When A Loved One Is Cremated, What Should You Do With Their Ashes?

After a loved one passes away and is cremated, their ashes are placed inside an urn and presented to the family. What happens after this is up to the family. Some families may wish to scatter the ashes in a place that was special to their loved one, but other families might prefer to hold onto the urn, so that it's as though their loved one is still there. What happens when there's a dispute about who actually gets to keep the urn?

Keeping the Ashes at Home

It might not be practical for an individual to retain the urn. Anyone else who may want to visit what has become the deceased's final resting place will need to visit whoever's home has the urn. Depending on how often they feel the need to do so, it can become an inconvenience for all concerned. How can everyone have access to the final resting place?

Dividing the Ashes

Cremation services include collecting the ashes from the crematory and placing them into an urn. They can in fact divide the ashes into multiple urns, to be shared amongst family members who wish to honor their loved one by keeping their cremated remains. This is a logical solution to the problem, but some families might find it unsavory for their loved one to be shared out in this manner.

Burying the Ashes

Another option is to have a formal final resting place. Cremation is compatible with burial, and the urn can be interred in a cemetery that anyone can visit at their leisure. This involves an extra cost, in that a burial plot will need to be purchased, although the plot will be smaller than one intended to accommodate a coffin. There might be some ongoing fees too. While many cemeteries include the cost of cemetery maintenance in the cost of the plot, others may charge an annual fee. 

Interning Ashes at a Columbarium

A columbarium can also provide a final resting place. They're often constructed at cemeteries, and are essentially a wall, which can be part of a larger columbarium, or free standing. These walls contain a number of hollow niches, designed to house an urn containing cremated ashes. The niche is then sealed, and your loved one has a final resting place that can be visited whenever family and friends feel the need. 

The cremated ashes of a loved one should ideally be accessible to family and friends, but to ensure this is possible, keeping them in someone's home might not be the most appropriate option.

For more information on cremation services, contact a local funeral home.