How to Decide Where to Scatter Your Loved One’s Ashes

Deciding where to scatter your loved one’s ashes after cremation is a very personal decision, and the process will look different for everyone.

Some families might have a definite idea of where their loved one’s ashes should be scattered, some might have received direction from their relative before they passed and others might have no idea what to do with the ashes.

The following pointers will help you consider your options, without making you feel rushed or overwhelmed.

Make a List of Significant Places

When you’re feeling uninspired, it can help to grab a piece of paper and make a list of places that were significant in your loved one’s life, such as places they lived, places they’d visited, favourite nature spots or even locations where they worked. Looking through old photo albums can also be a great source of ideas.

Consult the Entire Family

Scattering the ashes of your loved one might bring up a lot of emotions, so it’s important to be sensitive to every member of the family. Hold a family discussion to decide how the ashes should be scattered, and be respectful of everyone’s opinion.

Even if you don’t get on well with certain family members, you should keep things civil and friendly. In most cases, however, you can easily come to a joint decision.

Consider Multiple Locations

If you’re struggling to make a decision or different family members have different ideas about where the ashes should be scattered, you might want to consider multiple locations. You could split the ashes into several different containers and allow each family member to scatter theirs as they wish.

Alternatively, you could make a list of several significant locations and visit them all together to scatter different containers, which is a lovely option if your relative had multiple places which were important to them — for example, if they lived in several different countries or had family all around the world.

Avoid Private Property or Get Permission

It’s not always legal to scatter ashes, so it’s important to check local regulations beforehand. If you want to scatter your loved one’s ashes on private property, you’ll need permission from the owner first. If you’ve chosen a natural location, like a forest, beach, or river, you’ll need to get permission from the authority that manages the area.

You need to make sure that scattering ashes won’t contravene the Protection of the Environment Operations Act of 1997 by causing either air or water pollution. Don’t let this regulation put you off, however. Most landowners will be understanding, sympathetic and sensitive when it comes to dealing with your request.

Don’t Feel Rushed into Scattering

Letting go of your loved one’s remains might be harder than expected, even if you’d always planned to scatter their ashes. There’s no obligation to scatter the ashes the moment you get them, and some families prefer to keep a decorative urn around for a while, giving them time to fully process the loss.

You might decide to scatter the ashes a few weeks’ after your loved one passes, or even a few years. Don’t feel rushed into making a decision, as it is a deeply personal process that others may not fully understand.

Even when you’re certain that you want to scatter your loved one’s ashes rather than hold onto them, settling on the right location can be difficult. Navigate this sensitive process by carefully considering your options, consulting your entire family, being aware of laws and regulations and giving yourself time to make the decision.

Looking to arrange a cremation? Contact us at Cremations Only for help today.