Is scattering your ashes the right choice for your loved ones?

Is scattering your ashes really what is best for the loved ones you leave behind?

Albany Creek memorial park at sunset

In our recent survey, Your Final Farewell, 53 per cent of respondents would like to have their ashes scattered but is this really the best course of action for the loved ones you leave behind?

Having your ashes scattered in a location that means a lot to you or holds special memories may seem logical when you’re making your final wishes known. However, when requesting this, few people actually consider the impact of this on family and friends. And, if it’s a public place, such as a park, it may be earmarked for future development. Where then do your loved ones go to mark your memory?

The importance of memorialisation is often overlooked, especially when a cremation occurs. Yet memorials are a means for loved ones who are left behind to put thoughts and feelings into a more tangible form. As well as helping with the grieving process, it also serves as a marker for future generations who may wish to trace their ancestry or simply visit the resting place of a family member.

Despite the obvious benefits of a memorial, 52 per cent of respondents had not considered the need to have one and just as many – 53 per cent – didn't know which other options were available.

Cemeteries and memorial parks are an obvious choice and are no longer the intimidating and stuffy places they once were. The modern memorial park offers a range of options, such as a plaque on a memorial wall, a tree in a garden of remembrance, a memorial rock in a bush setting, burial of the urn or even a memorial bench overlooking beautiful landscapes.

For others, an online memorial, offered by sites such as HeavenAddress, is a simple, convenient, yet touching way for family scattered across the globe to share their thoughts and memories.

If you are interested in finding out more about memorials and which options might be right for you and your family, visit Here you will find information on a range of beautiful memorial parks and gardens across Queensland and New South Wales. Alternatively, contact your local memorial park for more information.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    19th Jan 2017
    After 15 years of discovering my family history, I had visited many of the graves just to feel that connection and say 'Hello'. There was the other names there too that I didn't know. In recent years I bought four plots so I can gift this to my descendants. All of them will be able to visit. Ashes kept, is to me, not the actual person and are kept by one person. There's also a religious view on this to about resurrection, I believe.
    19th Jan 2017
    Totally agree visiting the resting site of deceased loved ones, for me, seems more real.
    19th Jan 2017
    I have no desire to be 'memorialised' ashes cast over the sea or on the mantle piece whatever they choose - I will know nothing about it.
    19th Jan 2017
    Asking for your ashes to be scattered is selfish especially if it involves taking them a long distance or even overseas. Cremation is environmentally damaging (huge amount on fuel involved) and graveyard burial? Well, with an overpopulated world there is little space left and any embalming fluid leak and pollute.
    The best option is a natural or woodland burial where you are put into the ground with no coffin and a tree is planted on top. Fertiliser and new tree! Excellent. The whole body eventually rots down. If your body is wanted for scientific purposes, well that's helpful too.
    Dare I say the resurrection is illogical.
    19th Jan 2017
    That sounds like a logical alternative to me. Totally agree about resurrection - don't listen to fairy tales!
    19th Jan 2017
    Actually thinking about it, I wouldn't want to be resurrected. Hopefully I will just remain sleeping. I think I have just about had enough of living!
    20th Jan 2017
    What about an aerial burial?

    No "Heaps of Energy"
    No problems with room for "A Plot"
    Helps the "Global Ecology"

    At death, the body becomes "Just an empty Shell" of energy & Minerals and should be disposed of in the most efficient way.

    Our Western societies are avoiding the subject of "Death & Dying" at all cost.
    Keeping these processes a Mystery and "Loading them with fear" is yet another "mechanism of Control."

    Death itself is merely just another dimension behind another door!
    It's the dying that fails to preserve (in many cases these days) Human dignity and prolongs the suffering for the individual and their "loved Ones".

    Just for the sake of a "Few Lousy Dollars" in profit for the Corporations!?!?!?!

    Adrian G
    19th Jan 2017
    At my brother's graveside funeral last year we put balloons on the graves of all his ancestors to help identify his place in the overall scheme of things. Not only was it meaningful to people, but while doing it we came across one of our second cousins who told us of the passing of one of Mum's cousins, then stayed for the service.

    BTW, I find it funny that someone will say the world is overpopulated (simple maths shows that if everyone moved to Tasmania we'd have nearly 10sq metres each and the rest of the planet would be empty of humans) but calls the resurrection illogical.
    19th Jan 2017
    I guess sanitation would be a problem in Tassie... You might remember that every square meter of any country is not habitable. Then if everyone from the first humans resurrected, where would they go? But perhaps your reply was meant to be humorous.
    Adrian G
    19th Jan 2017
    Yes there would problems Jennie, but the figure is given to show that there is actually a lot of room for people on earth.

    Everyone will be resurrected and will either go to heaven or hell. There's a size for heaven in the last book of the Bible and if memory's correct someone calculated that if everyone up to a few decades went there we'd all have a space the size of a three bedroom house. As history would suggest that most people (so far) won't be going there it should be quiet roomy actually, and we'll still have earth anyway.
    19th Jan 2017
    Fortunately none of that applies to me. I won't be going anywhere as I can't believe that which is not true. But you enjoy your 3 bed-roomed house.
    Adrian G
    19th Jan 2017
    You don't believe that man is sinful but that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can obtain forgiveness of sin, peace with God, and eternal life?

    Then unfortunately Jennie, because of your unbelief, after the resurrection you'll be one of those send by God into eternal punishment in hell.
    19th Jan 2017
    But you see, as I don't believe this it doesn't bother me. An that's OK. I don't accept your beliefs and you don't accept mine. We don't have to agree, just to be tolerant is enough.
    I suspect you will send all Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists to hell as well. That's nasty. I wish them all happiness and peace.
    PS There is no point in eternal punishment as it doesn't rehabilitate. Do you really think that God is that ignorant?
    Adrian G
    20th Jan 2017
    One of the things to do to help in one's understanding is to try think up parallels, and one attempted one for people who say they don't believe in God so it won't affect them would be a person in a timber house who doesn't believe in termites. Their not believing doesn't stop the termites slowly eating their house out from the inside until one day it's so weak it collapses.

    That aside, yes we should tolerate each other's views. But God doesn't. We are to worship Him, and given He says He's given us enough information to know about Him anyone who doesn't, or creates their own god to worship (e.g Muslims, Hindus etc.) will be punished accordingly. Hell's not meant for rehabilitation, we each have enough time here on earth for that. It's strictly for punishment.
    20th Jan 2017
    You don't understand my position Adrian. I don't believe in supernatural beings because I can't - I am unable to to believe in such concepts. I can't force myself to believe something that I don't.
    It's like my asking you to believe in Santa Claus - you can't.
    I say again eternal punishment is pointless and there's also no point in sending good people like Ghandi and all those secular humanists for example, who have spent exemplary lives, to hell.
    "Judge not lest ye be judged," applies to your god too.
    Only those with a big ego require worship. Those with a big ego are self focused and they would go to your hell too.
    Adrian G
    20th Jan 2017
    I think I can understand you not believing in supernatural beings, but I can only say "think" as it's over four decades since I discovered that God was real.

    I'm currently reading a book by World Vision CEO and well known Christian Tim Costello who quotes Ghandi a few times, but consider this.

    At a school concert the soloists, the dancers, and the musicians may all be good, but if mum's "little Johnny" is there in the back row of the choir because everyone has to be involved then that's the person she looks for, claps for, and treats on the way home. Why? Because he's family. Same with us and God. if we're family through faith in Jesus Christ then He cheers us on and rewards us for what we do, if we're not family He doesn't.

    God created us, God has told us what to do, so God has the right to judge us as per the standards He gave us. The first standard is that we worship Him. Fail that and nothing else matters no matter how "good" we appear to be.
    24th Jan 2017
    I believe the problem with the world is people like YOU Adrian G.
    95% of the crisis on this planet is because of gullible small minded God Botherer's like you.
    Adrian G
    24th Jan 2017
    I didn't know I was so powerful Retired Knowall. But please provide some evidence of your statement.
    19th Jan 2017
    Giving my body to medical science so don't care!
    19th Jan 2017
    You can have the best of both worlds! Have some of your ashes scattered if that is your desire, and have some of your ashes interred in a suitable memorial site at a cemetery so family and friends can visit that if they wish.
    Joy Anne
    19th Jan 2017
    I want to be cremated with my beautiful Poodle and the ashes of my Last St Bernard I have had since January 2001 and have advised my daughter that she can decide what to do with them. I will not know. I will be happy to know that my pets are with me.
    19th Jan 2017
    Whatever......gonna convert and go to Paradise with 7 v...........s etc
    Adrian G
    19th Jan 2017
    According to the following web page morrowj1122 v...........s stands for Virginians :-)
    19th Jan 2017
    I have told my family that I wish for my ashes to be put in the bin.
    The truck will then deliver me to the tip........which is earmarked to become a park/golf course.
    So in future years the Grandkids might say as they drive past "Granddads in there!"
    But I can't envisage them driving a ways down the road to visit a cemetery.
    Also I wish for a sign in the rear window of the hearse on the freeway to read, My Name travelling on the speed limit. What is it with hearse's driving slow?
    19th Jan 2017
    Both my parents and in-laws have had their ashes scattered. I don't need a memorial plaque
    Etc to remember them everyday. If that is what they want at the end of their time why is that selfish? Do they not deserve that right at the end!
    Miss Piggy
    20th Jan 2017
    I make the following comments with no intention to denigrate the grief involved with the death of someone dear. I know the heartache of that loss. However whilst I recognise that some people find comfort in visiting a gravesite, surely it is the spirit of loved family and friends that lives on in heart and memory; it is not the ash from a cremation, nor the body that rots away in a coffin. What you scatter or visit is not the person, merely the remains of a lifeless body.

    Both cremations and burials are detrimental to the environment. Cremating a body uses a enormous amount of energy. The readying of a body for burial involves the use of formaldehyde and other chemicals, which leach into the earth as the body and coffin disintegrate.

    A natural burial (no chemicals, coffin etc) is, to my way of thinking, both cleaner and more respectful. However, that is not actually what happens in so-called "green" funerals, no matter what funeral companies say. Whilst I, of course, will know nothing about it, my choice would be to be put into the ground out in the bush somewhere, wrapped in a simple cotton shroud where my remains will do no harm to the land, will not take up unnecessary space and will fertilise the soil.

    Although not strictly in keeping with the subject at hand, I include the following because I am so affronted by it: with all our government over-regulation and pandering to others over it's own people, such a simple ceremony as a natural burial is virtually impossible to come by in Australia, EXCEPT, if one "identifies as a practising Muslim, in line with their culture". Therefore, whether we want to or not, as an Australian in our own culture, we really won't have a wide choice when it comes to honouring our dead.

    As to either resurrection or reincarnation, it would not be the earthly (human) body that is transported, but the spirit, would it not?
    20th Jan 2017
    Actually green burials do happen as the funeral director I know says here in South Australia. You are placed in the ground in a calico wrapping covered with soil and a tree planted on top.

    I think you might only get an air burial where there are carnivorous predators. They do happen in Tibet (vultures..) because there isn't enough space for burial in the ground and the ground can be frozen.

    I think it would be illegal to be buried anywhere you choose in the bush. You might be dug up by predators and create a murder investigation.

    I do agree that our loved ones live on in our memories.
    24th Jan 2017
    As a culture I have noticed that not many Australians visit cemetaries regularly compared to other countrys.Mental memories of a deceased seem more important than visiting a physical site.Not saying that's right or wrong its just my observation.Being buried under a tree would not be a good idea in my case as the tree would probably die as well from alcohol poisoning.A sea burial would be better as I might feed a few sharks and get resurrected as a piece of flake

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