Modern Australian

7 Things You Need to Know Before Scattering Ashes

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As more and more Australians are choosing cremation services over a traditional burial, it’s become very common practice to take that urn of cremation ashes and to scatter them someplace special, rather than simply keeping the urn at home, perhaps displayed in a cabinet, on a shelf or on a side table.

While scattering the ashes of a loved one is widely accepted practice and something that’s done all the time, there are some things to consider before performing an ashes scattering ceremony. Let’s look at some of the things you need to know.

#1 - Seek Permission Before Scattering Ashes On Private Property

Perhaps Uncle Joe recently passed on, but he was a huge fan of the Brisbane Broncos. His desire was to have his cremation ashes scattered on the Broncos home turf. This is all well and good, but that stadium is private property and permission needs to be sought first before letting Uncle Joe’s remains be blown all around the stadium.

It’s the same for any private property situation. You must first get permission from the owner or their representative before doing so.

#2 - Will the Area Remain Untouched?

For example, perhaps the loved one who has passed enjoyed a particular spot in the park or bush and you decide to scatter their ashes in that location. What you want to know is whether that area is going to remain untouched, or is there the possibility that it’ll be developed for another purpose.

The last thing you want to do is lay a person to rest in a beautiful and quiet spot, only to see the location spoiled a few years down the track.

#3 - Does Your Local Council Place Limitations On the Scattering of Cremation Ashes?

In many locations around Australia, people are free to scatter the cremation ashes of a loved one. However, some local councils may have specific bylaws that either limit or prohibit the scattering of ashes in specific locations, such as the beach, for example. Other times it may be allowed, so long as you apply for a permit. Before scattering the ashes in the desired location, make a call to your local council to ensure you’re allowed to do so.

#4 - Will the Cremation Ashes Be Split Between Family Members?

Before venturing off and dispersing all of the ashes across the sea or the local park, you’ll want to ensure that there wasn’t some existing promise or agreement for portions of the cremation ashes to be split up among family members. If Aunt Joan was promised a portion of her brother’s ashes to keep and you’ve already scattered them, she’s going to be devastated.

#5 - Refrain From Scattering Ashes In the Backyard

The main reason you may decide not to scatter them in the yard of your home is the possibility that you may sell up and move one day. You can’t collect the scattered ashes and take them with you. If you’re sure you’re never going to move, then by all means you can scatter them in the yard or garden.

#6 - Always Keep Some of the Ashes In the Urn

It’s a good idea to always maintain a portion of the ashes in the urn. This way, if something does happen to the area where you scattered the majority of the ashes, you still have some ashes remaining as a keepsake and memorial to your loved one.

#7 - Immortalise Your Loved One With a Cremation Tree

A cremation tree, also known as a Legacy Tree, is where you have a loved one buried as a tree in a memorial park. This is a professional service, where the cremation ashes are first treated to detoxify them before they are buried beneath a Legacy Tree in a special memorial park.

This is something you’ll want to consider if you want your loved one immortalised in a sense. Simply burying cremation ashes in their raw state will be far too toxic to promote tree growth.

The Takeaway

Scattering cremation ashes certainly can have special meaning in particular locations. Just keep in mind the things mentioned in this post before going ahead with the scattering ceremony.

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