Cremation is the most popular type of funeral in the UK, and one of the benefits of getting a loved one cremated are the many things you can do with their ashes. Whilst some families have a clear idea of what they want, others may be undecided in their choice. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to support you in your decision…
Scattering a person’s ashes is one of the most common choices in the UK, and many people feel comforted in the notion of scattering a loved one in a place that holds deep personal meaning. There aren’t any laws about where you can scatter a person’s ashes, but you do need to seek the landowner’s permission first. This includes both public and private land. If you wish to scatter the ashes over a body of water, such as a river or in the sea, no such permission is required, although you should seek advice from the Environmental Agency first.
Burying a person’s ashes is another popular option. This could either be in a more formal burial setting, such as a cemetery, churchyard or crematorium, or else in somewhere more personal such as the family garden or on private land. Some people opt to bury the ashes direct in to the ground, others place the ashes in an urn for burial. This is largely down to personal preference and any regulations the landowner has in place. Your funeral director will be able to support you in purchasing a burial plot, and will be able to advise you on the costs and any applications that need to be made.
Keeping a loved one close by is important for some people, and they choose to keep the ashes at home. This will usually involve the ashes being placed inside an urn, and kept in the family home or garden. Some families will store the ashes in private, whilst others will display them more openly in the house or garden.
There are many different types of urn available, from traditional urns and containers to more unusual options. This could include placing the ashes in a stuffed toy, a purpose-made sculpture or decorative artwork, or inside a plant pot.
Create a keepsake
Creating a piece of memorial jewellery is a more recent trend, and there are many companies that now specialise in cremation jewellery. You could choose a piece of jewellery that has a small chamber to store ashes inside, or else create a bespoke colourful resin gemstone using the ashes. Another option is to turn your loved one in to a cremation diamond. This involves the ashes going through a unique purification process that eventually results in a diamond. The price of cremation jewellery can vary quite dramatically, so do your research before choosing a company to create something for you.
Do something unique
There is no reason why you have to follow tradition, and there are many ways you can create something completely unique out of a person’s ashes. This is becoming a much more popular option in the UK as families seek to personalise funerals. Some ideas include;
- Creating a reef ball to support marine wildlife
- Creating a firework and hosting a memorial fireworks display
- Scattering a loved one’s ashes from a plane, or during a skydive
- Getting a memorial tattoo infused with ashes
- Commissioning a painting using paint infused with ashes
- Creating a playable vinyl record out of ashes
- Placing the ashes in the furnace of a steam train
- Take the ashes on a round-the-world trip, scattering in different locations