How To Scatter Ashes

Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular choice over a burial due to a number of factors. It could be that the cost of burial is too high, or that people prefer the idea of being able to scatter the ashes of a loved one somewhere that meant a lot to them. Once you have decided you want to have a loved one cremated there are still a fair few things you need to consider about scattering the remains. You will need to think about the scattering urn you will take, how to fill and transport the container, where to scatter them and the weather conditions. Here we have put together a useful guide to make it a little easier.

Choosing a location to scatter

The location you choose to scatter your loved ones ashes is one of the most important decisions you will make and is something you want to give a lot of thought to before going ahead with anything. There are a variety of places you can scatter the ashes of a loved one, including somewhere they used to love to go on walks, on a private property or at a special park they used to love to visit. You could also choose to scatter your loved ones ashes at sea, you just need to be aware of laws such as you must be three nautical miles from shore. If you want to scatter ashes in a national park, this is also something you can do, however, it's important that you obtain the correct permission beforehand. Other options include scattering in a cemetery or memorial park with designated gardens for scattering ashes. 

If you can't decide on one location, it is also a growing trend to scatter ashes in multiple locations such as some at home, some at sea and some in their favourite park. Others choose to scatter some ashes then have others kept in a special burial urn or grown into a living memorial from a tree urn. The options of where to scatter ashes are endless and it is down to you to make an informed choice.

A scattering urn

The market features a whole plethora of urns, yet only a small portion are designed to actually scatter ashes. One example of an urn designed with this in mind is the Eco Scattering Urn; this is a biodegradable, all-natural urn that is made from bamboo and designed to scatter the ashes. Simple to use, it has four sizes depending on if you want to scatter all of your loved ones ashes or just a portion. It also features a unique lock that closes and opens when required, making it much easier to transport than other urns.  

If you are opting for a water burial (scattering the ashes in water such as the sea) it's worth looking at Eco Water Urns. This is a patent-pending urn that floats on the water like a buoy, gently releasing ashes into the water as it floats. It is made from bamboo which is 100% biodegradable and is easy to transport while also keeping your loved ones ashes safe.

While these are some of the most popular types of scattering urn, you can also get urns that are made from cardboard or other containers that can be found around the house. These can work, but can also present their own challenges. One such issue can be that cardboard scattering urns are only single-use and therefore you can't lock in a portion of ashes to take back home or to scatter at multiple destinations. Cardboard urns can also struggle if the weather is poor and can require glueing back together. Other home containers might not be the optimal shape and the ashes could blow back on the person scattering them.

Filling the urn 

When it comes to filling the urn, if you ask, the majority of funeral homes will do this for you. If you already have a loved one's ashes at home you can choose to fill your urn yourself. Take the Eco Scattering Urn and The Eco Water Urn, for example, they both have a unique biodegradable funnel to help get the ashes into the urn. All you need to do is remove the top of the urn, cut the bottom of the funnel to make a hole, place the funnel in the hole at the top of the urn and gently pour the ashes in. Once you are done, you can press the secure top on the Eco Water Urn or place the lid of the Eco Scattering Urn back to its "locked position" with the wood locking pin provided. You will know that the ashes are secure and safe to transport. If you opt for a medium, large or extra-large Eco Scattering Urn they don't come with a funnel but the hope is large enough to pour the ashes directly in. It can be an idea to play something underneath to recover any ashes that don't make it into the urn when you are filling it up.

Holding a scattering ceremony

Many families are opting to make an event out of the scattering where you can get together before and during in order to remember the loved one who has passed. This enables everyone to get together, enjoy each other's company and partake in the scattering of the ashes. You could include live music, food and beverages and ask a minister or other religious person to attend. 

How to scatter the ashes

There are a few different ways to scatter ashes and the choice is down to you. An Eco Water Urn needs to be gently placed in the water where it will release the ashes below the water. If you use a Scattering Urn you will need to select a long one with an opening on the top to avoid blow back. This is when ashes get on the person scattering and others who are nearby and can be a distressing and unpleasant experience for those involved. Be sure to check the wind is blowing away from you and that no-one is standing down wind of where you are going to scatter the ashes. Once you have done so, open the top, hold the scattering urn with your arm out and gently move the urn in a side to side or up and down gesture.

Consider the weather

Scattering ashes takes place outside and therefore it's vital you check the conditions of the weather before you go and scatter ashes. When it is a very windy or wet day it can make the scattering a challenge so it's important to try and plan to do this on a day when the weather is better.

If you have any questions surrounding this topic, please get in touch with one of the team today, who will be happy to help you and offer any guidance.