Unique and Meaningful Ways to Scatter Ashes

Unique and Meaningful Ways to Scatter Ashes

There is a certain finality to burial that cremation sometimes lacks. As you watch the coffin descend, you’re able to come to terms with the fact that life is over and you must say goodbye. But when you receive your loved one’s remains, there’s still one large unanswered question – what do you do with them?

While many people choose to tastefully display the urn somewhere in their home, bury it at the local cemetery or in a natural burial ground, or place it in a columbarium, others want a less traditional yet still meaningful way to let them go.

If you choose to scatter the ashes, there’s a lot of ways to personalize the ceremony and make it meaningful. And while you could take them to your loved one’s favorite place and scatter them there, there are many other creative methods of release you can consider.

The relationships we have with our loved ones are so nuanced and deep that what may sound odd to one family will be the perfect fit for another. There’s no wrong or right way to honor someone’s life.

  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. 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.

  1. 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) 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 make sure each child or grandchild gets a keepsake.

  1. 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 the fact that it’s only time separating you and your loved one. Cremains can be placed in a timepiece that sits on your mantel or on 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.

  1. Memorial Jewelry and Pendants

If there is more than one family member who 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 own 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Display Cremains as Art

Most artists feel a connection with the tools and materials they work with. 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 Ashes to Portraits and artists like Daniel Ortega, who will incorporate your loved one’s ashes into a work of art for you.

  1. Complete 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. Some companies offer biodegradable cremation urns that will use your loved ones 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 really unique way to release them.

Prearrangement Can Ensure Your Wishes Are Followed

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.

Thousands of families have trusted National Cremation Society with their final needs. Ease the pain and confusion for your family after you passing by prearranging your final plans with us. If you have an immediate need, please call (855) 469-9474 or click the link.


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

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