Last week I was lucky enough to get shown around Burnley Crematorium – around all of it. I say lucky, and I understand some people might not like the thought of this, but lucky because I got to see exactly what happens when those curtains close and people have said their final goodbye.
And what I found was very comforting indeed. Each body passes through the process individually, so the ashes received by the family or friends are their loved one. The system follows a strict protocol and systems to ensure this happens. Additionally, if people place items in or on top of the coffin they are placed with the body for the whole process. Many families like to place a hat on top of the coffin, or a football scarf maybe, and unless it’s metal, this small token remains with the body. Finally, the staff are so respectful to what they do and what families entrust in them. This is a job that they do day in, day out, and its long days and very busy, but each member of staff cares so much about the dignity of the people in their care.
Taking the tour has given me the confidence to tell families and friends exactly what happens, if they wish to know. For some people this may bring great comfort and I hope it helps when they are given the ashes of their loved one’s.