One of the most important ceremonies in a cremation funeral is the scattering of the ashes. This ritual is also an important part of the grieving process. The question remains where should you scatter the ashes of the recently deceased? As with cremation, there are many different options when it comes to scattering the ashes.
Was a Location Mentioned Before
The first consideration that must be taken into account is if the recently deceased has made it clear beforehand where they wanted their ashes to be scattered. It is always best to honor the last wishes of the person first. If there were no directions on where to scatter the ashes than the choice falls back on the family. Most commonly, people chose to scatter ashes in a location that was special to the person. A spot that held meaning in some way. I have personally been to a scattering of the ashes ceremony that was at a scenic bike trail that the decedent liked to ride on. I have heard of ceremonies being conducted near a lake that the recently deceased liked to go on dates at. Some choose to scatter the ashes off of their back patio. A farmer might choose to scatter the ashes over his field.
Returning to Nature
Another popular location to scatter the ashes is on a dock or boat into the water. The idea is that the ashes will scatter all across the oceans making them one with the planet. A common theme among people in end of life transitions is the desire to spread their ashes far and wide as a symbolic way of returning back to nature.
Wanting a Small Memorial at the Site of the Ashes?
Finding a good location to scatter the ashes becomes more important if you also plan to put up a small memorial at the location the ashes are scattered. In this case, a location on your own property is more convenient to visit and also ensures the memorial will not be tampered with.
Special Considerations When Choosing a Location
If you’re thinking about scattering on the beach, most states have rules that prohibit seaside sprinklings. The Funeral Consumer Alliance says that many states turn a blind eye to shore-side scattering into public waters, preferring to save their enforcement actions for big-time polluters. But that still doesn’t mean it is legal or healthy for the environment.
National & State Parks
When scattering ashes on land in a National or State Parks, permission from a Park Ranger is needed. The rules at national parks also require staying away from roads, paths, developed areas, and bodies of water. In some areas, scattering is prohibited to avoid contaminating future archaeological explorations.
It should be noted that if you plan on scattering the ashes on private land, you should always first consult the landowner and get permission.
Where you decide to scatter the ashes should be a place with happy and loving memories. The ceremony of scattering the ashes helps strengthen an unbreakable bond you built with the loved one and helps preserve the memory of the decedent for years to come.
Please keep Safe Passage Urns in mind when searching for a cremation urn to memorialize a loved one. With the help of the One Tree Planted organization, we are proud to roll out our green initiative to plant a tree for every cremation urn sold. Pay tribute to a loved one while also giving back to our planet today!