Arranging for cremation

We encourage you to plan ahead, to make a free, no-obligation appointment with us to create a care plan for when you or your loved-one passes.

As cremation is considered “final” (as in there are no physical remains other than the “ashes” ) we will need immediate next-of- kin to sign that they give their assent.

When your loved-one has passed, The Natural Funeral staff will file the paperwork to register the death with the state of Colorado and obtain the necessary permit for cremation. The cremated remains will be returned to you in a bio-degradable urn, along with however many certified copies of death certificates you requested in order to notify various agencies that death has occurred.

When you choose cremation, we want to emphasize that The Natural Funeral staff can facilitate Reverent Body Preparation(RBP), a vigil or other personalized, meaningful ritual with your loved-one at death. We want to make sure you know that you can take the time you need to acknowledge this passing in your own unique way. We are your guides and resources for whatever you need.

1. What is the cremation process?

The body of the deceased person is placed in a sturdy, combustible container of cardboard along with the metal identification tag that is placed with your loved-one’s body when they come into our care.

The deceased is then placed in the cremation chamber, which is heated to between 1400 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The body is reduced to its basic elements, which, along with bone fragments, are what remain at the end of the approximately 3-hour cremation process. These cremated remains, commonly referred to as “ashes” are ground into a fine, sand-like substance and placed in a simple, biodegradable paper urn.

You can rest assured that all our cremations are individual cremations, carried out with the utmost care and attention.

2. What is the environmental impact of cremation?

Cremation causes the release of greenhouse gases through the use of natural gas (a non-renewable fossil fuel) in the cremation process. It may also result in the release of mercury into the atmosphere (from dental amalgam fillings), dioxins, and other harmful products.

Cremation is less environmentally impactful than conventional burial (with chemical embalming, a concrete, plastic or fiberglass vault, a non-renewable material casket, in a conventionally landscaped cemetery), however it is not as green as natural burial.

3. What items may not be cremated?

Families should remove all jewelry before cremation.

Pacemakers must be removed before cremation as the batteries in them can explode and damage the crematory equipment. Please let us know if your loved-one has a pacemaker.

4. What happens to medical devices, metal and other implants etc?

Titanium hip replacements and other implants will remain intact during cremation and are recycled. It is not possible to retrieve gold dental crowns as these will melt during the cremation process.

5. How will I receive the “ashes”?

The Natural Funeral will return the cremated remains to you in a simple biodegradable container along with the metal identification tag that accompanied their remains during the cremation process. You will also receive a letter identifying the cremains. You are, of course, at liberty to place the “ashes” in a different container of your choosing. The Natural Funeral has a range of beautiful, locally made urns available.

6. Where can I scatter or bury the “ashes”?

Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding the scattering and burying of cremated remains. In Colorado, you can scatter or bury on your own private land, or on someone else’s, with permission from the landowner. Officially, you should seek permission to scatter or bury on federal land. However, as with local and state land, it is unlikely you will meet with opposition if you are discrete and away from main thoroughfares and waterways. Some national parks have applications for conducting the scattering of ashes. Here is a link to information about Rocky Mountain National Park and scattering.

7. What is the impact of placing cremains in the earth to grow plants and seeds?

It is a popular notion to place cremated remains with plants and seeds. But due to the extremely high pH levels in ashes, cremains prevent the natural release of nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth. The high sodium content in the “ashes” also makes them harmful to plant life. It is possible to purchase certain amendment products to render the ashes suitable for burial with plant material.

8. Can I witness the cremation?

Please let us know if you would like to witness the cremation. It is possible to attend the placing of the body into the cremation chamber and conduct a brief ceremony. The crematory will inform us when the cremation process is complete, and we will bring the ashes to you, usually on the following day.

Turquoise Tears Wood UrnsWood Urns Painted with Natural PigmentsGourd Urns
The wood is local pine. The natural wood is accented with color contrasting small turquoise stones and various shiny shell fragments. These urns are fully compostable. Each urn is custom made and unique. Please inquire which ones we have in stock.These urns are hand painted by a local artist using natural nontoxic paints. The wood is local blue-stained pine (from the mountain pine beetle epidemic).These urns are custom crafted out of gourds. The artist works with the family to create a unique and meaningful work to serve as an artistic reminder of your loved one.
$400$400$200 - $300,
or free if for a child
About the Artist
About the Artist
About the Artist
Ceramic UrnsThe Living UrnJourney Earth Urn
Years ago, I began using the seed pod and other botanical imagery in my work as metaphors for life changes. I continue to use the pod structure as a symbol of women and specifically of motherhood. The seed pod is nature’s own sculpture, beautiful as it forms, swells, opens and even as it disintegrates. I revere the strength, beauty and practicality of this form in all of its stages and continue to include its essence in my sculpture and in drawings.With The Living Urn®, Life Continues... The patent pending Living Urn® is America's first and leading Bio Urn & Planting System designed to grow a beautiful, enduring memory tree, plant, or flowers with cremated remains! Honor a loved one when they pass on and celebrate and commemorate all they’ve given us - the joy, the companionship, the love - and keep their memory present in our lives! Give back and grow a living memory with The Living Urn®...Journey Earthurns are hand-crafted from sustainably produced, biodegradable paper. When placed in water they float briefly then sink to the bottom, where they break down naturally over time. The urns are shipped fully assembled and are available in 12 colors and designs. Matching mini sizes are available for all designs, perfect as keepsakes or to separate cremated remains into multiple water-biodegradable containers. The Green and Natural designs are also available in a medium size.

Our Journey Earthurns are made by hand and will vary in appearance. These urns meet federal regulations requiring all containers used for burials at sea be 100% biodegradable. Check with local agencies to ensure that you are following all appropriate federal and local guidelines or regulations, such as distance from the shore.

Engraving is available on the bands of all Journey Earthurns.
$125 - $790$129 and a voucher for a bio-region appropriate tree sapling can be purchased for an additional $30$163
About the Artist