10 ideas for cremation ashes


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There are lots of ways you can honour a loved one’s memory with a beautiful cremation memorial.

After a loved one’s cremation, choosing what to do with the cremation ashes is an important and deeply personal decision. Here are 10 things you can do with cremation ashes, from the simple ideas to extravagant tributes.


1. Scatter the ashes in a special place

Family scattering cremation ashes on a river

Many people choose to scatter cremation ashes somewhere that meant something to their loved one, or in a place of natural beauty such as a river or lake. When scattering ashes, remember to be respectful of others who may be nearby and always ask permission before scattering on private land.


2. Keep them close to you at home

Cremation urn

If you want to keep your loved one’s cremation ashes close to you, you can keep the ashes in an urn at home. There’s thousands out there to choose from, from traditional cremation urns to modern sculptures and custom designs. Ask your chosen funeral director for some options, or search online for a unique urn for your loved one.


3. Grow a living memorial from the ashes

A tree grown from cremation ashes

Innovative urn manufacturers have created urns that grow a tree, for a living memorial to plant in your garden. The Bios Urn is designed to be completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly – the perfect tribute to someone who cared deeply about Mother Nature.


4. Help save precious coral reefs

Underwater memorial reef

Perfect for a seafaring fisherman or ocean adventurer, this memorial incorporates cremation ashes into a manmade coral reef. US-based Eternal Reefs is saving ocean reefs around the world by installing these artificial reefs as a stable base for sea life to build their homes.


5. Create a unique glass memorial

Glass ornaments made with cremation ashes

Cremation ashes can also be turned into glass. Artisan glass sculptors, such as Ash Glass Design, can take portions of ashes and use them in colourful glass designs. You could memorialise your loved one with glass beads, sculptures, sun catchers and other beautiful glass pieces.


6. Keep ashes inside cremation jewellery

A locket necklace to keep cremation ashes

Many jewellers now offer cremation keepsake jewellery. Available in many different shapes and sizes, these locket-like pendants allow you to store a small amount of cremation ashes within the necklace itself. That way, your loved one will always be close to your heart.


7. Inter the cremation urn in a cemetery

A cross-shaped gravemarker in a cemetery

Most cemeteries offer cremation burial plots to inter an urn of cremation ashes. You can choose to buy a memorial headstone to mark this special place with your loved one’s name. If you have a family plot, you can also inter their ashes there, subject to individual cemetery’s burial fees.


8. Scatter ashes with a bang

Friends and family watching a fireworks display

Some specialist fireworks companies, such as Heavens Above Fireworks, offer a unique ash scattering service. They incorporate your loved one’s cremation ashes into the fireworks themselves so that when they explode, the ashes are scattered in a brilliant burst of light and colour.


9. Send cremation ashes into space

Starry night sky

There are several companies in the UK and US who offer to send your loved one’s ashes into space. Ascension Flights, which appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, can scatter the ashes at a height of 100,000 feet above the earth. The ashes will eventually fall back down to earth with rain and snowflakes, becoming one with nature again.


10. Create a unique diamond

A diamond ring made from the cremation ashes of a loved one

You can turn your loved one’s ashes into a precious stone. Companies such as Heart in Diamond extract carbon from cremation ashes and use high pressure conditions to ‘grow’ a real diamond. There’s a range of colours and carats available, so you can create the perfect tribute.

Want your ashes scattered by firework or turned into a diamond? When you buy an Avalon Funeral Plan, you can include list of wishes and let your loved ones know what you’d like. You’ll also be able to secure the cost of funeral director fees at today’s prices. Find out more about our funeral plans.


About the author

With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.