Understanding Cremation: What to Know about the Ashes

Understanding Cremation: What to Know about the Ashes

Cremation is the process of reducing the body to bone fragments or ashes, eliminating the need for a casket and a burial. Cremation allows a body to be disposed of cost-effectively and ecologically friendly.

This process is generally preferred over burial by people wishing to leave a smaller ecological footprint. In addition, people choose cremation because it can be done less expensively than traditional burial or because they want to keep the remains closer, like in a scattering garden.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at a certain aspect of cremation that should be demystified—the ashes. While some people understand the process, many still have questions about the ashes.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are Cremation Ashes Made of?

Cremation ashes are composed of the same elements as any other bone or bone fragments. It’s a natural process that occurs after death. The body is composed mainly of water and the minerals calcium and phosphorus. 

When a body dies, the structures holding the calcium and phosphorus together break apart and will start to dissolve. The body’s fat is burned away during the cremation process, and the remaining bone fragments are subjected to extremely high temperatures.

While this process leads to the body’s disappearance, the bones still contain the minerals and elements that gave them their shape. This means that cremation ashes are composed of the same ingredients that make up the shape of any other bone. This is different from bodily tissue composed of cells, mucus, and connective tissues—bone is not.

When cremation ashes are in the form of bone fragments, they exist in a gray color, with a texture like chalk or pixie dust. When viewing cremation ashes, it is important to understand that they will not look exactly like the body did while it was alive. 

That is because they are not the same. A living body comprises liquids and organs and flesh, and a cremated body is not. The cremated remains do not have skin or hair, unlike any other remains.

Are Cremation Ashes Dangerous?

A common concern about cremation ashes—one that is not often discussed—is the issue of environmental contamination. The idea is that cremated remains can contaminate the environment because they are not always treated in environmentally responsible ways. 

The truth is that cremation is a very eco-friendly process. It is not necessary to burn a body in a particular container for the process to be environmentally friendly: it is simply required to follow the rules for disposing of ashes set by local and federal laws.

In some areas of the country, some areas have been set aside for cremation ash disposal. In other areas, there are specific requirements for disposing of the ashes.

How are Cremation Ashes Preserved?

Cremation ashes can be preserved in a number of ways. It is possible to use an urn to hold the ashes, which would be placed inside a cemetery or other final resting place, or the ashes can be scattered. 

It’s also possible to make cremation ashes into an urn yourself using an urn kit. This is often a more cost-effective way of the cremation ashes preservation process, as it makes cremation ashes more affordable. It is also possible to have a memorial marker made out of the ashes, which would be placed in a cemetery, or the cremation ashes can be kept somewhere in the home.


On the whole, cremation ashes are very manageable and easy to work with. There are a lot of options available for those choosing cremation to dispose of a loved one’s remains, and many of them are quite affordable. We hope we’ve removed some of the mystery surrounding cremation ashes and made the process less scary to you.

Evergreen is a funeral home and crematory. Our mission is to offer families cost savings along with the convenience of making all their arrangements in one location. Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory is available to serve your needs whether you are using Evergreen Cemetery or any other resting place of your choice. If you are looking for cremation services in Jacksonville, FL, contact us today.

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