After losing a loved one, you are faced with the difficult task of selecting the best way to memorialise them. When you are feeling emotional and experiencing grief, this can be difficult, which is why we have put together a guide to help. You want to keep their memory alive and find a special cremation urn that fits your family beliefs and traditions - or perhaps you want to start a new tradition. Getting the family together to discuss how you all feel is best to honour your loved one that has passed.
Why do people choose cremation?
There are many reasons people choose to get their loved one cremated. It tends to cost less than a burial, is more eco-friendly and can be simpler for families to sort out. Those that plan ahead of time before they pass often feel much happier knowing their family don't have as much to deal with once the time comes and they are grieving. Cremation is also widely accepted by the majority of large religions, further adding to the number of people that opt for this.
What do you do with cremation ashes?
What you do with cremation ashes depends on your intended use - there is a range of ways to memorialise your loved one once they have passed and it depends on your family's plans.
Burial of ashes is a common choice for families and it is important they select an urn that meets the requirements of either the local area or the cemetery. This is because there can be limits to the size of the urn used and the materials it is made of. The most common materials include wood, metal and ceramic, but more families are also now opting for a biodegradable tree urn such as The Living Urn and grow a tree memorial. Many will choose to do this somewhere that reminds them of their loved one such as a place they liked to visit, your back garden or a nearby park (with permission.)
In your home
Another choice for where to keep ashes is to keep an urn in your home. There are a host of styles you can choose for a home urn, with the most popular materials including wood, bamboo, metal or ceramic. You can get urns in different sizes too which is often used if families want to split ashes between them. You could also grow an indoor plant or bonsai tree from The Living Urn Indoors that makes for a beautiful "living memorial" in your home.
Another popular choice is to scatter ashes at a location that meant something to them. For this, you could select an urn such as the Eco Scattering Urn that is environmentally friendly. You can hire a service that helps you to scatter ashes and they will sort everything such as the permitting and transportation - Ecorial Ash Scattering services are ideal for this.
Memory Forests and Urns
A Memory Forest is another beautiful burial option and means you can plant a tree from the ashes of your loved one. The tree will grow as an everlasting reminder of them and provide somewhere you can go and visit, feeling closer to them. You can arrange special services at a Memory Forest such as a tree-planting ceremony.
Things to think about
Consider the size you need
Think carefully about the size of the urn you want and how the ashes will be distributed. It could be that they will be shared between multiple family members, scattered at a few different locations, or that they want to be cremated with a companion, in which case a "companion urn" will be required.
Be careful with the material you choose
When it comes to choosing the material of your urn, consider its use. If it will be at home, you don't want to risk it breaking so glass and ceramic might not be the best choice! There are many sturdier options that won’t shatter should they fall.
Think of how you want to seal them
You can keep cremation ashes for generations and they have no expiration. You can also touch ashes without harming them or yourself, so you can fill and seal the urn yourself if you wish. The way you seal them varies depending on the style; a ceramic urn for example requires a lid on top, you could have an urn that has screws that keep the lid in place, or if you want to seal it permanently, silicone epoxy is the main choice.
Selecting the urn of your loved one is a completely personal decision that only you and your family can make. As long as the memorial provides you with a beautiful way to commemorate your loved one that has passed and allows you to grieve and remember them, you have done the right thing.