When Multiple Family Members All Want to Keep A Loved One's Ashes


Cremation has such a sense of finality to it, doesn't it? Your beloved family member has passed away, their life was celebrated, a funeral was held, and then they were cremated. This isn't the final stage of the process. After the cremation, your loved one's ashes will have been placed inside an urn and presented to you. What happens when you and your other family members can't decide the best place for the ashes?

Retaining the Ashes

Ideally, a consensus will be quite natural. After some discussion, your family might decide to scatter the ashes at a place that held some significance to your loved one. These remains might also be buried in a cemetery, to create a physical final resting place. Many people decide that they want to retain the ashes—helping to create the sense that their loved one will always be with them. However, conflict can develop when there are several people who wish to hold onto the ashes.

The Volume of Ashes

The precise amount of ashes will vary, but an average weight of approximately five pounds can be expected. The volume can be greater, depending on the person's height, weight, and bone density. Remember that these are ashes, ranging from powdery to granular, and are not a solid mass. This means that when there are multiple members of the same family who wish to retain a loved one's ashes, these ashes can easily be divided. 

At the Crematory

If possible, it's best to make the decision to divide ashes as early as possible (prior to cremation). This allows the crematory to divide the ashes for you. There will probably be a small extra charge, which is less about the required labor, and more that the ashes must be divided and packed into individual containers. These initial containers will be basic receptacles and can be replaced with a decorative urn at a later stage.

At a Later Stage

If your loved one's ashes weren't divided at the crematory, you will need to make your own arrangements. This prospect can make some people uncomfortable. Although the ashes won't resemble human remains, the very fact that these ashes were once part of your loved one can prove to be a significant emotional and psychological hurdle. You might wish to ask a trusted friend to handle the duties for you while taking the appropriate caution. Rubber gloves should be worn, and a filtering facepiece respirator (just like those worn on construction sites) can be beneficial, preventing the accidental inhalation of any powder disturbed during the division of the ashes.

There doesn't need to be an argument when numerous people all want to hold onto their loved one's ashes. Division of the ashes is a straightforward process, albeit one that can be emotionally difficult to do yourself.

If you have any questions about the possibilities of cremation, be sure to contact a funeral home that can help you.


6 January 2022

Decorating a Funeral Venue

My beloved paternal grandmother passed away almost 4 years ago. Before her death, this special woman suffered many months due to a fatal lung disease. After her passing, her large extended family wanted to celebrate her unique life with an elaborate funeral service. They chose to work with the funeral home staff to decorate the funeral venue with things she loved. Because she enjoyed fishing, a large floral arrangement in the shape of a fish was purchased. Also, the family bought a floral cross to illustrate her devotion to her faith. On this blog, you will discover how to work with a funeral home staff on decorations at the funeral service venue.