What Are Your Options When It Comes To Cremated Remains?

For those unfamiliar with the cremation process, and let’s face it, that’s most of us, it can be a little overwhelming at first.  It may be something you’ve considered for a loved one or a pet, but until the day comes when you need to make that decision you probably won’t give it too much thought.

With that in mind, we have put together an overview to help you better understand how it all works.  Here we will give you a general overview of cremation and what your options are as far as cremated remains, or cremains, are concerned.

Let’s start with the basics.  What is cremation? Put simply, it is converting a body to ashes.  This is accomplished with industrial grade furnaces called cremation chambers that are designed specifically for this purpose.  Cremation can take place at a funeral home, a cemetery or a stand-alone crematorium.

Cremation has always been an alternative to traditional burial, and it has become quite popular in recent years.  According to the Cremation Association, cremation rates actually eclipsed burial rates in 2017 and will continue to rise in the future.

When it comes down to cremation vs burial, it’s obviously a personal choice, and there are financial, religious and other considerations to take into account.  For the purposes of this article, we’re assuming that you’re interested in the cremation process and wondering what you can do with those remains following the service.

So what are your options exactly?  Well, there are actually a number of them.

Perhaps the first image that comes to mind when you think about cremation is someone scattering the ashes of a loved one.  This is a very popular option, as you can choose a favorite location or a peaceful spot and let the wind carry the ashes away.  You can scatter ashes over land, over water or even from high above the earth.

Another option sort of bridges the gap between cremation vs burial, as it involves burying the ashes in an urn or similar receptacle.  There are many cemeteries that offer the option to bury cremains, but you can also choose another location that perhaps has more meaning to you.

One of the most popular options is keeping your loved one close with cremation jewelry.  There are beautiful memorial pendants with hearts, cylinders, bullets and other designs that hold small amounts of remains.  These can be gifts for family members or for yourself, and everyone who was close to the deceased can have their own personal memorial keepsake.

Outside of the these three more traditional options, there are other possibilities that have come about in recent years.  Although some of them can be very expensive and others might seem a bit out there, one of these may appeal to you for one reason or another.

Here are five other options for you to consider….

  1. You can turn your loved one’s ashes into diamonds, records or even fireworks!
  2. They can be incorporated into artificial reefs deep in the ocean
  3. They can be mixed in with ink and and become unique tattoos
  4. They can be added to beautiful works of art for display in your home
  5. You can give them a traditional Viking send-off with a floating ship

As you can see, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do with your loved one’s remains.  You can go the traditional route with ashes scattering, a burial or a beautiful piece of jewelry. Or you can pick one of the newer, less traditional options that you’ve read about above.

Regardless of which route you choose, take comfort in the fact that you are honoring the memory of your loved one in a very special way.  It’s the final as well as the most personal part of the cremation process.