains resemble coarse beach sand. They are typically light gray in color. The cremated remains of an average size adult would weigh between 5 to 8 pounds and usually take up 200 cubic inches in volume or less. Except for some minuscule amounts of cremated remains which cannot practically be removed from the cremation equipment, all cremated remains are placed in the selected urn.

What can be done with the cremated remains? 

Your options are many. The cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery, placed in a columbarium niche, kept at home, scattered on private property or at sea, transformed into jewelry, or launched into outer space. Our staff can assist you in exploring your many and unique options.

Can we witness the cremation? 

Yes, it is becoming common practice, and we encourage you to do so. Our cremation facility was built with a witness window so that the initiation of the cremation process could be witnessed whether for religious, peace of mind, or other reasons. Our witness window is even equipped with remote controls so that the family can start the cremation equipment if such participation is preferred for religious reasons. Additional fees apply.

 



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