Ashes in the Closet: The Issues with Goodbye

By Susan Fraser -January 09,2018


The death of a loved one tends to bring out a lot of confusion and even conflict among family members. In fact, research shows that 75% of us have not had any end of life discussions and 45% of us die without a will. This may lead to delays in a memorial service and selecting a final resting place for a loved one’s ashes. These tips help families minimize disagreements, decide on a time to say goodbye, and  help identify an urn that will be ideally suitable.

Has your Family had Conflict When Coming Together on the Death of a Relative?

It should come as no surprise that families do not always agree on everything. This can create difficulties and even open arguments at any time.  Especially when grief affects everyone’s ability to decide. After a loved one has passed, the family gets together to determine what kind of plans they would like to have for a funeral or memorial service. The entire process of planning and carrying out the last goodbye may be much easier if the person had left a written record of their final wishes. Knowing your loved ones final wishes is not always enough to eliminate conflict. In some cases, families disagree with those wishes. In other instances, finances do not permit the kind of service and final rest that the individual had requested. The best way for families to manage their conflict is to listen to all the concerns of each member. It may be possible to make a minor compromise that allows the person who passed a respectful sendoff that is consistent with their wishes. This can help avoid any additional burdens for others in the family.

Were there Issues when Making Decisions During a Time of Grief?

Each person experiences feelings of grief in a unique way. Some might react with loud expressions of anger. Others could feel so numb that they do not feel the urge to cry. It is vital to keep in mind that there are so many ways to express grief, and they are all normal. People in one family might be so focused on finding distractions that they seem incredibly energetic. While on the other hand, their siblings may barely find the energy to get out of bed.

Cremation Scattering Ceremony

A family gathering for a Cremation Scattering Ceremony

The best way to promote a sense of closeness is to recognize that everyone’s individual experience is valid. It's always important to work together to create the ideal way to say goodbye. Choosing cremation means that families can take their time to make several decisions about what to do with the ashes. Although, it is typically a good idea to settle a few matters while the event is still very recent. Obviously, the decision to have a body cremated or opt for a traditional burial must be made only hours after passing. In this case, planning prior to a person’s death (known as “pre-need”) often smooths this first choice. This way family members will know or be made aware of their loved one’s wishes quickly.

 Did you know that 20% of People wait more than a Month when Purchasing an Urn for Ashes?

Unlike traditional burials, cremation permits families to customize a loved one’s memorial and final rest in an unlimited number of ways. This can be interesting, engaging and overwhelming. Some families choose a memorial service that is very much like a traditional funeral. Selecting a simple, standard brass urn to suit a somber mood. Others might create a festival on a beach.  Including a classic bonfire, bright clothing and an urn with as much personality as the person whose ashes are kept within.

The plan could be inexpensive to suit families on a tight budget, or very grand. Cremated ashes do not degenerate when put in a dry, secure place. As a result, relatives and friends can take the time they need to think about what their loved one wanted in a cremation urn. This may take weeks, months or even a few years to make their memorial service, into a reality.

Is a Memorial Service Enough?

When planning a final service and resting place for ashes, many people find that there are so many options available they simply cannot decide. The truth is that families do not have to make only one choice about the handling of cremated remains. If family members cannot reach an agreement about burying, scattering or keeping a loved one’s ashes, it is definitely possible to do all three.

Peaceful Pillow® Urn

A family taking their loved one for a deep sea burial service.

Urns for ashes come in all sizes. Small enough to hold a pinch of ashes to being large enough for the remains of more than one person. The urns themselves are made for all different kinds of purposes as well. Deciding the type of service for the memorial ceremony is the first selection. Meaningful ceremonies help the healing process by celebrating a loved one. The favorable choice when determining the final resting place of a loved one is an urn burial in a cemetery. Scattering urns or burials at sea are becoming more popular. The idea of letting the waves of the ocean carry away your loved one is very soothing. There are also options for Biodegradable Urns that are eco-friendly and easy travel companions. Another traditional approach is placing the urn in a family home.

Asking for Help

People who have never searched for cremation urns might not have any idea how many choices are available. Sometimes it is easier and less stressful to let a memorial specialist help sort out all the options. Memorial specialists are familiar with the different methods of handling cremated remains. They can easily advise families on the best ways to have the kind of memorial service and final rest that their loved one had in mind. People who have a limited budget may quickly discover that they do not always have to compromise on quality to save money. Memorial specialists can also take requests to learn more about the kinds of urns that could be perfect for your loved one. For more information about In The Light Urns and customer reviews please visit: BBB Accredited Business Profile


Wed, 01/17/2018 - 00:03

[…] or crypt. No matter how much they are willing to pay. In turn, they end up keeping a loved one’s ashes at home, because a Church-sanctioned burial or placement of the ashes is literally not an […]

Add new comment