What Can You Do with the Ashes of a Cremated Loved One?

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cremation is becoming an increasingly common choice in the United States. According to the Cremation Association of North America, the national average rate of cremation has grown from 3.56% in 1960 to 40.62% in 2010. The growing popularity may have to do with the lower costs associated with cremation, the reduced environmental impact, and perhaps most importantly, the flexibility it allows.

While a traditional funeral and burial must be performed within a specified timeframe, cremation allows you to hold a memorial or funeral service following the cremation process whenever it is most convenient for the family. This allows family and friends to have more time to make arrangements and allows those from out of town to make time to attend the service.

Options for the Remains of a Loved One

There are an increasing number of options available to you (some creative, some sentimental, some wacky) if you’re deciding on what to do with the ashes of a loved one. Cremation allows you to personalize how you want to keep, memorialize or scatter the remains of your loved one.

  • Urns. The most common and traditional practice is to store the ashes in a decorative urn. This can be kept in the family home. The use of urns to keep ashes goes back centuries with cremation urns found in China from 7000 BC.
     
  • Traditional burial. Some people still prefer to bury the remains traditionally underground following a funeral or memorial service. Families may wish to bury a loved one in a family plot, or bury the remains in the backyard.
     
  • Outdoor memorial niche. There are many columbarium niches where urns are kept above ground.
     
  • Scattering. You may choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes at sea, or at a favorite outdoor natural environment.
     
  • Jewelry. Remains and even locks of hair can be turned into lasting jewelry. Some companies also use ashes to create diamonds.
     
  • Growing a tree. The idea of a memorial tree, which uses the ashes of a loved one to nourish and grow a tree, is thoughtful and fitting for someone who loved nature.
     
  • A portrait. Ashes can be mixed into paint. A professional portrait of your loved one is painted as a tribute.
     
  • Up in the air. Releasing a handful of colorful ash-filled helium balloons may be a touching tribute. Or they could be made into fireworks like the family of late author and journalist, Hunter S. Thompson did. Or, if you have the money, they could be launched into space.

Nutmeg State Cremation Society is honored to serve the entire Fairfield County, CT. We welcome your questions about cremation and memorial services. Please call us at 203-348-0443, or contact us anytime.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Unique Memorials From Around The World

The commemoration of the dead is a deeply personal and cultural activity, and each nation has its unique traditions for doing so. There are various ways to pay respects to the departed, including c...

What is a Green Burial?

While many people prefer to adhere to long-established customs when arranging funeral services, others stray from tradition. Some people prefer planning their funeral in advance, while others favor...

When I Bury Or Entomb Cremated Remains, Can I Keep A Separate Small Amount?

The loss of a loved one may be a stressful and challenging experience. While dealing with their grief, family members need to plan and organize the funeral service or memorial ceremony (in crematio...

Why Are Burial Vaults Required In Cemeteries?

Many individuals that have lost a loved one opt to bury the person in a cemetery. Many people are unaware that they will need to purchase a burial vault, as observed at Nutmeg State Cremation Socie...

The Physical Symptoms of Grief and How to Handle Them

There is no single way that sorrow shows itself, and many people feel it in various ways. The plain reality is that loss and grief are incredibly complicated to understand unless one is forced to l...

Support Services Available After A Suicide

Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing somebody to suicide can be especially tough. While the shock, confusion, guilt, and grief may be challenging to plow through, there are ways to begin he...

Important Facts to Know about Green Burials

Although many people want to adhere to tradition when planning funeral rites, other families deviate from established guidelines. Some people prefer to organize their funerals in advance to ensure ...

How Can I Find Out About The Price of Funerals

Every person’s life will come to a point where they must discuss the topic of death. Nobody wants to think about it, much less discuss it with their family, but deferring critical decisions concern...

Does a Funeral Service Have to be Held in a Funeral Home or Church?

There are two different events following a person's death: viewings and funerals. The body is presented before burial, and people are invited to say their goodbyes. Guests get the opportunity to me...

Coping With The Loss Of A Stillborn Birth Or SDS Child

It's painful to lose a child, and the couple facing this could become disturbed and highly depressed. Additionally, overcoming that sadness is not simple. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and st...