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Ashes to ashes

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

If a loved one is cremated, then there are various options available regarding what to do with their ashes and, in theory, you can split the ashes and do different things with them.

As increasingly popular option is to have a small proportion of a loved one’s ashes made into jewellery or keepsakes. Here the ashes can either be incorporated into glass under heat, so that they are part of the piece – perhaps cufflinks or a ring. Alternatively, they could be placed in a small ashes holder which can then be slipped into a locket or a paperweight for example. There are lots of options available and we can discuss them with you.

Some people simply take the ashes home in a casket and keep them in the house or perhaps place them in the garden. If you do decide to ‘bury’ the ashes at home, then we can suggest caskets which are made for this purpose and won’t split after time. It’s worth considering, though, that if you bury an urn in your garden, you may not always live in that property – so it might be sensible to consider a large pot.

One lady buried her young daughter’s ashes in a large container and found a rose called ‘Special Child’ to plant in there too. The family adds ornaments on special days and always brings something back from a family holiday as a ‘present’.

Alternatively, urns can be buried in a local cemetery – there are a number of options available at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells or at the cemetery in Herne Road, Crowborough. Some opt to have the urn interred alongside a loved one in an established plot. We can work with families to do this and can arrange for a small ceremony to take place with some readings etc, if this is required.

Sometimes people need a little time after somebody has died to make a decision about ashes and we are happy to look after the ashes until the family feel ready to take the next step.

Today, urns range from fairly traditional to modern – and are made from a variety of materials, including wood, leather and brass through to environmentally friendly banana leaf or water hyacinth. Urns are also available in Somerset willow with a natural cotton ashes bag inside. These can be square, rectangular or round and in gold, buff or white willow with plain or coloured bands. If you look here (web link) you can see some of the different urns available.

We also offer a range of scatter tubes – which come in a variety of designs and are a useful shape if you decide to scatter the ashes. Again, there are a wide range of designs from flowers to rainbows.

Where people decide to scatter a loved one’s ashes is a very personal decision, although the person themselves may have already requested somewhere special to them. In theory, the ashes can be split and scattered in a couple of locations.

There are some restrictions on scattering ashes, but it’s generally fairly easy to do – particularly in a quiet location. Some local National Trust places will allow ashes to be scattered at a special reserved place at certain times, perhaps first thing in the morning before the public arrives. We have also worked with some families to organise the scattering of ashes at sea.

Some families also want to scatter ashes abroad – it might be at a particularly special holiday location. Is it possible to take ashes overseas but it is sensible to take a letter explaining that you are transporting ashes and we can help families with this.

Finally, if you feel like doing something a little different, there are companies which will incorporate ashes into a fireworks display or you could use your imagination. Artist, Jason Shulman, incorporated his father’s ashes into a sculpture, which he named ‘A piece of my father’.

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