In the United States, there are four basic forms of disposition.
- Interment or Earth Burial
Interment or burial is the act of placing the bodily remains in the ground.
Entombment is the placing of bodily remains into a crypt in a mausoleum.
Crypt is a chamber in a mausoleum generally used to contain the casketed remains of the deceased.
Mausoleum is a building containing crypts or vaults to entomb casketed or inurned remains.
Tomb is the general term designating those places suitable for the reception of the remains of the deceased.
Cremation is the process by which a body is exposed to extreme heat, usually 1800 - 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more. Through this process the body is reduced to its basic elements, which are referred to as the "cremated body" or "cremated remains". Cremation occurs at a crematorium in a special kind of furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. It may surprise many to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes. They are, in fact, bone fragments. These fragments are further reduced in size through a mechanical process. After preparation, these elements are placed in a temporary container that is suitable for transport. The Welsheimer Crematory is the only crematory in the area located in a funeral home and operated by funeral directors.
Donation is where total remains can be offered to a medical school or other type of related institution for the purpose of medical research as allowed by law. Usually, donated bodies are creamated, and the ashes may be returned to the family.