When a loved one passes on, there are many ways to dispose off the body after the funeral rites are completed. This can depend on the religion one practices, the laws governing funerals in the country of domicile and the wishes of the person who has passed on. If your loved one who has passed on has expressed specific wishes on how to dispose off his or her remains, then following this can be simple. On the other hand, if no wish has been expressed, then the family members can choose from various options.
The Muslim religion requires that everyone be buried in accordance with their religious sentiments. Similarly, in the Hindu religion cremation is the universal option. In fact, many traditional Hindus require cremation to be done with firewood in an open ground rather than in an electric crematorium. These opinions are slowly changing and many Hindus do prefer using an electric crematorium since it is quicker and more eco friendly.
After the cremation has taken place, most Hindus require the ashes of their loved ones to be scattered at religious sites like being immersed in the River Ganges – a holy river for all Hindus. In fact, many offspring of Hindus take the ashes of their loved ones and make the long journey to the Ganges to immerse them. Christians the world over initially started off by burying their loved ones. Now, with burial spaces being limited all over the world, they too are taking to cremation.
The question should cremation ashes be kept or thrown/spread out? – can depend on the wishes of a loved one or the laws governing the same in their country. Those who have lost their loved ones can make inquiries at the local crematorium and find out options available. Some of these crematoriums will have an online questionnaire that people can fill out – either before they pass on so that they can leave behind express funeral instructions or for their loved ones to decide. The first questionnaire will pertain to age, gender, religious affiliations and such.
Another questionnaire can specify what to do with the ashes and can involve many choices like:
•Bury ashes in a family vault
•Scatter in a Garden of Remembrance
•Bury them in the garden at home
•Keep in an urn in your house
•Bury around a memorial tree
•Scatter the ashes in a body of water
•Scatter them at places of religious significance
•Send the urn with ashes up in a hot air balloon
•Divide the ashes and follow multiple options
All these options are available depending on the country where you live and the crematorium you choose. In western countries like the UK, more than 70 of people prefer to be cremated rather than buried and many loved ones like to bring the ashes home in an urn rather than scattering them in a garden meant for this purpose. When you bring the ashes home, you can keep them in an urn on the mantle with a picture of your loved one, bury it in the garden near a tree or flower bed they loved etc. To bury or keep ashes, you must find out the laws in your country.
If you feel it is too morbid to keep ashes at home, there are many ways to scatter or bury them in lovely gardens. Some places have beautiful gardens where people can bury the urn and plant a small tree or shrub over it. Once the tree grows, you can fix a small plaque to the trunk with some favorite words of remembrance and the name of your loved one. You can even have a small area around the tree where urns of other family members can be buried too.
These days there are options called a ‘Green Burial’ whereby the urn with the ashes are taken to a ‘green’ cemetery and placed in a biodegradable urn or bag. This is then placed on the gravesite. If you want a burial at sea, there are boats for hire that you can take, go out to sea, place the ashes in a biodegradable urn and then place it in water after reading out a favorite verse or poem or sing a well loved song. Whatever the option you choose, let it be in accordance with your loved ones wishes and make you feel you have honored their memory.