In Chicago, a Crematorium holds an open house to demystify its process

Vicki Grantham of the Cremation Society of Illinois slid open a gray metal door. “This is where everything starts,” she said.

Visitors peered into a huge room chilled to 35 degrees and fitted with stacks of long metal shelves on each side.

Homewood, Ill., Mayor Richard Hofeld backed away a few steps. He supports cremation and intends at some point to be a consumer. Still, he found the sight of the cooler where bodies are kept slightly discomfiting. “We know it’s going to happen, but we don’t want to think about it.”

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