What do cremation ashes look like?

cremation ashes

What do cremation ashes look like?

cremation ashesWhen families come into pick up the cremation ashes (formally called cremation remains), they ask what the ashes look like. This is a perfectly acceptable and understandable question, especially for those who plan on doing a scattering ceremony.

To the untrained eye, the gray powder you see in the photo looks like fireplace ashes. First of all, “ashes” is a misleading way to describe cremation remains. The material is not soft and fluffy like wood ashes. It’s a grainier substance that is more like coarse sand. That’s because it’s crushed bones, along with small amounts of salts and other minerals. They range in color from a pasty white to a deep gray.

What happens to the rest of the body?

As you may remember from school science classes, our bodies are mostly water. Inside the retort (cremation chamber), temperatures are between 1400 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, so all the water is vaporized, along with tissues, organs, cartilage, etc. Those gases are safely taken away through the furnace exhaust system.

And the bones?

When the cremation process is complete, the bone fragments are allowed to cool, then carefully removed and crushed to a more consistent size of particles. The cremation ashes of an adult will usually weigh between four and six pounds. Since nearly everything other than the bones is vaporized, the height of the deceased (length of the skeleton) is more of a factor in the amount of remains than the person’s weight.

There are no stupid questions when it comes to the cremation process. Knowledge is power and aCremation wants you to be empowered with as much information as you need to be comfortable with our service. Our professional team members are always ready to answer your questions in the most respectful way possible. Contact us at 877-353-3626. We are staff with aCremation employees around the clock to answer questions and assist you with making arrangements.

About aCremation

aCremation is a licensed funeral establishment specializing in direct cremation throughout North, Central and South Texas. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Our team of dedicated, compassionate professionals are available around-the-clock to assist with making cremation arrangements and to answer any questions. aCremation currently serves Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Tyler and Waco. We invite you to call us, toll-free at 877-353-3626.

Mary Beth Barnett

Mary Beth Barnett is a licensed Funeral Director in Texas. Her involvement with aCremation began before our doors opened – researching how we could provide affordable cremations and still keep quality and service standards high. Through this process, she developed a passion for working with families who are going through one of the most stressful phases of life – planning for death.

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