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Sharon Hunter - September 2021

Myth: People will know what to do with the ashes

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Often, they don’t. In fact, ashes are often not collected and are eventually disposed of years later by the crematorium.

There are several ways that cremated remains can be honored by family and friends. You might choose memorialization in a cemetery, and there are several options such as burial, cremation gardens or glass fronted niches in mausoleums. This option gives a permanent place for family and friends to visit. Each of these options will have costs depending on the cemetery you choose.

Any number of beautiful vessels can be suitable for storing ashes, and you may already have a special piece, in which case there’s no need to purchase anything.

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You might consider a woven flax urn, or wooden box which can be buried at your home. You could plant a tree at the spot, or place a stone bench or piece of sculpture at the location.

Others scatter the ashes in places that hold special meaning. It’s a way to do something that truly reflects the person who has passed on. Gather a group of friends and take the ashes on a hike in the mountains. Do a road trip, scattering the ashes at favourite spots. Take a sunrise surf and scatter the ashes in the waves. You are free to honor a life in any way you see fit.

Scattering ashes can be done at any time. Some wait a while before taking this step, even 12 months on as a special way to honor the anniversary of the death.

"We need to give ourselves permission to be creative about the ways ashes might be distributed and honored."

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