Release your loved one into nature.
Create a special place of memory.
A peaceful alternative to the more traditional avenues of cremation burial or preservation in a columbarium, the scattering of ashes is a meaningful and time-honored means of memorializing a loved one after cremation. There are several methods for the release of ashes that can be personalized in any number of ways. Much of the decision depends on the wishes of the deceased and how you want to honor his or her memory.
There are a variety of creative options for ash scattering.
Often, cremated remains are dispersed at a place that had personal or philosophical significance to the deceased. It can be a favorite destination such as a beach or mountain, or someplace that reflects his or her everyday life such as a local park, golf course, or even their own home. Keep in mind when choosing a location that there are laws governing the scattering of cremation remains. These laws vary from state to state and will affect how and where the ashes can be scattered, and whether you will need a permit to do so.
While there is no policing agency overseeing scattering, here is some basic information you should know:
- If you plan on scattering ashes on private property, it's smart to receive written permission from the owner.
- Public parks require that you obtain a scattering permit.
- There are no regulations regarding ash scattering on uncontrolled public lands; you need to use your own judgment.
- You should not scatter ashes within 100 yards of public roads or trails.
- The cremation container must be disposed of separately and in an environmentally-safe manner.
- Scattering ashes in inland waters is governed by the Clean Water Act so it's important to obtain a permit from the agency that oversees waterways.
- Ash scattering at sea must be done at a minimum of three nautical miles from the coastline.
- Any flowers or wreaths used in the ash scattering ceremony held at sea must decompose. No plastic flowers or other non-decomposable items should be left behind.
- For ash scattering done at sea, the Environmental Protection Agency requires that you notify the regional office in writing within 30 days after the event.
Ash scattering can help you begin to let go of your grief.
It can also represent a creative, thoughtful reflection of your loved one. From sending remains in to the air to releasing them at sea, we can help you plan a unique way to memorialize your loved one’s life through the scattering of cremated remains. If you need advice or assistance in designing a meaningful ceremony, we invite you to contact us anytime.
Whether you need to plan a funeral for a death that has occurred or are seeking to preplan arrangements, our staff is always available to assist you. Please contact us anytime.
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In our blog, we share resources and information that families in our community can use to cope with their loss or better understand their grief. We also write about the ways we have been involved in the community. Check out our latest posts.