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Companion Urns Series Intro: Deciding on a disposition method for the remains of two individuals can be a difficult and confusing process. In this series, drawn from our article “Companion Urns: The Complete Guide“, you will find helpful tips, simple explanations for relevant funeral industry terms, a wide array of options for storing and disposing of a couple’s cremated remains, and answers to common questions about companion cremation urns.
Can a companion urn be used for a large person?
Yes, a companion urn can certainly be used for a larger individual. Since many of our companion urns are simply larger versions of a standard-sized urn, we will often recommend using a companion or double urn when a larger urn is needed.
To calculate what size urn you’ll need, figure that 1 lb of healthy body weight equals 1 cubic inch of remains. This means that a 350 lb person will usually need a cremation urn with a 350 cubic inch capacity. This is a simple way to ensure that you purchase the proper size of urn for any individual, and it is the general practice of most.
However, to get a bit more technical, body weight isn’t the most accurate gauge for measuring needed capacity (although, again, it is the simplest way to calculate how many cubic inches of space in the container you will need).
Since bone matter is what is left after the normal cremation process, the most accurate calculation for the remaining ashes would be based on the “healthy body weight” based on height. Therefore, the ash remaining after the cremation of a 400 lb person should be the same as a 100 lb person of the same height and bone structure.
But since there are additional factors involved in calculating healthy body weight, such as bone density and structure, as well as a slight amount of variation in cremation processes based on region, training, and technology, we advise either getting a larger urn (such as a companion urn) or develop a plan for disposing of additional remains through sharing keepsake urns or scattering.
Here is a handy infographic to help you visualize the disposition options for a larger amount of cremated remains:
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