How does a cremation work?
Whilst we appreciate that some may find the following information distressing, it is necessary to explain how cremations processes are undertaken.
Cremations of a dead body is carried out at very high temperatures. The cremation process can happen before or after a funeral service, depending on the decision made by the deceased or relatives.
The coffin is slid into one of the three ultramodern cremations chambers at Daelhof. The door of the chamber closes immediately and automatically. The coffin with the body ignites spontaneously due to the high temperatures, rising up to more than 1000°C. The entire cremation process approximately takes one hour and a half. Together with the coffin, a refractory stone is also placed in the oven. This stone is an identification stone, as it carries a unique number and ensures that the remains of the body can be identified. After the cremation, the chamber is completely cleared. Protheses and metals are removed, the remains are then ground into ashes. The ash is transferred to a ‘standard’ ash canister or urn.
The ashes of the deceased can be scattered in the garden of the crematorium or can be placed into the columbarium. It can also be taken in an urn for scattering at a different place or be stored at home.
Witnessing a cremation
This ‘witnessing’ allows the immediate family members the opportunity to be present when their loved one is placed into the cremation chamber. But first, there is some time to say a final farewell.
As a memento of the deceased, it is possible to obtain a small, symbolic amount of the deceased’s ashes in an ash holder. The ash can then, for example, be put into jewelry. A beautiful and valuable reminder of the deceased that you can always carry with you.
A cremation can only start when there is a “permission to cremate” certificate, issued by the municipality where the person passed away.
Daelhof staff are not allowed to open a coffin.
Ash is always delivered/stored in one single urn, it cannot be split (with the exception of a ‘symbolic’ quantity).
Regular inspections of the chambers, commissioned by the Flemish government, guarantee that the cremation process is carried out according to legal environmental standards.
By means of a final will, one can express what should happen to his/her body and ashes after death. A person can also prescribe what the farewell ceremony should include and which rituals should be respected. The last will document is delivered to the administration department of the municipality and is then included in the population register. This allows the municipality to verify that the wishes of the deceased are fully respected.