The passing of a loved one is a time filled with grief and other strong emotions. During this time, there are also a lot of things a family needs to do. This includes includes letting other family members and friends know about the passing, getting their loved one’s affairs in order, deciding on a cremation or burial (assuming this was not planned in advance), finding a funeral service provider, organizing a funeral or memorial service, and choosing a cremation urn and memorial, among many other things.
While choosing to bury a loved one in a cemetery can be relatively straightforward, families who decide on cremation now have many more options. With the increased popularity of cremation (mainly due to a much lower cremation cost), many new and uplifting memorial ideas and options are now available. In addition, with cremation, many families are choosing to divide ashes of a loved one into multiple memorials - with this, you can honor, celebrate, and memorialize a loved one in more than one way!
Why Separate Ashes of a Loved One?
Separating the ashes of a loved one is becoming more and more common. Below we’ve highlighted some of the reasons why families do this:
- Multiple People or Family Members Each Want to Have Their Own Memorial: It is quite common that each member of the family may have different ideas about a memorial and it can sometimes be easier to simply split up a loved one's ashes and give each person the ability to honor them in their own special way. Also, many, families are living in different parts of the country (or world) and each person wants to have some of their loved one's ashes with them.
- A Challenge to Choose a Single Memorial: With the growing amount of new and unique cremation memorial options available (as outlined below), many families cannot simply decide on a single memorial, and there is no reason there can't be multiple memorials for a loved one! Many families elect to do this and most memorials can be used with a small amount of ashes and up to a full set.
- More Than One Tree Memorial: Many people feel a special connection to The Living Urn’s patented tree urn system that grows a living tree memorial and some families will choose to have multiple beautiful tree memorials planted. This commonly includes one for each family member, or planting one at a loved one's hometown and the other one at their church, one at a Memory Forest and another at home, among many other options.
Memorials for Ashes
Below we highlight some of the most common memorials families choose when they divide ashes of a loved one:
Some families choose to keep some or all of the cremated ashes at a permanent location such as a columbarium or in the home. With this, families often purchase a traditional metal or wood urn for their loved one. There are many traditional urns available that are meant to be kept indoors or in a columbarium. With a quick online search, you can find a number of traditional cremation urn options to choose from. Alternatively, your local funeral director can show you many types of traditional urns in different shapes, sizes, colors, and at varying price points.
Have One or Multiple Tree Memorials
A tree memorial is growing in popularity and makes for a beautiful way to honor and memorialize a loved one. Such a living memorial can be at home in the yard, at a cemetery or memorial park that allows this (a Memory Forest), on the property of a local church, in a park, at a golf course, or another special place of your choosing (please note, some places may require permission ahead of time, so it is always recommended to check first before planting).
The patented Living Urn is the leading bio urn and planting system and is offered online and by thousands of funeral homes all over the U.S. and worldwide. This proprietary system lets families easily grow an enduring tree memorial from the special bio urn containing a loved one's ashes. The Living Urn is uniquely designed so it can be used with as little of the ashes as desired and up to a full set. Therefore, families have the option to grow a memorial tree with Living Urn in addition to having other plans or uses for some of the ashes. Alternatively, many families will divide up a loved one's ashes and each family member will grow a tree memorial with The Living Urn. For these families, The Living Urn offers a Family Tree Program which provides families with a discount when they order more than one urn.
A memorial option that continues to grow in popularity is to scatter a loved one's ashes at a meaningful location (or locations). Families may choose to scatter all of the ashes at a special place or only a portion. Many families will also hold ceremonies that includes scattering ashes at one or more special places that have meaning to the family or the loved one who passed. This can include a favorite hiking trail, place they liked to visit, park, beach, river, lake, vacation spot, childhood home, or even at home in the yard. In addition, many will scatter a loved one's ashes on their own while others will enlist an ash scattering service to help.
Scattering a loved one's ashes can be performed with a simple container found around the house, or with an urn designed to scatter ashes. One of the most common choices for scattering urns is the patented Eco Scattering - this patented all natural urn is designed to give families the ability to easily scatter ashes with ease and grace. It has an elegant look and is one of the most eco-friendly options as it is made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource. This proprietary urn also has a unique open and close mechanism on top to provide families with ability to scatter with control and allows you to easily scatter at more than one location and secure the ashes in the urn during transport. The Eco Scattering Urn is an affordable urn option that is available in multiple sizes.
Many families decide to bury some or all of their loved one’s cremated ashes at a special place (or places). This can be done at a cemetery, memorial park, or even at home in the yard or at another place special to your lost loved one (permission may be required on property you don't own, so be sure to check first). If you choose to bury a loved one's ashes at a cemetery, you may need to use an urn and vault for the burial, however, for people who choose other special places, many elect to use biodegradable burial urns. A popular biodegradable burial urn option is Eco Burial, which is all-natural and made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource. This proprietary urn is an affordable and dignified option for families. Also, because it won't begin to biodegrade until it is placed in the ground, many families will use the Eco Burial Urn as a permanent urn in the home, and others will choose to keep this unique urn inside for months or even years before burying it at a special place.
Another memorial that continues to grow in popularity is a water burial, or burial at sea. This includes spreading your loved one’s ashes in a body of water that may have special meaning to the loved one who passed or family. Some families elect to have memorial ceremonies on a boat or from shore prior to or during a water burial. The water burial can be performed with a scattering urn, or an urn specifically designed to be used in a water burial, such as the Eco Water Urn. This patent pending water urn is becoming more and more popular. It is designed to float upright like a buoy for a short amount of time and then free the ashes and spread them in the water. In addition to its proven functionality, it is also popular due its sleek appearance. Many families like that it comes packaged in an attractive bamboo cylinder container - this helps to safeguard he Eco Water Urn holding a loved one's ashes while taking it to a special place on the water for the scattering. It also serves as beautiful piece for ceremonies. The Eco Water Urn can be used with any amount of ashes, a full set or only a portion, and the instructions provided explain simple adjustments to make when including varying amounts.
Another urn designed to scatter ashes of a loved one in water in a graceful way is the Flow ice urn. This patented urn is made entirely of ice and provides for a stunning way to memorialize a loved one in the water.
Jewelry & Keepsakes
Keepsakes are a good choice if someone wants to keep a small portion of the ashes or divide them up into multiple memorials. There are many options for keepsake urns including small wood, metal or plastic containers. Also, families may choose to have an art piece made that includes some of the ashes, such as a glass decorative piece. There are many types of glass decorations available that can include ashes – check with your local funeral home or search online for some artists making beautiful glass art. The smaller sized Eco Scattering Urn is also a popular choice for a keepsake as it is attractive, simple, and inexpensive. It will not biodegrade unless it is kept outdoors and can serve as a permanent keepsake indoors.
Many families choose to keep some or all of their loved one's ashes in one or more pieces of jewelry, such as a necklace, ring, or custom cremation pendant. Your local funeral director can provide you with many different cremation jewelry options and there are also many beautiful options available online.
Alternative Memorials Without Ashes
In addition to the options mentioned above, many people are also choosing to have alternative memorials that do not incorporate a loved one’s ashes. This can include planting a tree (without ashes) to remember their loved one by, placing a custom memorial stone in the yard with their loved one’s information and symbol of choice, creating a photo album with special memories, creating an online memorial using tools such as Ecorial, among many others.
Payment Options for Urns & Memorials
As ordering multiple urns and memorials for a loved one can be a financial burden for some families, The Living Urn, with its unique line of eco-friendly urns, will soon offer quick and easy payment options with Affirm. With this, you can order multiple urns and have them shipped right away, then cover the cost over multiple months or even years! You have the ability to select a payment plan that works for you and have peace-of-mind that you’re using a safe and secure payment solution that’s been successfully used by millions of people throughout the U.S. To inquire further or learn more about when Affirm payment options will be available at The Living Urn, please contact our Denver-based customer service team at (800) 495-7022, ext. 0.
What is the 'Right' Memorial Choice for You or Your Loved One?
Deciding how to memorialize yourself or a loved one is an important decision that may take some time to figure out. If you cannot decide on a memorial now, give yourself or your family time to think about it and make the decision at a later date. Ashes have no expiration so do not pressure yourself to make a decision right away - this can be done weeks, months, or even years after the passing of a loved one.
Also, separating ashes into multiple memorials is becoming more and more common and can make it so family and friends can each remember and pay tribute to a loved one who passed in their own special way.