From ocean scattering sites to memorial gardens, these are some popular locations to scatter ashes and honor your loved one.
After a loved one is cremated, families can choose to bury the ashes, keep them in an urn at a columbarium, or scatter them somewhere. Scattering ashes is a very personal and meaningful tribute to a loved one. A scattering ashes ceremony offers family members and friends the opportunity to plan an honorable sendoff for their loved one. These ceremonies provide family members and friends a place beyond the traditional funeral or memorial service to honor their loved one, share stories and memories, offer their condolences, and show their support to the deceased’s surviving family.
From ocean scattering sites to beautiful memorial gardens surrounded by nature, these are some of the most popular locations to scatter ashes and honor your loved one.
1. Their Favorite Outdoor Spot
If a loved one had a favorite outdoor spot, consider scattering their ashes there. From the mountains, a running path, a river, or a park, these are all beautiful locations to scatter ashes. Their favorite outdoor spot might also be a sports stadium, such as a baseball stadium, in which you will need to request permission from the private entity. If you choose to scatter their ashes in a National Park, keep in mind that there might be some limitations you must follow to avoid any legal issues.
2. The Ocean
The ocean symbolizes the beginning of life on Earth. It remains a symbol of stability, and it’s also a favorite spot to scatter ashes. If you choose the ocean, remember to use a biodegradable urn, those similar to the ones used in green burials. Some families scatter the ashes with rose petals to be able to see the movement of the ashes as they float away over the waves. Scattering your loved one’s ashes over the ocean is a peaceful and symbolic ceremony, but it’s not ideal for those who want to be able to visit the specific place their loved one is scattered.
3. In a Memorial Garden
With the rising popularity of cremation, many cemeteries have incorporated a scattering garden for families who want a dedicated space to visit their loved ones. Memorial gardens are surrounded by nature. Many memorial gardens also offer green burials, which is why some families choose to plant a tree or flowers to honor their loved ones at their scattering of the ashes ceremony.
4. A Place They Always Wanted to Visit
Everyone has that one place they always wanted to visit, but for some reason never had the opportunity. If your loved one had one of these places, consider looking at the necessary arrangements needed to scatter their ashes there. Some families believe by doing so, their loved ones will be able to fulfill their life wishes. If you’re planning on traveling with your loved one’s ashes, make sure to speak with the proper authorities to ensure you’re following all the legal guidelines for doing so.
5. Into Space
While technically sending your loved one’s ashes into space is not scattering them, it’s still a non-traditional sendoff for someone who loved space. There are plenty of companies that make the arrangements to send your loved one’s ashes into outer space so they’ll orbit the earth for years to come. Some companies can even send your loved one’s ashes to the moon if you wish. It’s a modern ceremony, and some families find comfort in thinking their loved ones are watching from up there.
6. From Air
When a family member says they want to be scattered over the mountains, over the coastline, or on any spot not accessible by land, you can scatter their ashes by air. The United States does not consider ashes a hazardous material, which means as long as you remove the ashes from the cremation urn, you can scatter them anywhere the law allows.
7. At Home
Many family members choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes at home. You’re allowed to scatter ashes on your private property so you can plan the ceremony as you wish. Those who want to feel close to their loved ones and have a private place to visit them with ease often choose to scatter the ashes at home. But, be mindful about your future plans, if you’re looking to move out soon, consider how you’ll feel if you are no longer able to visit the spot and about the fact that your loved one’s ashes will be at someone else’s home.
8. A Meaningful Spot
Last, but not least, look back at your loved one’s life. Think of special occasions, such as a wedding, an anniversary, their college campus, or any other spot with a special meaning for them and your family. Other meaningful spots include the finish line of a marathon they finished, the place where they met their spouses, or the last vacation spot you visited as a family. If you can think of such a spot, consider scattering their ashes here. This is a meaningful way to honor a milestone in your loved one’s life.
No matter where you choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes, remember to check the legal grounds for scattering ashes in that place. Some states have different laws and regulations that determine which spots are available to scatter ashes. If you don’t wish to scatter your loved one’s ashes, you can still choose to store their cremated remains in a crypt, grave, niche