8 Unique and Meaningful Ways to Scatter Ashes

8 Unique and Meaningful Ways to Scatter Ashes


One of the differences between traditional burials and cremation is that cremation may lack a sense of finality when compared to burials. Once a loved one has been laid to rest, there is a sense of closure. So how do you say goodbye to a loved one who has been cremated?

It is a common practice to house a loved one’s remains in a tasteful urn either at home, buried at a local cemetery or natural burial ground or placed in a columbarium. However, others may want a less traditional yet still meaningful way to put their loved ones to rest.

A Unique Opportunity to Honor a Loved One

There are many creative ways to honor our loved ones with their ashes. Cremation has been a common tradition in many cultures around the world. As its popularity has increased, people have discovered unique and meaningful ways to scatter the ashes of their loved ones. Our relationships with our loved ones are unique, and what may sound odd to one family may be perfectly fitting for another. There is no right or wrong way to honor someone’s life.

Here are some unconventional ideas for scattering ashes:

1. A New Take On The 21 Gun Salute

Holy Smoke LLC in Alabama lets loved ones turn the ashes of their loved ones into ammo for rifles, pistols, and shotguns. So whether your family spent hours at the gun range or hunting together or there’s a rich history of military, police, or firefighting service in your family, Holy Smoke offers a unique way to celebrate life and let your loved one go out with a bang.

2.  A Huggable Keepsake

Helping children overcome the loss of a parent or grandparent can be especially heartbreaking. Many services offer memorial teddy bears and stuffed animals that allow a child (or anyone, for that matter) to keep a close, physical bond with their loved one that can be taken anywhere. This is also a perfect way to divide the ashes between different families and ensure each child or grandchild gets a keepsake.

3.  A Memento of Time Together

Another touching keepsake is the hourglass, which can remind you of the time you had with your loved one or that it’s the only time separating you and your loved one. Cremains can be placed in a timepiece that sits on your mantel or a bookshelf, in a sheltered area in the garden, or another meaningful area of your home. You can also take a small amount of the ashes and turn them into a smaller hourglass that you can wear on a chain around your neck.

4.   Memorial Jewelry and Pendants

If more than one family member wants to keep your loved one close, you can consider dividing the ashes into memorial jewelry. Each person can choose a piece that speaks to their memory of the deceased. These pieces can even become heirlooms passed from generation to generation. Pendants, bracelets, earrings – even diamonds made from the cremated remains – are all possibilities.

5.   Have an Interstellar Sendoff

“Memorial spaceflights” are a relatively new method of dispersing cremated remains. Companies like Celestis are able to launch the cremated remains into near space, the moon’s orbit, or even deep space. This type of memorial is perfect for a loved one who was an avid fan of science fiction, aeronautics, or simply wishes to be a part of the cosmos.

6.   Send Them Off in a Helium Balloon

Whether you choose one large balloon or a smaller one for each family member and friend, you can place the cremated remains of your loved one into a helium balloon. In addition to the cremains, you can even add a personal note or lock of hair and say a few words, silently pray, or simply watch as your loved one drifts into the heavens.

7.   Display Cremains as Art

Most artists feel a connection with their tools and materials. If this is you, you may want to consider mixing the cremains of your loved one into your paint, clay, or glass and creating a piece that speaks to the essence of who your loved one was. You can make a painting, do a charcoal sketch, make a hand-blown glass piece with a personal message carved on it or make a piece of pottery to display somewhere in your home.

If you don’t have an artistic streak, but like the idea, there are companies like Icons in Ash and artists like Federico Portalupi who will incorporate your loved one’s ashes into a work of art for you.

8.   The Circle of Life

Whether your loved one was a staunch environmentalist or someone who just appreciated nature, there are many ways to continue the circle of life. For example, some companies offer biodegradable cremation urns that will use your loved one’s ashes to nurture a tree sapling as it grows. Oak, willow, and cherry trees are just a few of the options you can choose.

Choose Something Personal

While some of these ideas may seem a bit out of the ordinary, what you choose to do with your loved one’s ashes should have meaning to you and the relationship you had together. There is no rush to make a decision. You can hold onto the remains until you’re ready to let them go until other family and friends can join you for the ceremony or until you’ve thought of a unique way to release them.


Prearrangement Can Help Ensure Your Final Wishes

If you have a specific idea in mind for what you’d like done with your own earthly remains, making prearrangements can ensure your final wishes are met.

National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us online or call (855)-469-9474 today.

Special thanks to Abby Schilling, service manager of National Cremation Minneapolis/Richfield, MN for her support and contributions to this post.