Cremation Questions

At Bliley’s, cremation is something we specialize in. It is a process performed in the most respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.

Whether you have a loved one who has just passed or you’re making funeral arrangements in advance, cremation offers many options, with or without a visitation, funeral or memorial ceremony.

The chart includes the questions to ask any cremation service you are considering. The goal is to ensure you understand in full the services offered and prices involved with each provider.

Download Cremation Questionnaire (PDF)

Questions to AskBliley’sCremation SocietyOther Mortuary
When my loved one dies, is there someone who can help me (even in the middle of the night)? Most funeral homes have an answering service to take your call and will contact you later to discuss your needs. Our professional staff is on-site and available 24 hours a day to respond to all your needs and questions.    
Where is your crematory? Some are on-site, but many firms may transport your loved one’s body to a central or contract crematory that serves many different cremation providers. We perform all cremations at our on-site Cremation Center at our Chippenham location. Our Cremation Center is reserved for only the families we serve and is Richmond’s premier facility for cremation.    
When are a deceased’s remains cremated? A death certificate must be signed by an attending physician and, in Virginia, the medical examiner is required to view the remains before a cremation certificate can be issued. Only when all paperwork is complete can the cremation be scheduled. Since our Cremation Center is on-site, we can usually schedule the cremation immediately upon completion of the legal paperwork. We work to accommodate virtually any schedule you may have for a memorial ceremony, burial, scattering or shipment of your loved one’s cremated remains.    
May I attend the actual cremation? Some facilities offer a witnessing service in a separate room, but the cremation occurs in a back area, usually a warehouse type of environment where their crematory is located. Our Cremation Center is truly open and designed for your needs. The space was created for families to come in, attend the cremation and be a part of the process. All cremations are done by appointment to ensure you the opportunity to witness the cremation if desired.    
Why do families ask to witness a cremation? For some, it is a part of their diverse religious culture. For others, it’s a spiritual moment of the final “goodbye” or an opportunity to pray and reflect. And with some families it’s simply for assurance and peace of mind. We own and operate our own Cremation Center to be herefor you throughout the process. Whatever your reason, your family is welcome to witness the cremation process by making an appointment.    
What are cremation societies? Cremation societies differ from funeral homes with a crematory in that they are not full service. They are primarily set up to process bodies and cremations in quantity at minimum cost. They incorporate membership fees for lower prices and respond to your needs like a 9–5 business. We are not a society and have no membership requirements or fees, and we serve everyone. We customize all our services to your preference and are here 24 hours a day to respond to your needs.    
Why are there significant price differences in cremation services? There are vast differences in the levels of professional services and care provided by funeral homes, crematories and cremation societies. We offer the highest level of professional services and care to each family we serve. We are not a disposition service; we are here to provide 24/7 care to your family and the flexibility of working around your schedule and needs as well as providing you the care and support you need at a time of loss.    
Do you verify the deceased’s identity before cremation? Some will just accept the identification on the paperwork and assign a numbered indestructible metal tag, which stays with the body through the cremation process. Our quality assurance plan ensures that every identity is confirmed through a visual identification of the deceased by a family member or designate. We place a metal identification bracelet on each person the moment they come into our care, and that stays with them through the cremation process. We take identification and its importance very seriously.    
Why do I need to come in and identify my loved one before cremation? Virginia law requires that the next-of-kin or designated representative identify their loved one before cremation. The funeral home or cremation society will tell you when you can do this. Often, the deceased may be wrapped in a sheet or body bag and viewed through a window to confirm the person’s identity. We pride ourselves on the personal care, attention and respect we give to every loved one who comes into our care. Our practice is to bathe, clean and dress every body before the identification. The identification occurs in a private room to allow you and your family the chance to say goodbye in a personal and intimate way. We schedule this process at a time that is convenient for you and your family.

Our helpful staff at our Central Chapel, Staples Mill and Chippenham locations will gladly answer any questions you may have about cremation. Please visit our website at or call us at 804-355-3800 for more information about funerals, burial and cremation.