What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
Academy Events

Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
Community Events

Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.
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Selecting a Disposition

You can have a Funeral Memorial Service before or after the disposition of the deceased. The disposition can be public or private. The deceased can be buried or cremated. Some people choose to donate their bodies for medical dissection. We can also help when there is a transfer to another town or state. We are knowledgeable regarding the details for all types of dispositions.

Burial

Cemetery: Cemeteries can be city-owned, community-owned, church owned, private, for profit, or owned by a special group. Grave spaces in different cemeteries cost different amounts. The cost for the grave opening also varies depending on the cemetery.

Grave Tent and Equipment: When you choose disposition at a cemetery, it is important to coordinate the committal so that the tent, chairs, lowering device, burial receptacle and any other equipment that may be needed is available. We will help organize this interaction between the respective organizations involved.

Escort Service: If we negotiate traffic on the public streets, we normally suggest that you arrange for us to have a private escort service help with the procession to the place of interment.

Burial Receptacle: A vault is not required by law. However, with a burial service, cemeteries normally require a burial receptacle for the casket so that the grave will not sink. This receptacle can be a vault (sealing) or a grave liner (non-sealing). We will arrange for the vault or grave liner of your choice.

Cremation

Permission: Cremating a deceased requires written permission. Also, a cremation permit is required, signed by a County Medical Examiner, who has authority over all cremations.

Witness: Some survivors decide to attend the cremation, feeling it is much the same as being present at the cemetery for ground burial. Our crematory is conveniently located with comfortable amenities. You are welcome to be present during all or part of the cremation.

The Cremation Process: Cremation is performed to prepare the deceased for memorialization and/or disposition. It is carried out by placing the deceased into a casket or alternative container and then placing the body into a cremation chamber, where the body is subjected to intense heat and flame. Each deceased is cremated individually. After about two and a half hours, all substances are consumed or driven off except bone fragments, residue from the container the deceased was cremated in, and any metal or other non-combustible material. Following a cooling period, the cremated remains are then swept from the cremation chamber. Unless otherwise specified, the cremated remains are then mechanically processed into a powder-like form prior to placement into the designated urn.

Caskets for Cremation: When visitation and/or a service has been scheduled prior to cremation, some prefer the design and ornamentation of traditional caskets. Caskets for cremation are crafted with the same quality and care as traditional caskets, but are simpler in design, made from different materials and are typically less expensive than traditional caskets.

Urns: Many people decide to place the cremated remains into an urn. You can purchase the urn of your choice at our funeral home. There are many options for personalizing cremation urns, such as engraving the name of the deceased, a photograph, special artwork which you select, or the addition of an applique. Also, urn vaults are often chosen to protect the urn when it is buried in the ground.

Disposition of Cremated Remains: After the actual cremation, you must decide what to do with the cremated remains. Your options are burial, scattering, or keeping the cremated remains. When you choose disposition at a cemetery, it is important to coordinate the committal so that the grave opening, tent, chairs and any other equipment that may be needed is available.

Body Donation

Permission: Before the death, a deed of disposition normally must be completed by the donor and two witnesses before a body is accepted for medical dissection. Normally, after the death, permission to proceed is needed from the person responsible for the disposition of the deceased. The funeral home may or may not embalm the deceased (depending on the request of the institution). Many times the funeral home is asked to deliver the deceased to the institution.

Actual Burial: After the institution is finished with the body, it is then available for final disposition. Your options are the person can be cremated and buried in a common grave chosen by the institution, or the dissected body or cremated remains can be returned to you for a final disposition of your choosing.