What To Do With Ashes After Cremating A Loved One

Remember a loved one with memorial urns

Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular option for end-of-life care in many parts of the world. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the number of cremations in the United States has risen from 26% in 2000 to an estimated 56% in 2020. While cremation offers many benefits, including the option to honor your loved one with memorial urns, one question that loved ones may have is what to do with the ashes after cremation.

This is an important question to consider, as the decision about what to do with the ashes can have a lasting impact on the grieving process and the way that loved ones remember the deceased.

Storing Their Ashes in a Memorial Urn

One option is to keep the ashes at home. This can provide a sense of comfort and closeness to the deceased, as the ashes are always present and can be moved if necessary.

If you choose to keep the ashes at home, it is essential to properly store them in a safe, dry location. You can use a special urn or container designed for this purpose. There are a variety of urns available. It is important to choose one that is appropriate for your loved one and your family.

Urn with the ocean in the background

Traditional Memorial Urns

Traditional urns are a popular option for storing cremated ashes. They come in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and ceramic. Some urns are personalized with engravings or other design elements to make them unique. Urns are available in multiple sizes, depending on the amount of ashes you have.

Biodegradable Urns

Biodegradable urns are designed to be buried in the ground or placed in a body of water. They are made from environmentally friendly materials, such as bamboo or recycled paper. Biodegradable urns can be a good option for families who want to return their loved one’s ashes to nature.

Crystal Memorial Urns

Additionally, crystal memorial urns are a one-of-a-kind keepsake that uniquely combines a 3D photo of a loved one inside crystal along with a secure spot for a portion of ashes. It’s a beautiful and simple way to pay tribute to them and turns their ashes into a decorative addition to your home while memorializing the legacy they left behind. 

3D Photo Crystal Memorial Urns


Some families choose to have their loved one’s ashes turned into jewelry. This can be a unique way to keep your loved one close to your heart. Ashes can be incorporated into a variety of jewelry designs. This includes necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Scattering the Ashes

Scattering ashes is also a popular option. It can provide a sense of closure and allow loved ones to let go. However, it is important to follow local laws and regulations when scattering ashes. Many states and countries have specific requirements for scattering ashes.

Consider scattering ashes in a location that was meaningful to the deceased, such as a favorite park or beach. Some families choose to scatter ashes in multiple locations or incorporate the ashes into a special memorial, such as a garden or artwork.


A graveyard for burying loved ones

Further, if you prefer a more traditional option, burial or entombment may be the right choice. This often happens in a cemetery or mausoleum. Burial provides a sense of closure and a physical place for loved ones to visit. However, it can also be costly and may not be feasible for those who do not live near a cemetery.

There are many options for burial, from traditional caskets to biodegradable urns. Some families choose to have a burial ceremony, while others prefer a private moment with just their family.

Deciding what to do with ashes after cremating a loved one can be a difficult decision. It is important to consider the emotional needs of your family and the wishes of your loved one. Whether you choose to keep the ashes at home in an urn, scatter them in a meaningful location, or have a traditional burial, the most important thing is to honor the memory of your loved one in a way that feels right for you and your family.