Q: What are the ashes that are returned to the family?
A: Cremation is the process of reducing human remains to basic elements in the form of bone fragments through flame, heat, and vaporization. "Ashes" are actually the bone of the deceased that have been mechanically reduced to a powdery form. We commonly refer to these bone fragments as "cremated remains."
Along with the actual bone fragments, there will be tiny amounts of true ash from the casket or container and some refractory dust from the lining of the cremation chamber.