The sudden and tragic death of a spouse leaves you reeling. If your spouse did not plan ahead for end-of-life expenses, it now falls to you. Even if your spouse did plan ahead, you may need to convert the prepaid expenses to a cremation instead. Here is why the cremation process is best in this kind of death, and the steps you need to take next.

The Body Is Not Something to See

A sudden and tragic death usually means "car accident." This translates into a body that is not suitable for viewing and is too horrible to see, no matter how good the mortician and the post-mortem beautician are. While you could still bury the remains in a casket, you may want to avoid the horrors of having a child relative or someone else open the casket to take a peek. Your only other option is cremation. 

Picking Out an Urn or a Box

The most basic of containers for cremains is a box. It should be a box that you can close, and which will not open if dropped or jostled. If you want something more decorative because you intend to keep your spouse's cremains on a shelf, most mortuaries sell a wide variety of decorative urns that will close tightly. If you plan to inter the ashes in a box in an ash tombstone (a large squarish tombstone in a cemetery that has several sealable openings for boxed ashes), then you will have to purchase a box instead of an urn.

Having a Service over the Ashes

If you do not want to keep the ashes, but you still want a funeral service, you can either follow through with your spouse's funeral service preference, or ask for a different service. Be sure to inform the funeral home what your intentions are. Making any changes or conversions to a prepaid funeral may result in extra charges or a refund of the money paid prior to your spouse's untimely demise.

Choosing to Keep, Scatter, or Inter the Ashes

Next, you will have to choose how to send your spouse's cremains to their final resting place. You can keep the ashes indefinitely in an urn on a shelf or mantle. You can scatter the ashes where your spouse would have loved to be. You can inter the ashes in an ash tombstone, as previously mentioned. Those are the traditional means most commonly offered by funeral parlors. Less-traditional options include turning your spouse into diamonds or shooting your spouse into space, but most funeral parlors and funeral homes do not offer these options.

Contact a company like West University Cremation Services, LLC to learn more about cremation services.