Selecting a final resting place for a loved one is a tough choice. You want them to be in a comforting location with potential significance to their life.
While families that select burial typically choose to lay a loved one to rest in a cemetery, cremation opens up the door to additional possibilities. Final resting places for cremated remains are vast, including traditional urns, garden stones, one-of-a-kind jewelry or scattering ashes. Having more options, however, doesn’t necessarily mean an easier decision.
Below, we highlight some questions to consider when selecting a final resting place for your loved one’s cremated remains.
1. Do you prefer to keep your loved one close to your heart?
Losing a loved one doesn’t mean you have to completely part with them. Cremation jewelry allows you to keep a deceased loved one close to your heart. These specially made pieces are small and portable, and a portion of cremated remains can be placed in popular forms to always keep your loved one close.
Cremation keepsake jewelry comes in a variety of styles like necklaces or rings with different personalized designs, including:
- Keepsake urn
Items can be filled with cremated remains or infused with them. Many people choose to wear or carry these remembrance pieces every day or display them in a place of significance in your home.
2. Where was your loved ones favorite place to visit?
Scattering cremains is a deeply emotional experience that helps friends and family members connect with the deceased even after they’ve passed. It also happens to be one of the most popular ways you can memorialize your loved one following cremation.
To ensure activities align with your loved one’s hopes and desires, have a discussion about final wishes ahead of time. Some common locations for scattering include:
- Private property.
- Controlled public lands.
- Golf courses.
- Hiking trails and parks.
- Helicopter or small plane.
- A body of water.
Depending on the chosen scattering location, a permit or permission may be required.
>>>Related Resource: Read Busch’s Definitive Guide to Cremation
3. Do you wish to preserve your loved one’s memory in your home?
Cremation offers versatility in memorializing the deceased. While some families find comfort in preserving their loved one’s cremains at home, others do not.
Those who prefer to keep the ashes (or a portion after scattering) can buy an urn to display on a mantle or shelf as a special remembrance. This provides a sense of permanence knowing memories of your loved one live on in your home.
Keepsake and decorative urns come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes to accommodate different amounts of cremains to fit your needs. In the event that you move, urns are easy to transport.
4. Do you want to remember your loved one in an environmentally friendly way?
A unique way to carry on the life and legacy of your loved one is to transform their cremated remains into a living memorial.
Cremated remains combined with the organic nutrients built into biodegradable planting urns can fuel a seedling or sapling into life—all without harming the environment.
Planting a tree, bush or flower in a meaningful location, such as a garden or park, can be a special way to remember your loved one. When a plant or tree is properly nourished with cremated remains, new life blossoms, enabling friends and family members to see and feel the deceased’s presence. This creates a permanent place for remembrance.
Additionally, you may opt to continue your loved one’s legacy and protect the marine environment with an eternal reef. An eternal reef is an environmentally safe cast concrete that uses a loved one’s cremated remains, and then is placed into an ocean location to create new marine habitats.
There are several options for memorialization following cremation. When deciding what to do with cremated remains, it's important to ask yourself these questions when choosing a final resting place for your loved one.
Learn Everything You Need to Know About Cremation
Before selecting a final resting place for your loved one, you’ll also want to understand the common terms, prices and trends in cremation. To learn everything you need to know before arranging a cremation, download Bush’s guide, Cremation Costs Explained: How to Get the Best Value Without Sacrificing Service. This guide will help you understand your options in cremation, and assist you as you choose a plan that fits your wishes and budget.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2016, and has been updated for 2018
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