Memorial ideas for spreading ashes

Updated July 20, 2017

An increasing number of people are opting to have their deceased loved ones cremated instead of choosing a traditional burial service. Proper storage is required from the time the ashes are collected to the time they are scattered. Some people believe that the method of scattering a loved one's ashes determines where the person spends his afterlife. Choosing a proper site for scattering the ashes is important in the preservation of the soul of the departed.


The ocean, a lake or a pond are three options for scattering ashes in a body of water. Some people believe that disposing of ashes into a body of water creates a final separation between the soul and the body, allowing the deceased to fully pass on into the afterlife. When choosing a body of water to dispose of the ashes, seas make an ideal choice due to their all-assimilating power. If you cannot get to a sea, though, any flowing body of water will do. It is best to also dispose of the urn along with the ashes. This prevents you from holding on to any negative energy that may be associated with the ashes. Memorials can be created in cemeteries when ashes are scattered in water, so that loved ones have a place to go and honour the deceased.


Certain techniques can be applied when opting to bury the ashes to ensure proper disposal of the remains. "Raking" involves scattering the ashes atop soil and using a rake to immerse the ashes back into the earth from where they came originally. "Trenching" involves digging a hole in the ground, disposing of the ashes and then covering the remains with soil. The ashes can either be placed directly into the trench or into a biodegradable urn to be buried along with the ashes.

Beloved Locations

Often, loved ones want to scatter the ashes in a location cherished by the family. A favourite childhood spot, a sports venue or a wooded area can serve as a location for the scattering of ashes. For both public and private locations, always check with the landowner before disposing of the ashes. Ashes can be harmful to the environment, and proper disposal is necessary.


Some families may choose to have their loved one's ashes scattered by a pilot during a flight. There are aeroplanes specifically designed for the purpose of scattering ashes, and the pilot is in charge of disposing of the ashes and alerting the loved ones the time the place the aerial scattering will occur.

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About the Author

Kathleen Mulvaney has been a freelance writer since 2006, with experience in journalism, photography and film production. She is also pursuing a degree in audio engineering at New Jersey City University.