Three Steps To Deciding What To Do With Cremation Ashes

5 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you have a recently deceased relative who didn't specify what should be done with his or her cremation ashes, or if you're planning your own funeral, you may face a real conundrum when trying to decide between the many options available for cremation ashes. There are arguments in favor of scattering them, and other pros to keeping them in a memorial urn at home or burying them in a small plot. Compounding the matter further is the possibility of choosing multiple options: for example, you could scatter some ashes and bury the rest, scatter them in multiple places, or bury some and have others in a memorial urn on the mantlepiece.Here are three simple steps you can take to help narrow down the options in your mind and focus in more keenly on the one(s) most applicable to your situation.   

1. Spend time doing the research.

Although you may feel overwhelmed by options, getting all the info on each option can actually help you narrow down the range of ideas. For example, sending the ashes into space is technically an option, but it's a very high-budget one and when you discover how much it costs you may realize that it's not for you. Or conversely, you may come across an idea that you like more and more as you discover more details about it. You may start looking into having the ashes placed in a memorial reef and then discover that it's an option that allows you to create an underwater memorial that also builds habitat for at-risk species and helps coral to grow and flourish, leaving a legacy that will thrive for generations to come.

2. Get real with the budget.

Step one can help you eliminate any ideas that aren't really available because they're out of your price range. Next, take a look at what you can afford (whatever's left after cremation fees are paid) and work from there. Decide if it's possible to do one extravagant thing, two meaningful but inexpensive things, one of each, or some other option. Try to obtain realistic expectations as to what each option will really cost overall. For example, scattering the ashes can be free, but you'll still have traveling expenses, and if you want to scatter them on the other side of the world, that could mean prohibitive airfare and hotel costs. And there may be hidden fees in some options, such as if you're buying a memorial object to store the ashes in and have to pay extra to have it personalized with the name and date.

3. Consider symbolism and personality.

If you're choosing cremation because it's the fastest way to become one with nature, then scattering at sea or in a national park or another wild area is probably the option with the most meaningful symbolism, as opposed to having the ashes interred in a burial plot inside an urn. If you're choosing for a relative who's deceased, consider his or her personality. If he or she loved swimming but suffered from airsickness on planes, choose a body of water to scatter on rather than having them dispersed from the air. On the other hand, if your relative was a pioneer in the field of hot air balloons, having the ashes scattered from one of these would be the perfect gesture.

Use these three steps to help you select an ideal option or combination of options for cremation ashes. Whether you're planning in advance for your own funeral or trying to care for a relative who's already passed, you can come up with a solution that's both meaningful and doable. Contact local professionals, such as those from Sosebee Funeral Home, for further assistance.