Scattering Options

Cremation Scattering Ashes

The act of scattering the ashes can be a pivotal moment in dealing with the loss of your loved one. Depending on your wishes, the scattering of ashes can be a private time for family or a public ceremony for a larger number to pay their respects.

Before conducting the scattering, you must be certain that the location you have chosen will allow it. Local regulations may restrict the scattering of ashes in certain locations. If you are personally considering being cremated it is important to discuss such matters with your loved ones that will be doing the scattering.  Another thing to keep in mind is that many of your loved ones might find it emotionally difficult to scatter their loved one’s ashes in particular areas.  This is why it may be to your benefit to have a funeral professional assist in the scattering ceremony. Funeral directors are extremely helpful in making sure you or your loved ones will get a fitting tribute, easing some of the stress and responsibility off of those in mourning.

When selecting your scattering site, try to think about the future state of the site. While your site of choice may be open and available right now, there is no guarantee that the land may be utilized for other reasons in the future. For this reason, use caution when selecting an anonymous, unmarked or public place, as what is currently undeveloped land may be developed at a later date. Another thing to consider is the locations of family members and loved ones. If you plan on being cremated, talk with your family about choosing a location where everyone will get to attend the scattering ceremony and revisit the location at a later date to pay their respects. To prevent these types of obstacles, you may consider keeping a portion of the cremated remains and store them in a memorial urn for a second scattering at another location or as a keepsake.

When deciding on a Virginia location for the scattering of ashes, you might also want to consider local cemeteries. Many cemeteries in Virginia have land such as scattering gardens and ossuaries that are specifically dedicated to those who wish to have their ashes scattered. If you are still undecided about a proper scattering area or have further questions about the scattering procedure, you may want to consult with your funeral director. They will have the experience to ensure that you and your loved ones get the a respectful and memorable scattering that adheres to your wishes.


Cremation Scattering of Ashes Questions

How to scatter cremation ashes?

Many people opt to use a Scattering Urn, an urn that is specially designed to disperse the cremated remains. The use of a Scattering Urn adds a bit of dignity to the services and also makes the task of the scattering itself less stressful. By putting the urn on display during a memorial service, a scattering urn serves as the focal point that a coffin would at a traditional funeral service.


Cremation Urn Scattering Methods and Locations


Casting Ashes: When you toss the ashes into the wind, you are casting ashes. In most cases, this is done by one member of the family while others look on. Several family members can scatter at once as a symbolic gesture using separate containers of their choosing. It is important to use caution prior to the casting of ashes, as you will want to scatter them down wind. While the majority of the remains are heavy enough to fall to the ground unaided, some of it will be in a powder-like form which can be carried by the wind.

Trenching Ashes: Some people elect to dig a shallow trench or groove into the soil prior the the scattering. The family will then fill this trench or groove with the contents of the scattering urn. The ceremony is brought to a close by family members raking soil over the filled-in trench.

Ringing Ashes: This is done by forming a ring around an object of sentiment with the cremated remains. The ring can be formed with or without the use of a pre-dug trench. Examples include forming a ring around the deceased’s favorite tree. Other variations include having the family stand in a circle outside of the ring, stepping in one by one to share memories of the deceased.

Raking Ashes: This process requires that the ashes be poured from the scattering urn on loose soil. The ashes are then raked into the ground as the ceremony comes to a close. In most cases, this is how the scattering process is carried out in scattering gardens that are  located in local Virginia cemeteries. Your funeral director can help you find a scattering garden in your area.

Cremation Ashes Green Burial: With this method, the ashes are placed within a  biodegradable container and placed into a hole in the ground. The container is then covered up and, if the family wishes to do so, some form of permanent memorial will be placed on the grounds. Many cemeteries allow this, given that they will allow the biodegradable container.  

Scattering Ashes Over Water: You need to look into getting a water-soluble urn if you plan to scatter the cremated remains of a loved one over a body of water. These special urns are designed to gradually disperse the ashes back out to sea. This urn prevents the problem of having the ashes blow or float back against the side of the boat. This urn is designed to float for several minutes before eventually sinking.

Aerial Cremation Ashe Scattering: While something of a rarity, some people have the cremated remains scattered from a private plane. This method needs to be done by a professional and can be orchestrated to fly over a specified location for the scattering.