When you choose cremation, you actually have more choices for a final resting place than with typical earth burial.
Just as a casket can be buried in a cemetery, so too can an urn. You may opt to have an urn buried in a family plot or in the town cemetery. Often, more than one urn can be placed within one gravesite for couples that would like to be laid to rest together. Any type of bronze or granite marker can be used to identify the place where the cremated remains are buried.
Urns can also be placed in columbaria, or collections of niches. Each urn has its own place and can be marked with a memorial plaque. Many cemeteries have urn columbaria; some churches will have niches for urn placement as well.
Scattering Cremated Remains
Many individuals like the idea of returning cremated remains to the earth through scattering. Many cemeteries today offer special gardens or designated areas for the scattering of cremated remains, complete with a memorial marker or entry in a memorial book for remembrance.
For the adventurous, there are several services that will scatter cremated remains over water, from a boat or an airplane, or even make them part of a coral reef.
Cremated remains do not have to be placed in just one urn. They can be divided among several small keepsake urns or cremation jewelry. This allows family members a great deal of comfort when they are separated by long distances.
Portions of cremated remains can be scattered, made into jewelry or art, buried, or all of the above. It is all a matter of preference.
The State of California gives families certain options for cremated remains disposition.
- Cremated remains can be kept at home and can be separated and shared among loved ones if you so choose.
- They can be interred at a cemetery in ground, in a columbarium or niche or in a cemetery scattering garden; all of which gives surviving family and friends a place to go and memorialize.
- Cremated remains can be interred in a house of worship or religious shrine if your church or place of worship has its own columbarium or other facility for cremated remains.
- Cremated remains can be scattered at sea at least 500 yards off the shore.
- Cremated remains can be scattered on private property or state property with written permission from the property owner or governing agency.
- Cremated remains can be carried on board an airplane or shipped to another location, in an approved container, with a proper permit.
- Ashes cannot be placed or scattered on public land or at historic places or landmarks without written permission by the governing agency.
- Cremated remains cannot be transported without a permit.
- Cremated remains cannot be scattered from the shore of a lake, river, or beach.
- Cremated remains cannot be disposed of in refuse or sewer systems.