Where burial was once the standard, many people now prefer to be cremated when they die, with 66 percent of Australians now choosing this option. There are many reasons for cremation becoming a more popular choice, for example, concerns about land use and other environmental concerns, but a gradual change in social norms is one of the main factors.
Although cremation has many benefits, one reason someone might decide to bury their loved one is so that they can have a special place to visit and remember their lost loved ones. A grave is a good place to spend time paying respects, but cremation doesn’t have to mean missing out on this benefit. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can still have a dedicated memorial for someone who has been cremated.
Create a Memorial Garden
Gardens will always be one of the most popular ways to remember someone, as the living plants provide the perfect metaphor for the person’s memory living on. You can designate an area of your own garden at home, or find somewhere you can buy a plot to use.
This is a really versatile idea because you can personalise the garden as much as you want, making it a fitting tribute to the person who has passed away. Trees are often used, due to their long lives and easy care, but if there isn’t space, plants like rose bushes also work very well.
Once you have the garden in place, you can either scatter or bury the ashes in the spot, so the deceased person will always be present when you visit the garden to remember them. You can even buy urns that contain seeds along with the ashes, so when they’re buried, a tree will spring up as the urn biodegrades.
Combine Cremation With a Traditional Burial
Opting for cremation doesn’t mean you can’t have a burial as well. Ashes can be buried inside urns or small caskets, which takes up far less space than a full grave would. This cuts down on land use, which also brings the cost down if you’re working within a strict budget.
Many cemeteries allow the burial of ashes, either alongside traditional graves or within a designated area. You might also find a cemetery that has a vault for cremation urns, which makes a nice alternative to burial and maximises the use of available land.
As an alternative to a cemetery, you might be able to get permission to bury ashes and place a small memorial on public land if you make enquiries. This is also something you can do at home if you have a suitably quiet and spacious part of the garden.
Make a Special Place at Home
Many beautiful urns are available in which ashes can be stored and urns can make a wonderful centrepiece to a small indoor memorial. With a photograph or two, and perhaps some candles and other decorations, you can easily create a space in your home where you and your family can remember the person’s life.
One of the major benefits of taking this route is that you never have to worry about losing access to the memorial if you move away from the home. The urn can always be taken with you or passed onto another family member to care for. You also get excellent peace of mind that the ashes will always be kept safe, and you won’t need to obtain any special permits.
Some people feel like a home memorial doesn’t have the same meaning as visiting a grave, however, if you choose a quieter part of the house, you can still experience the reverent feeling of a cemetery and the separateness of the special memorial place from the rest of your home.