Making the final decision about what to do with someone’s ashes should never be rushed. We encourage our families to take time to fully consider the options open to them.
The first decision to make is whether you should keep them, bury them somewhere or scatter them at a poignant location.
When faced with this question, our advice to families is to consider if they feel like they will want a place to visit and remember their loved one, much like they possibly would with a traditional grave. If the answer to this is yes, then arranging for them to be interred is probably right for them.
Churchyards and cemeteries are the first places that people think of when they are considering interring ashes but it’s not uncommon for people to keep them a little closer to home and perhaps put them in the garden or in the bottom of an outdoor plant pot. There is no right or wrong answer to this. However quirky your idea might be, please voice it as it’s very likely we’ve heard it before, and we’ll do our best to guide you.
If they are to remain in the garden, we suggest that they are placed in a non-biodegradable urn or casket to ensure that they can be easily moved should you move home or subsequently change your mind.
It’s also worth noting that ashes cannot be scattered in a churchyard (and the same with most cemeteries) and they must be interred into the ground.
If you are thinking of scattering someone’s ashes, choose a place that meant something to that person or perhaps your family. There are a few practical things to think about before you do.
We’ve all seen how they do it on the TV where someone’s ashes are gently swept by the breeze. Realistically, ashes can be quite heavy and they tend to lay where they are scattered. What this means is that you need to consider carefully about where the scattering will take place and take note of the fact that if they are scattered in a small area, it’s very likely they will remain on show for the public to see long after you’ve left. So consider an area that is quiet and try to use a larger space to spread them out.
You should always seek permission of the landowner should you wish to scatter someone’s ashes on private land.
A popular option here in Norfolk is to scatter someone’s ashes on the coast. Many of us have many happy memories from days out at one of our lovely seaside towns and we’ve known many of our families to take ashes to the coast to be scattered.
Whatever you decide, remember, we will never rush you to make a decision. Take your time, talk to your family and friends and ask us any questions you might have.
As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.