Choosing between a traditional casket burial and cremation is a personal decision, but you may be surprised to know that cremation is now the most popular choice for a majority of Americans. Regardless of why your loved one wanted to be cremated after their passing, it is really just a step in the memorialization process. At Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home, cremation offers just as many – if not more – options for friends and family to honor and celebrate their loved one’s life.
As with a traditional casket burial, you can hold a visitation to say your last goodbyes. You can even observe the cremation process if you wish. After cremation, you may have a life celebration allowing you and others to honor a life well lived. Cremation does not diminish the need for a memorial; it presents many more options for when, where, and how memorialization takes place.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the combustion and oxidation of a deceased individual into a fine ash. Cremated remains are typically buried in a cemetery (either in a plot in the ground or interred in a mausoleum or columbarium niche), kept in an urn by family members, or scattered on land or water. Other options for memorializing scattered remains include turning them into jewelry, incorporating them into an artificial underwater reef, or solidifying them into Parting Stones.
You may choose to incorporate a viewing, memorial service, or both with cremation. We also offer simple cremation that includes only collecting your loved one from the place of death, filing all paperwork, performing a cremation without witnesses, and returning the ashes to you. Simple cremation is the most basic type of cremation and costs less
Where do I begin?
If your loved one has passed away, please let us know as soon as possible by calling us at (503) 894-7611. A Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home advisor is available around the clock to assist you.
What happens next?
After your initial contact with us, we will make all the arrangements for your loved one to be promptly and respectfully taken into our care.
How long does it take?
Cremation generally occurs within one week after all documents and state approvals are received. These time frames may vary based on local coroner availability, but your Funeral Director will be in touch with you throughout the process to keep you informed.
How are the cremated remains returned?
Once cremation is complete, your loved one’s remains will be placed into the special urn you have chosen and you will be contacted to arrange pick up at one of our locations near you, or we can arrange shipping to another city or state.
How do I know I'm getting the right cremated remains?
We take special precautions to safeguard identity with a personal identification band that is placed on your loved one the moment he or she is taken into our care. Our personal identification system tracks every phase of the cremation process including name, date, time, your loved one’s personal ID number, and the name of the responsible Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home staff member.
We only employ certified cremation technicians who are responsible for reviewing all cremation paperwork, permits and IDs, and who sign their approval prior to cremation. Your loved one’s identification disc is also placed inside the cremation chamber during the cremation process for further positive ID.
Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home personal identification system and secure facility provide family members with the peace of mind that we will return your loved one’s remains safely back to you.
Can a family witness the cremation?
Yes, families may be present at the cremation. If you choose this option, we will just need to be notified in advance to plan for your visit. There is an extra charge for this service and you can find it on our general price list.
More families are considering the use of ceremonial caskets for final goodbyes before cremation. A ceremonial casket is an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to a traditional casket for a public viewing and visitation for family members and friends. This casket is made with an inner container to hold the body, with the outer container designed to look like a traditional casket.
Memorializing a loved one after cremation can take many forms from keeping the urn at home to scattering the ashes in a meaningful location to placing them in a cemetery. If you choose a permanent resting place in a cemetery, you have several options to choose from including ground burial, cremation gardens, memorial benches, glass front niches in mausoleums, and many more. Selecting a permanent memorial provides a place for family and friends to gather and remember a life well lived.
Whether your loved one chose to be cremated and buried, or wished to be scattered around the world, we offer full cremation services to help you remember, appreciate, and celebrate a beautiful life. For answers to your immediate questions, contact us today at (503) 894-7611.