ashes have been put in an ornate urn and placed upon the family mantelpiece – but times are changing.
The beauty of a cremation is that you can choose to keep your loved one close or find a truly memorable resting spot, without the limitations of a burial.
And it seems more and more people are taking advantage of this by finding ever-increasingly creative ways to honour their friend or family member’s legacy.
Co-op Funeralcare has carried out an in-depth look at the ways we say goodbye – and, of course, cremations are a big focus.
When it comes to the most common dispersal of ashes, 28 per cent of people surveyed said they chose burial at the crematorium or at a graveyard. This is closely followed by a scattering at the crematorium or graveyard (19 per cent).
17 per cent of people said they scattered a loved one at a British landmark and beauty spot while ten per cent of people chose to keep ashes at home.
Six per cent chose planting with a tree, bush or flower, while the same amount took to the sea.
A method that is growing in popularity is to add a loved one to jewelry – an option that three per cent of those surveyed had opted for.
Sadly, while cremation opens up plenty of options it can also bring uncertainty. One in ten people who had arranged a cremation said they couldn’t decide what to do with their loved one’s ashes. Of those who did make a decision, one in ten (11%) were unsure that they made the right one.
David Collingwood, Co-op’s Director of Funerals, said: “Unless a conversation prior to a death has been had, knowing what to do with a person’s ashes can be an extremely difficult decision for someone to have to make. We’ve known families hold on to ashes for years because they simply cannot decide what to do with them.
“Unfortunately this can make the grieving process and coming to terms with a loss even more difficult and, in some cases, can even cause rifts between family members.”
That said, when a plan for someone’s ashes is put in place there really is no limit to what can be done as the following examples prove.
Here are ten incredible things people have done with their loved one’s ashes:
1. Put inside the furnace of a steam train
2. Sent to the sky as a firework
3. Incorporated into a tattoo
4. Scattered during a skydive
5. Sent soaring over the sea inside a balloon
6. Put in a model aeroplane
7. Taken around the world
8. Put inside a car so they could always travel alongside family
9. Kept inside a rucksack so they could be carried everywhere
10. Scattered at a USA baseball ground
We’re here to help you arrange the funeral you want, in the safest possible way, so you can say your best goodbye. To find out more visit coop.co.uk/funeralcare