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.”