July 19, 2013
In some cases, families can request to be present and witness the cremation. What is viewed is generally the casket or cremation container being placed inside the crematory and the door closed and process started. The actual cremation inside is not viewed.
Some funeral homes have created viewing areas specifically for this with a room for families to gather and witness the cremation. It is generally a room with a window to view the process. If this is important, ask the funeral home or cremation service you are speaking with about witnessing the cremation and ask to visit their facilities.
Some funeral homes do not own their own crematory and use a third party service to perform the cremations. This means the cremation takes place at a location other than the funeral home. Witnessing the cremation is usually not allowed in these instances. The crematory operator generally does cremations for many local funeral homes and their facilities are just not set up to serve families.
In some religions and cultures the cremation process is attended as a part of the funeral itself. In some religions, for example, the cremation process must be started by the first born son.
Be sure to let your funeral director or cremation provider know your desire to witness the cremation for personal or religious reasons.