You have to make a lot of decisions after a loved one passes, and choosing whether a cremation service is right for your loved one is one of them. If you’re new to the topic, a lot of questions can arise. Whether your loved one chose cremation or didn’t specify, it’s important you understand the basics so you can be confident in your decision.

Cremation FAQ

What is cremation?

Cremation is a popular alternative to traditional burials. It is the process of converting the remains of a person to ash. The body is treated in a crematory at high temperatures until it turns to cremains. These are then given to the family to do as they wish.

How are the ashes handled?

cremation-services-shirley-brothers-and-mortuaries-and-crematoryThere are many ways to handle your loved one’s ashes. Many families store them in an urn, which is a decorative container, and display them in their home. Ashes can also be placed in a casket and buried in a cemetery. More creative options include having the ashes pressed into jewelry, used to plant a tree, or added to a coral reef if possible. Another popular option is to scatter ashes.

Can I scatter ashes anywhere?

Every state allows families to scatter ashes. You may need to acquire permits or stick to specific areas, however. For example, you have to be a certain distance from the coast to scatter ashes in the sea or a body of water. You’ll also have to use eco-friendly urns or containers. If you aren’t sure, many funeral homes and cemeteries have cremation gardens.

Can I still have a memorial service?

If you choose cremation services, funerals and memorials are still possible. You can schedule cremation after the funeral, or you can choose to display the urn at the funeral service. You can also hold a burial ceremony if the ashes are buried in a coffin. A funeral director can help you organize an option that fulfills all your goals.


The staff at Shirley Brothers Mortuaries & Crematory know how difficult losing a loved one is, which is why they’ve assisted families in the Indianapolis, IN, area for over a century. They provide comprehensive services, including burial and cremation services and funeral planning. They also provide grief and healing counseling 24/7 and take every measure to ensure families have all the resources they need. Call (317) 897-9606 to schedule a consultation and visit their website to learn more. You can connect on Facebook for news and updates.