You can scatter ashes by casting them into the wind from a scattering tube. Other options include creating a colourful garden feature or scattering the ashes at the beach and letting the tide wash them away.
Scattering ashes is something you may only do once or twice in your life, so it’s worth doing a little bit of research beforehand. Here, we’ll look at a few different ways you can scatter your loved one’s ashes after a cremation, and we’ll also give you some tips to help make sure you get it right.
Scattering ashes can be a really meaningful way to say goodbye – and there are lots of different ways to do it. Here are some of the most popular options:
Start by carefully decanting the ashes into a scattering tube. It’s best to do this in advance so you don’t have to worry about it on the day.
To cast the ashes, make sure the wind is flowing away from your family and friends, then hold the tube at waist height and start scattering.
Dig a shallow hole on the beach when the tide is out, then pour the ashes into it and cover over with sand. As the tide comes in, the waves will wash over the ashes and carry them out to sea.
Scatter the ashes over some soil in your garden and use a rake to spread them evenly. You can then place a tree or flowering plant in this spot as a colourful reminder of the person you’ve lost.
Fill some small toasting glasses with the ashes and hand them out to family and friends. Each person can then share a short story or memory of your loved one before scattering their glass of ashes across the ground or into the wind.
Scatter the ashes into a circle in your garden or a local park, then ask friends and family members to step into the circle and say a few words about your loved one. You can then rake the ashes to spread them out across the earth.
If you’re planning on casting your loved one’s ashes into the wind, the first thing you’ll need is a scattering tube. These are available in a variety of styles and sizes, but they’re really just a way to give you more control when scattering the ashes.
The cost of scattering tubes can range from £15 up to around £30, depending on the size and style you choose. Or, if you’d prefer to go for something a little more natural and understated, you could find a simple tube in your local craft store for under £10.
Ashes can be scattered by anyone, as long as they have consent from the executor of the will. It’s the executor’s responsibility to make sure the person who died is laid to rest – and this should be done following their wishes if they left any.
If the person who died didn’t leave a will, it’s their next of kin’s responsibility to make sure they’re laid to rest.
If you’re scattering the ashes as part of a memorial service, you could give each guest a small amount of the ashes to scatter. This can help to make everyone feel more involved in the service, and it also gives everyone the chance to say a few words if they wish.
If you’re scattering your loved one’s ashes with other friends and family members, you may want to say a few words. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but here are a few things you may want to include:
As well saying a few words, here are some other things you may want to consider when scattering your loved one’s ashes:
Human ashes can get stuck to your skin quite easily, so it’s best to avoid touching them as much as possible. If you need to pour the ashes into a scattering tube or urn, it’s worth wearing gloves and using a spoon to scoop them out.
In theory, cremated ashes can last forever. Some funeral homes have ashes from the 19th Century that are still in their urns, and archeologists have been known to discover ashes that are thousands of years old.
If you’d prefer not to scatter your loved one’s ashes, you could keep them at home in an urn – or multiple urns for different family members.
Another option is to have the ashes placed or buried at your local cemetery, churchyard or natural burial ground. This is known as getting the ashes “interred”.
This can be a good option if you have a family grave where other relatives are already buried, or if you simply like the idea of having a site that you can revisit to pay your respects.
Where can you scatter ashes in the UK?
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