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How to Scatter Ashes

Scattering Cremated Remains

Last Updated on November 25, 2016

Final arrangements FAQWhen a loved one is cremated, there are many options available for honoring the life of the individual in the storage or disposition of the remains. These options can generally be distilled down to three basic choices, each of which will be discussed in its own post:

  1. Burial
  2. Scattering
  3. Storage

Click the link to view each option. Today we will look into the process of scattering ashes or cremains.

How to Scatter Ashes: Choose Scattering Location

An ideal location for scattering ashesLocations for scattering cremated remains (“cremains”) may be limited by law in some areas, so please check with your local law enforcement agency (such as the Bureau of Land Management) for the regulations governing your city or county.

Popular locations for scattering ashes remains include rivers, ponds, hilltops, golf courses, gardens, flower beds, the ocean, and more. Choose a location that is personally significant in conjunction with your local laws.

The location you decide on for scattering the cremains will determine what sort of scattering method to use and what specific scattering urn you will choose to hold and dispose of the remains.

How to Scatter Ashes: Choose a Disposition Method

Scattering ashes at seaThe three main ways to scatter ashes are these:

1. Scattering on land
2. Scattering from the air
3. Scattering at sea

Scattering on land will include scattering anywhere from golf courses and gardens to rivers and hilltops. These types of land-based settings are generally easiest to arrange, and best if you would like to have a service with family members and friends present.

If you would like to scatter remains from the air, be sure that the area over which you would like to scatter the ashes allows for air scattering, and that the pilot or charter company knows the purpose for the flight.

Sea scattering is a third popular method, and can involve pouring the ashes as pictured above, or by using a specially designed eco-friendly biodegradable water scattering urn.

How to Scatter Ashes: Choose a Scattering Urn

Tubes for scattering ashesThe simplest and most affordable option for scattering ashes is to simply use the container given to you by the crematorium, or any other easily obtained container of the appropriate size you may wish to use.

But if you would like something with a little more dignity to recognize the solemnity of the occasion, an urn designed to make the scattering process easy, while at the same time honoring your loved one by using an attractive and fitting scattering urn, there are a variety of options available.

For scattering by pouring, choose a scattering urn designed to easily pour the ashes, with a lid which removes easily, such as this Walnut wood scattering urn with an easy-opening sliding top panel:

Scattering Ashes Easily

If you are scattering at sea and do not wish to pour, there are a variety of eco-friendly, water-soluble, biodegradable water scattering urns available. These are attractive products which remove any difficulty in dealing with the ashes by keeping them enclosed at all times. Simply drop the urn into the sea and it will float for a few minutes, then, as it gets saturated with water, will slowly sink and dissolve.

Browse our entire selection of scattering urns here.

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8 thoughts on “How to Scatter Ashes

  1. […] For more information on scattering, see this helpful post entitled, How to Scatter Ashes. […]

  2. […] you’ve researched disposition methods decided on scattering ashes, it’s time to figure out what container you will use to 1) transport the remains to the […]

  3. […] Scattering ashes is becoming a popular choice as a final disposition method for cremated remains. “Scattering” is something of a blanket term to describe any means of disposing of remains in the great outdoors. This includes scattering at sea, in rivers, from a helicopter, on a mountaintop, off a cliff, in a park, at the family ranch, or even ground burial at or near any of these types of locations. […]

  4. […] Cremation urns are versatile, and can be buried, stored in a columbarium niche, used for scattering (many of which can be saved as a keepsake afterwards), or kept in your home. Many families find […]

  5. I appreciate it when you said that the land scattering is the best option for the person if they intend to have the family and friends present during the scattering. My mom wants to scatter my dad’s remains in his favorite lake, but she also wants everyone to be there when we do. Maybe we can meet halfway and get a few friends and family members during the scattering in the lake. Either way, I think we need to discuss this further first.

  6. I really appreciate it when you suggested scattering the ashes in a place that is significant to the loved one, but at the same time, is in conjunction with the local law. Actually, I haven’t asked the local authorities yet if they allow ash scattering in my dad’s favorite lake. He loved that place since he was a toddler, and I thought that he would want to be placed there as well. Maybe I should start asking as the cremation will be held a few days from now.

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