Everyone processes and expresses grief differently, in the same way, everyone has their own preference for how to handle the cremains of their loved ones. There exist numerous approaches, each individualized to different needs and personalities, so as to facilitate the healing process. It’s important to know what options are out there, what each of them means, and what is offered.
Keeping them Close: Displaying an Urn at Home
Probably the most well-known option is that of keeping the urn containing the ashes of a loved one on display in the home. As one of the most common choices, keeping an urn of a loved one at home means they will be kept close to the family. The benefits of keeping an urn, is the ability to integrate a loved one into the very foundations and décor of the household. Ultimately, what type of urn is chosen as display in the home is up to personal taste. There’s quite a variety of urns available; from the bolder and more conspicuous, to the subtle and discreet. As, arguably, the most common and popular choice for cremains, keeping a personalized urn in the home can serve as a great method of dealing with grief and caring for the cremains of a loved one.
A Final Farewell: Scattering
“Scattering” or “casting” is the act of releasing cremains into a significant area, such as a lake, mountain, forest, etc. The location, of course, depends on the wishes of the deceased and/or family. The act of casting ashes is meant as a physical representation of release from this life, from this earth. It’s a choice that often makes sense to those who have distinct connections to nature, the outdoors, or a certain place. Certain forests, national parks, beaches, etc. have very strict rules and regulations regarding the scattering of cremains so one must be aware and plan accordingly. It’s best to research the location of choice to make sure there won’t be any conflicts when the time for casting comes. Scattering urns make the process much easier, especially for those who find it uncomfortable to touch the cremains directly.
Close to the Heart: Cremation Jewelry
Cremation jewelry creates a method of memorializing a loved one that is portable, personal, and beautiful. Cremation jewelry consists of pendants, beads, earrings; most of which have a small space within for the placement of ashes. The jewelry can be worn daily, and their elegance makes them more than suitable for special events and occasions. Jewelry allows a loved one to always be held near and dear. Another great benefit, is that it also allows for the remaining ashes to be scattered, buried or displayed.
Departure By Sea: Water Burials
For various cultures and religions around the world, the ocean is a vehicle, through which the deceased is transported from this world to the next. The ocean symbolizes departure, farewell, and eternal peace. Due to this, water burial has had a place in funeral rites dating back to ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Water burials are even possible today, albeit with a modern twist; biodegradable urns are often used as a serene and eco-friendly method of disposition for a loved one. Himalayan rock salt, paper, and sand, all make for beautiful urn options that gently dissolve when placed in water, slowly releasing a loved one into the ocean blue.
A Tad Traditional: Burials and Columbaria
Cremation doesn’t necessarily mean stepping back from traditional cemeteries. If anything, an increasing number of cemeteries are offering numerous options for the disposition of cremains. Burial, for example, is available for cremation urns. The spaces are much smaller and closer set than those of caskets, due to the smaller mass of urns. And families can even purchase plots just as they do for traditional burial. Certain cemeteries also allow the absence of a burial vault, meaning families can opt for a biodegradable urn for an eco-friendly and more natural option.
If burial isn’t desired, but the family still wants a stable place to visit and leave flowers, a niche in a columbarium is another option. Columbaria are above ground structures, much like mausoleums, that are meant to house cremation urns. People can even purchase multiple niches to have a “plot” for their loved ones.
The decision on what exactly to do with the cremains of a loved one can be difficult. But with this guide on the various options available, the decision can be made in ease and assurance for the best final resting place for a loved one.