Scattering ashes

Rita is planning ahead and would like some advice on who can scatter her ashes when the time comes. Karl Wolfenden of InvoCare has some options she can investigate.

Q. Rita
Can you please advise where I can find an independent person to scatter ones ashes? My chosen funeral director will not scatter ashes and the crematorium will scatter them only on site, not where I choose. What options are available to me?

A. There are a few options: if ashes are being placed in a memorial or family plot, most cemeteries can arrange for a witnessing ceremony to take place. Families can attend with a priest or a celebrant to say their final goodbyes, and then scatter or place the ashes in the memorial. There is usually a fee for such services, and if you would like a celebrant to attend, most cemeteries will know of those in their area and can make a recommendation.

If the ashes are being scattered outside of a cemetery, say at the family home or another favoured place, then in order to have someone preside over it, you will need to contact a celebrant directly. A scattering doesn’t necessarily need to have someone presiding over it for it to be a special moment, yet it might provide a sense of structure to the moment, if that is what the family would like. If ashes are being scattered in a public place, such as a beach or park, it is a good idea to check with municipal authorities whether there are any restrictions.

From a practical point of view, ashes can be scattered in a wide variety of places and the presence of a celebrant can add a solemnity to the moment which can make it very memorable. However, it can be just as powerful for it to be an intimate family moment which honours a departed loved one.

Answer provided by Karl Wolfenden, InvoCare.

Written by Debbie McTaggart



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