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CACTUSWENDY
04-12-2010, 09:35 PM
Got a couple of question.

When a human body is cremated and given back to the family why does it weigh so much? (Let's use for this question a hundred pound person, small boned.)

I have held, in a box, the ashes of such a person and was amazed at the weight of the box. I thought when you burned something into ash that it really made it lighter. Like when you burn a log in the fireplace, the ash is feather-like with almost no weight.

The next question. When you see the pretty urns that contain said ashes they are no where near the size needed to hold the amount that I saw in this box of ashes. The urn would have to be pretty big to contain them.

The next question. It is my understanding that teeth do not burn. Does that mean that if I sift through an urn that I will find teeth? Do they first sift through the ashes before they give you the urn of ashes?

If you desire to scatter or someday bury the ashes of someone do you have to get a permit? In several areas in Arizona that I am aware of folks scatter ashes of loved ones. What about those that are scattered at sea?

The next question. What type of reasons besides feeling like they are keeping a loved one close to them would someone keep the ashes? I have one friend that even talks to the urn once in awhile.

Thanks for any information you can share.

Williebee
04-12-2010, 09:46 PM
From recent experience:

The Urns the funeral home offered all weighed more than the cardboard box (think gift box of the same size) that the ashes were delivered from the crematorium in. All the Urns they had had added weight, usually in the bottom. Perhaps with silver, judging from the prices they wanted.

We got a series of receptacles, large and small, from a local hobby/craft store. A couple of them looked identical to what the funeral home was offering.

I didn't see any teeth.

Ashes may have gone to Vegas, the lake, the family farm, the mantel over the fireplace and the garden.

We did not seek any permits.

DeleyanLee
04-12-2010, 09:48 PM
When a human body is cremated and given back to the family why does it weigh so much? (Let's use for this question a hundred pound person, small boned.)

I don't know, but a friend of mine weight about 180 when he was alive and his ashes weigh about 3 lbs. I'd say that's a considerable loss of mass there.


The next question. When you see the pretty urns that contain said ashes they are no where near the size needed to hold the amount that I saw in this box of ashes. The urn would have to be pretty big to contain them.

Hmmm, my friend's ashes fit in a large shoe box, with room to spare. That's not that big an urn.

There's also the fact that many people will keep some ashes and spread some ashes, so they wouldn't need the full-sized urns.


The next question. It is my understanding that teeth do not burn. Does that mean that if I sift through an urn that I will find teeth? Do they first sift through the ashes before they give you the urn of ashes?

Theoretically correct. They don't sift for teeth, bone pins, etc. It should all be there. Based on the accounts I've read of forensic people going through cremains to confirm identity, these things are usually they're only options for identification purposes.


If you desire to scatter or someday bury the ashes of someone do you have to get a permit? In several areas in Arizona that I am aware of folks scatter ashes of loved ones. What about those that are scattered at sea?

Check the local ordiances, since they vary greatly depending on if it's public or private land.


The next question. What type of reasons besides feeling like they are keeping a loved one close to them would someone keep the ashes? I have one friend that even talks to the urn once in awhile.

My friend's wife still has his ashes after 5 years because he was very specific about what kind of place he wanted his ashes scattered. She hasn't found that place yet.

She still has the ashes from two dogs that died over the winter because the ground has been too hard to bury them under their favorite spots in the yard. She's planning a little get-together for friends late in April to do that.

Like graves, having an urn/ashes give some people comfort that they're still in touch with that loved one. I think it's more common to want that than it isn't in our culture.

Fenika
04-12-2010, 09:48 PM
A possible reason to keep the ashes: You don't want the body buried or some other 'improper' treatment so you cremate and keep the ashes close, maybe spread a few in favorite locations. True story. :\

jennontheisland
04-12-2010, 09:49 PM
My dad found bits of bone (no teeth though) in the ashes of a former lover. He had them mounted into a piece of silver to make a pendant.

Ashes can be pressed into a diamond that's usually less than half a carat. I wouldn't imagine they weigh more than a few ounces, but I'm just guessing.

Williebee
04-12-2010, 09:50 PM
Ashes can be pressed into a diamond that's usually less than half a carat. I wouldn't imagine they weigh more than a few grams.

Well now that is a creepy/cool idea.

DeleyanLee
04-12-2010, 09:51 PM
Well now that is a creepy/cool idea.

My friend's is talking about doing that with both their ashes combined. I believe it costs about $10K to do. But, then, you're lucky to get a funeral for that cost. *shrug*

jclarkdawe
04-12-2010, 09:57 PM
You might want to look at Cremation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cremation)


Got a couple of question.

When a human body is cremated and given back to the family why does it weigh so much? (Let's use for this question a hundred pound person, small boned.) It's about 3% of the weight of the person. Average for women is about 4 pounds and average for men is about 6 pounds, but this varies a lot.

I have held, in a box, the ashes of such a person and was amazed at the weight of the box. I thought when you burned something into ash that it really made it lighter. Like when you burn a log in the fireplace, the ash is feather-like with almost no weight. That's because the ashes aren't really ashes. Mostly they are ground up bones. After the burning is complete, the body is then placed in a pulverizer to destroy the bones.

The next question. When you see the pretty urns that contain said ashes they are no where near the size needed to hold the amount that I saw in this box of ashes. The urn would have to be pretty big to contain them. Sometimes the body is distributed between several urns. Other times, they put in as much as possible and dispose of the rest.

The next question. It is my understanding that teeth do not burn. Does that mean that if I sift through an urn that I will find teeth? Do they first sift through the ashes before they give you the urn of ashes? Teeth, bones, some implants, and jewelry doesn't burn. After the burning is complete, some of the implants are removed, then the rest is crushed. Properly done, you shouldn't recognize any of the fragments.

If you desire to scatter or someday bury the ashes of someone do you have to get a permit? In several areas in Arizona that I am aware of folks scatter ashes of loved ones. What about those that are scattered at sea? There can be regulations, although I no longer recall them.

The next question. What type of reasons besides feeling like they are keeping a loved one close to them would someone keep the ashes? I have one friend that even talks to the urn once in awhile.

Thanks for any information you can share.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

PeterL
04-12-2010, 09:59 PM
Got a couple of question.

When a human body is cremated and given back to the family why does it weigh so much? (Let's use for this question a hundred pound person, small boned.)

I have held, in a box, the ashes of such a person and was amazed at the weight of the box. I thought when you burned something into ash that it really made it lighter. Like when you burn a log in the fireplace, the ash is feather-like with almost no weight.

The weight of the ashes is largely calcium oxide (unslaked lime) from the bones, but most of that and the other materials go into the atmosphere as gases or fly ash. If everything solid stayed in place, then it would weigh about 10% or the dry weight of the body, and humans are about 70% water. Muscle and fat would burn to a very small amount of ash, while bones would leave plenty of ash.


The next question. When you see the pretty urns that contain said ashes they are no where near the size needed to hold the amount that I saw in this box of ashes. The urn would have to be pretty big to contain them.

The amount of ashes that the funeral diretor may or may not be all of the person's ashes.


The next question. It is my understanding that teeth do not burn. Does that mean that if I sift through an urn that I will find teeth? Do they first sift through the ashes before they give you the urn of ashes?

Teeth don't burn, but the heat will reduce them to calcium oxide, just like bone. If the heat isn't high enough or long enough, then the teeth may not be turned to lime.

DeleyanLee
04-12-2010, 10:00 PM
The amount of ashes that the funeral diretor may or may not be all of the person's ashes.

And might not just be that person's ashes, FWIW. Depends on how well they cleaned it out between.

Fenika
04-12-2010, 10:02 PM
I'm also saving to have ashes or hair made into a diamond. I plan on keeping it uncut for the style and to save a little money.

PeterL
04-12-2010, 10:28 PM
And might not just be that person's ashes, FWIW. Depends on how well they cleaned it out between.

And how much may have been left after the last urn or box was filled.

CACTUSWENDY
04-13-2010, 12:09 AM
Thank you all for the info. Makes me wonder what all is in the box I lifted. lol

I never thought about having 'things' made with the ash. Interesting concept for a story. I bet the folks that do this for a living have some really neat stories to share. (I can see the advertisements now.)

Again, thank you all.

Medievalist
04-13-2010, 12:14 AM
In the case of my father, it weighed very little; it was *just ashes*. No urn.

By the way, as an FYI, you can have a small portion of a loved ones' ashes made into an artificial but quite lovely diamond. I know this freaks some people, but I rather like it. The carbon in our bodies, and our ashes, was born in the heart of a star--it seems, to me, like a continuous cycle to have a diamond as a reminder.

frimble3
04-13-2010, 12:18 AM
;The next question. What type of reasons besides feeling like they are keeping a loved one close to them would someone keep the ashes? I have one friend that even talks to the urn once in awhile.

Thanks for any information you can share.
I keep my parents ashes in their boxes at the bottom of the china cabinet. We moved a lot, so I couldn't think of any place to leave them that wouldn't feel like abandonment. I have no idea what my sister will do with them when I die, but that's up to her. (Original boxes and tins: We didn't care for the look of any of the urns, and the wooden boxes? Well, my father was a woodworker, and if I'd used one of those mass-produced boxes, the whispering sound you'd hear would be him, turning in his box :)

Haggis
04-13-2010, 12:25 AM
I never thought about having 'things' made with the ash. Interesting concept for a story. I bet the folks that do this for a living have some really neat stories to share. (I can see the advertisements now.)


You can if you click here (http://www.lifegem.com/index.aspx?BannerType=GoogleText&BannerMessage=certified_diamonds&gclid=CKiYhPv-gaECFRYhDQodyGkivw). :)

Tasmin21
04-13-2010, 12:26 AM
I cannot speak from personal experience re: scattering ashes, but I have heard that in California there are certain requirements to spreading the ashes at sea. In particular, that you must hire a boat and go several miles off shore to do so, no spreading from the beach allowed.

Again, this is hearsay, so take it for what it's worth.

PeterL
04-13-2010, 12:36 AM
Thank you all for the info. Makes me wonder what all is in the box I lifted. lol



It doesn't make any real difference, but it could be ashes from almost anything. There's no way to tell without a chemical analysis.

MaryMumsy
04-13-2010, 01:23 AM
My Mom weighed about 110 when she died. Her ashes weighed about 4 pounds. Some we have scattered on our property in the mountains, in her flower beds and garden. The rest are waiting for Dad, to be put together in a niche at the military cemetery. Some of Dad will be scattered in the mountains too. My friend had her Dad scattered at sea off the CA coast. He was a career Navy man. That was about 30 years ago and they had to go several miles offshore.

MM

CatSlave
04-13-2010, 01:41 AM
I like the idea of having a ceremony after the cremation where the participants go out to sea in a boat, some last words are said,
then the cremains are scattered as part of a fireworks display.

Like this (http://www.angels-flight.net/)