You have just been handed the cremation urn containing your loved one’s ashes. It is a poignant reminder of your dearly beloved and the wonderful life you lived together. Touching the cold urn, you cannot help but feel distraught because this huge sense of loss sets in. What are you supposed to do with this very important artifact?
You feel lost because this is something you have never thought of at all in the past. You never imagined life without this dear person. Now, you have no other choice but to go on with your life filled with this immense sense of longing. The first step to moving on is to find a way to honor this symbolic urn. Here are some things that you can do with the cremation remains in the urn:
Make a Shrine at Home
You may choose to follow in other families’ footsteps and set up your own shrine at home with the urn as the centerpiece. It is totally fine if you want to keep the urn with you both as a tribute and a reminder of your loved one. After all, there is truth to the adage that people live on when they are remembered.
Typically, crematoriums place the ashes in a temporary urn. You can opt to purchase a sturdier urn that will withstand the test of time. These beautiful permanent cremation urns may be more pricey, but they offer you value for money. The durable and eye-catching displays that double as a great decorative piece for your house, too. There’s certainly nothing wrong with bringing the ashes home with you.
Hold a Memorial Service
Some families who didn’t opt for a public viewing before the direct cremation process hold a memorial service when they receive the urn. You can place it front and center at your ceremony, along with your dearly departed’s framed picture.
Others hold religious services aligned with their faith during this service. Furthermore, traditional eulogies can be given by close family and friends during this time. This moment is a celebration of a very beautiful life.
Bury the Urn
Those who don’t want to keep the urn in their house have opted to bury the urn. Unlike traditional burial services with a full-body, burying the urn is a lot cheaper. There are several reasons why this is more affordable for you:
- Usually, there is no embalming done in cremation, unlike a full-scale burial.
- You don’t have to buy an expensive casket.
- The excavation is only for a smaller hole in the ground, which is also not as deep.
- It involves less manpower, so that’s lesser labor costs for you.
Open the Urn and Release Its Contents
Your loved one may have left instructions to have his/her remains scattered in the ocean or a favorite place. Perhaps, you yourself want to let the ashes fly with the wind as a symbol of setting your loved one’s soul free. It is not unusual to open the cremation urn to spread the ashes. Apart from freedom, setting the ashes to the wind also symbolizes returning and becoming one with nature.
Place the Urn in a Columbarium
You can rent space in a columbarium as a place for safekeeping your beloved’s urn. This is a respectful place that is well-run and organized, so you can readily find your urn when you want to visit and honor the deceased. People hired by the columbarium maintain the area, so you don’t have to worry about general cleaning. While there, you can light candles and give flowers to honor the memory of your deceased loved one.
Share Contents with Family
It is not uncommon for family members to divide the contents of an urn into smaller parts. Each family member gets a mini-urn with a portion of the ashes to take home, so they can get a piece of their loved ones. No one can fault you and judge you for doing this because people cope with grief in different ways.
Plant a Tree with the Urn
You can turn your cremation urn into a living urn by planting a tree and burying them together. Some companies offer this service where they mix the ashes with the soil and other forms of plant nutrition, so you can use the mixture to grow a tree in your yard or place of choice. This plant will turn into a living memento of your dearly departed one.
Whatever you decide to do with your cremation urn, one thing you must keep in mind is to never scatter the ashes without asking permission. Losing a loved one is never easy and deciding what to do with their remains can be difficult to figure out. Priority, of course, goes to abiding by their last wishes. If they did not leave you with any request, you have the huge responsibility of sending them off and honoring their memory.