Scattering Your Loved One’s Ashes: Techniques and Ideas for Spreading a Loved One’s Ashes

As the price of funerals continues to rise, the popularity of cremation has followed suit. Those who choose to forego the traditional route of viewings, burials, and repasts are taking the cost-effective option of cremation followed by simple services more often than ever. One of the most common services after remains are given from the crematorium is the scattering of ashes. While this option is certainly favorable, it comes with its own set of regulations and restrictions. Here are a few techniques and ideas for spreading the ashes of a recently departed loved one.

Scattering at sea

Highly popular in the world of scattered ashes are services done at sea. Whether the recently deceased was a boat captain, a former naval officer, or simply a lover of all things aquatic, a cremains burial at sea is a beautiful way of sending them into the hereafter. You may choose to go out to sea on a privately-owned boat, rent a boat in an exotic location, or take a sunset cruise that’s arranged specifically for your ceremony.

Whatever your choice may be, there are federal guidelines that have to be followed in order to preserve the sanctity of ocean life. The first regulation set by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), is that the ashes must be scattered a minimum of three nautical miles from shore. Your ceremony must be reported to the agency within 30 days and cannot contain any materials that are not decomposable. This particular guideline ensures that no harm will come to marine ecosystem.

National parks

For the travel lover, scattering ashes in National Parks is often the perfect way to commemorate their adventurous spirit. While each state has its own set of regulations, finding information on what is permissible can be found through the National Park’s website. Any policies, restrictions, or guidelines are clearly listed there, along with the required applications.

For example, the National Park Service generally allows cremains to be scattered at Yosemite National Park so long as the application is submitted and their guidelines are followed. These guidelines require that the ashes are not placed in a single spot within 100 yards of either running or dry bodies of water. Furthermore, ashes cannot be commemorated with signs of any kind and must be done out of view from public areas. Your loved one’s name can be placed in the on-site chapel to honor their name forever.

Private Properties

If you or a loved one owns a large piece of private property, you may choose to scatter ashes there as opposed to public spaces. Whether this land is a vast field of flowers, a pond, or simply an open patch of grass, being laid to rest in a private area is both unique and personal. If the recently deceased had a favored place near their home or place of work where they wish to be scattered, but is not owned by someone you know, it’s not entirely out of the question. So long as the owner gives written permission, any piece of privately-owned land is legal for cremains services.

Many private properties where families can scatter ashes are located at cemeteries or crematoriums. The landscape is typically designed with various shrubbery, rock formations, flowers, statues, etc., In order to create a serene final resting place specifically for scattered ashes. This option is often chosen by those who want to lay their loved ones to rest in a place they can easily go back to and visit.

Laying a loved one to rest in a place that speaks to their unique life experiences is a beautiful way to both commemorate their life and honor their death.  So long as guidelines are respected, it can be a beautiful and respectful way to say final goodbyes.