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Crematorium Technician here

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:11:53

I see lots of threads about cremations and Crematoria. I'm currently a crem tech so please ask me questions and I will endeavor to answer them.

MsJudgemental Fri 01-Jun-18 18:51:02

We asked to watch the cremation of my father straight after his funeral and it really helped.

Roomba Fri 01-Jun-18 18:52:50

Is it true that if I people are late to a cremation, you can put the deceased on a low-light until everyone arrives?

I don't understand this question - I think someone's been pulling our leg! the actual cremation itself is done after the service of remembrance. They don't load people in then relatives turn up at an appointed time to stand round and view the process, so how is it possible to be late for a cremation? If you were late for the service of remembrance, I imagine it would just begin without you as there are strict time slots for use of the rooms.

Mimsy123 Fri 01-Jun-18 18:55:56


It’s a very old joke, don’t worry about it. Just an attempt at a little light relief.

MBDBBB Fri 01-Jun-18 18:56:27

This thread is FASCINATING.

I am a Wills and Probate Solicitor-I’ve dealt with peoples estates who have had no family and have left specific instructions for the lowest cost funeral with no service and nothing to be done with the ashes. As the solicitor and only person to do it I have arranged such funerals-the FDs have always been extraordinarily helpful. The ashes have been scattered at the memorial garden at the funeral home.

It’s worth noting that funeral wishes in a Will are not legally binding - they are often incredibly helpful as often families have not discussed such things and they can really help at a time when emotions are running high. I would say though that if you have very specific and strong views that there is a danger your family will not follow, you should think about planning a prepaid funeral.

Sorry slightly off topic but I noticed a few people mentioning funeral instructions in Wills...! smile

CatherineCawood Fri 01-Jun-18 18:57:18

ILoveKermit I always say Cheerio and wish them well when charging a cremator - that is so lovely such a nice thing to hear has brought tears to my eyes.

fcekinghell Fri 01-Jun-18 19:00:01

Kermit, what happens if the person has a cochlear implant? Not sure if that is removed?

Also in the case of funeral plans, my parents have one but I wouldn't have the first clue how to find out about them if they were to die, so how do I ensure their wishes are met if I don't even know where to look or who to ask?

MBDBBB Fri 01-Jun-18 19:02:17

@fcekinghell you should probably ask them who it’s with.

FirstTimeMum07 Fri 01-Jun-18 19:04:32

I used to volunteer for a childrens hospice and we were sent on a tour of a crematorium and saw all the behind the scenes stuff that happens after the curtains shut, it's very interesting and changed my mind from being buried to being cremated

PerfectlyDone Fri 01-Jun-18 19:10:38

What a fantastic thread! smile

Thank you, kermit, for starting it and for the job you do thanks

I'm a GP and fill in death certificates that now include the creation questions including whether there are any hazardous substances in the body.
The main risks to crematoria is anything that can explode, so usually anything with a batter: pace makers and ICDs (implantable cardioversion devices i.e. mini defibrillators that get implanted in a v similar way to pace makers).
I am now aware of any metal work (joint replacements, surgical wire and nails, shrapnel etc) being a problem and have never been asked about breast implants (surely even silicone ones will just burn off? I don't actually know).

Also, infectious diseases that could be a risk to the under takers or anybody else handling the body need to be declares.

As an aside, IME undertakers are as a rule lovely people who have nothing but respect for the people in their care (their expression, not mine) and their relatives.
I think it takes a rather special person to deal with death day in and day out - either that, or it is the job that makes people not sweat the small stuff smile

katseyes7 Fri 01-Jun-18 19:11:32

This is very interesting! l have 2 plates and 9 screws in one ankle, and an artificial hip on the same leg. l hope they get recycled after l've gone!

DucksOnThePond Fri 01-Jun-18 19:11:36

Is it true that your head explodes?

TSSDNCOP Fri 01-Jun-18 19:15:10

Irrespective of the type of funeral you chose at the crematorium is it the case that formally the person’s body cannot be cremated until it’s been committed?

MrsSarahSiddons Fri 01-Jun-18 19:16:36

Thank you for this informative and lovely thread. My grandfather was cremated in 1970 at the same burial ground where his wife was buried 14 years previously. I have no idea what happened to his ashes. Is there any way of finding out? I do have the invoice from the funeral director and it doesn't mention anything about what was done with the ashes.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:16:51

@Catrina1234 yes you can use a cardboard coffin...perfectly legal but personally I don't like them

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:18:06

@DesignStatement if that was the persons wish then so be it. I have no opinion on jewelry being wore then cremated with the person.

Mrsmorton Fri 01-Jun-18 19:18:49

@DucksOnThePond pretty crass question there. By what mechanism do you imagine any body part (not containing a battery) would explode? I'll wager you've not RTFT.

Excited101 Fri 01-Jun-18 19:19:10


YearOfYouRemember Fri 01-Jun-18 19:19:45

@mikeyssister I assumed Kermit was male too.

Dh and I are going to be cremated.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:20:24

@ladymelbourne1926 yes there is a separate form for cremating body parts. They are treated like a normal cremation and ashes are either returned to family or scattered according to the families wishes.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:21:36

@Jux no one is ever removed from a coffin so you probably have a tiny percentage of willow in with your families ashes.

MoosMummy11 Fri 01-Jun-18 19:22:36

Wow! This thread has been an amazing read. You’ve helped me make my mind completely up for when my time comes. I wanted to be cremated anyway as (I know I probably sound ridiculous) I’m terrified of the dark, spiders and bugs so wouldn’t lay underground in life, so why would I once I’ve passed? You’re amazing as is this entire thread. Thank you for being open and honest & thank you for doing the job you do with such obvious love, respect & doing the ‘small’ things. I blubbed when you said you say cheerio to the people before you cremate them. I couldn’t do your job, I couldn’t bare the thought of working with dead children/babies. So thank you again, for doing such a difficult job.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:23:35

@fcekinghell I think they are removed the same as a pacemaker.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:25:07

@DucksOnThePond can confirm that the head does not explode. Not sure where you heard that from.

kermitrulesok Fri 01-Jun-18 19:26:12

@TSSDNCOP a coffin is classed as being committed when it comes into the crematory.

Redissuereader Fri 01-Jun-18 19:26:29

I’m only up to page 2 but I would to thank you ILoveKermit as this thread has been comforting

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