Skeleton in the closet? Not quite.
Choosing the final resting place for your loved one’s cremated remains can be stressful and overwhelming. When a death occurs, the subject of what will be done with the cremated remains is usually brought up. Frequently though one delays making a decision. Life is busy. Time goes by. Then more time goes by. The decision hasn’t become any easier. In fact, it has gotten more difficult.
Real estate agents, house cleaners and personal organizers have all discovered this fun fact about closets. There are an estimated 30,000 or more cremated remains in homes across North America. It’s time to “rip off the band-aid”. Not promising that it will be easy, but you may feel positive and possibly relieved when it is done.
There are many options for the finality of cremated remains. Some of the options will resonate with you, while other options may seem outlandish.
Have You Considered?
Inter in a cemetery. This is a good option if the cemetery is close by to family and they find solace in visiting that sacred space. You may have family in a cemetery currently and want to “keep everyone together”.
Scatter on water. If you don’t have multiple hip waders or own a boat, I recommend renting a boat for an afternoon. A water-soluble urn will ensure a dignified disposition. Hanging off the side of a boat, while cremated remains blowback in your face is not ideal.
Scatter abroad. Every country has different laws surrounding cremated remains. In Germany, it is illegal for a layperson to have cremated remains in their custody. Cremated remains must be carried on your flight and cannot be checked. They must be in a container that can be x-rayed accompanied by the cremation certificate. Contact your trusted local Funeral Professional well before your voyage to ensure that you have everything that you need. Sometimes the assistance of a consulate is necessary.
Scatter on land. This may be comforting and appropriate for folks who love the great outdoors. Generally, you need permission from the landowner. Confirm the laws in your Province or State.
Private memorial garden. This is so off the beaten path that it is in your own backyard. Ensure that the urn is not biodegradable. Mark the burial spot so you can retrieve them when you sell your home. Until that time, create a sacred space that you can visit whenever you want.
Eternal Reefs encapsulate cremated remains to create a faux reef that becomes a home for ecosystems. It combines a cremation urn, ash scattering, and burial at sea into a meaningful, permanent environmental tribute to life. An Eternal Reef consists of environmentally-safe cast concrete.
For years, people have had the option of putting their loved ones cremated remains in a mini urn or in pendant jewelry to keep them close, then often scattering the rest. Well, that sounds pretty mundane compared to some newer options.
More Avant-Garde Options
Do you want a portrait? How about mixing a small amount of cremated remains with the paint? Cremated remains in blown glass sound appealing? Maybe you want a glass paperweight or vase. Are you more of an earthy wood person? Canadian Artisan David Finch at Touch Wood might be just the person that you need. He makes wooden rings inlaid with cremated remains.
Do you like rocks? Parting Stone in New Mexico turns cremated remains into small white stones that look like ceramic. Not flashy enough for you? You can turn your loved one’s cremated remains into a diamond.
For the soundtrack of your life; a vinyl record that you can play on the turntable is pressed from cremated remains. Want to literally go out with a bang? The guys at Holy Smoke have you covered. They put a portion of cremated remains into ammunition for hunters, military and law enforcement. Fireworks? Check. Launch into the stars? Celestis Memorial Spaceflights literally launch cremated remains into space.
Memorial tattoos are an old concept. It started with the first Mom tattoo. Now you can have a tattoo artist inlay cremated remains with the ink. You don’t have to worry about cremated remains going missing. They will be with you for your lifetime.
The Closet Just Isn’t Cutting It
Talk about it as a family or with close friends. It is time to move out of the closet. Set a date that you want to make a decision by. Stick to your date and follow through. This will give a whole new meaning to Spring Cleaning.
Laurie launched ANORA Cremation, Burial & Events in the Lower Mainland in 2019. She has been a funeral director for 12 years and was an event coordinator prior to that. Funeral Service is her vocation and she has a fire in her belly to serve people the way they need to be served. Laurie invites all to be part of the Death Positive Conversation. Once we accept our mortality, we can live a better more fulfilling life.