3 Surprising Things No One Ever Tells You about Scattering Ashes

by Brent Woods

If a loved one passes away with specific instructions to scatter their ashes at a preferred location, you probably have ideas in your head of setting out with your beautiful urn on a spiritual journey that will provide an easy way to say your goodbyes. Even though cremation is an excellent way to do something more creative with a loved one's remains, the process of scattering ashes to fulfill your family member's ashes is not as simple as you may think. Here are three surprising things no one ever really says about scattering ashes. 

1. Ashes May Be Difficult to Travel With—If you have to hop on a plane or cross an international border with your loved one's remains, there will be a few special considerations to keep in mind. Even a cremation urn will have to be thoroughly examined at customs crossings and when you get on a plane. Some airlines actually require the remains come with a specified container or be brought on as a piece of carry-on luggage. However, under no circumstances will the remains be opened and handled, out of respect for your deceased loved one. 

2. Ashes Are Not Light and Dusty—Contrary to what is often dramatized on television, the ashes that you receive from the crematorium are not typically lightweight or even easy to set free in the wind. The thought of ashes usually brings about images like paper or wood ashes, but cremated remains are more dense and heavy. They may also contain solid fragments, which can be upsetting for some, but if you prefer, the cremation service can sift the ashes before they are returned to you.  

3. Not Every Landowner Will Allow You to Scatter Ashes—You may think that a few ashes would not hurt anything, but you might be surprised to find out that not every landowner or business location will allow you to scatter ashes. Most will not mind, and some public parks and places actually have designated areas because they are so popular, but it is imperative to respect private property and ask for permission before you scatter your loved one's remains.

The bottom line is, before you choose to scatter the ashes of your deceased loved one per their request, there are a few things you should make sure that you know. Talk to a cremation services director, such as one from the Romero Family Funeral Home Corp., about any questions you have concerning the scattering of ashes and to get advice on any additional things you should know.