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Just_Justine's avatar

I think it is time to scatter my parents ashes, I would like some ideas please?

Asked by Just_Justine (6448 points ) March 14th, 2010

I know this might sound horrendous, so forgive me. But when my parents passed on I kept their ashes, in the side cupboard to be exact.
I feel now it is time. I am going through all this transformation stuff, about my home and life. So I feel along with this would be the letting go. I don’t want to be sobbing all over the place. How can I make it a joyous occasion? I am thinking of the sea, because it is just down the road. Plus I think I might feel better for letting go? I also get scared that I will regret it and try and grab their ashes back. I know it sounds stupid, but that’s how I feel.

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31 Answers

partyparty's avatar

We scattered my mother-in-laws ashes in a reservoir which had once been a village… the village she lived in.

ucme's avatar

My wife’s Dad died a couple of years ago.She scattered his ashes along the beach where he took his dogs for walks.It was a place she remembered fondly as somewhere he would go often.It’s a very cathartic experience.Letting them go in more ways than one.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am a potter and sometimes people will buy my lidded pots to keep ashes in.The smallest I ever sold for that purpose was 2“x2”.It was tiny.You can always keep a small amount and scatter the rest if you want.
Should you decide to scatter all the ashes,that’s fine too as it doesn’t erase the memories you have of your parents.

filmfann's avatar

I have told my kids to scatter my remains in the Ocean, but that I don’t want to be cremated.
Just chum my guts and stuff.

davidbetterman's avatar

Maybe scatter their ashes where they first met, or there favorite camping spot.

LuckyGuy's avatar

My neighbor spread his parents ashes when he planted two trees. I think it’s a great idea if you have the space.

Vunessuh's avatar

I think you’re smart to scatter their ashes in the sea close to your home because then you can visit the exact spot whenever you’d like.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Maybe make it some kind of ceremony with a few others, maybe another person to say a few words and make it a clean break with past sadness and something to symbolize starting a new chapter in your life? I don’t know exactly what would work for you personnally as symbols or milestones. Or maybe just a ceremony for you alone if you don’t want to involve others.

marinelife's avatar

Did your parents have a favorite place where they would have wanted to be scattered? If not, then the sea is a fine choice.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe thank you that is beautiful :) @ everyone, thank you too.

Imagineer's avatar

How about from the top of a rollercoaster? That would be a last fun thing to do with your parents :) .

partyparty's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Your lidded pots would also be lovely to keep the ashes of pets I expect. What a lovely idea.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Being near the ocean, too, I like that idea. Can you rent a boat and take them out beyond where the tide ebbs and flows so they’ll be truly at one with the ocean? Barring that, just along the beach is a wonderful idea.

@worriedguy : wonderful idea

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@partyparty I have the ashes of my two dogs in small ceramic containers wrapped in ribbon on the side of my TV cabinet along with a picture of each of them and a paw print the vet made of each before they were cremated.

Coloma's avatar

A friend of mine that I used to ride horses with wanted to be put in a mesh bag and tied to the tail of her horse, swishing along the trail. I LOVED that!

partyparty's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Oh what a lovely idea to have a paw print made. Don’t think you can get anything like that where I live. I would have loved to have that done for my dogs. I am reduced to tears (sob sob).

Blondesjon's avatar

No matter where you spread their remains always remember that the memory of your parents resides in you heart.

alamo's avatar

Second @Adirondackwannabe small ceremony idea. We put my father in laws ashes in the Pamlico Sound from a boat last fall. We used a professoinal guide we know.We had enough on our mind without running a boat too. He didn’t charge but we donated to his church as a thank you. We said a prayer, looked at each other to make sure we were all ready, then put the ashes in the water. We then put flowers in the water one at a time and they drifted in the current behind him. We used a family member to record with a video camera. Don’t know if that works for everybody though.It would give you something to “grab” in the future if you need to.
It was a big step towards healing for all of us. The ocean and the boat ride gave time and place for reflection. Have some people around you that you trust and love if possible. We spent the rest of the day remembering the life we just celebrated and let go. Also, if possible notice a landmark. We spread him near an island and can remember and visit the spot when we need.

filmfann's avatar

When I talked to my wife about this, years ago, she thought it might be nice to have her remains scattered on a Disneyland ride, like Mr. Toad (not the hell part), or Pirates of the Carribean. I told her I didn’t like that, because I want those rides to be happy places for my kids, and I don’t want them thinking about how their mom’s ashes are there.

Cruiser's avatar

Take them somewhere special to you…that way you will get to see them often and feel connected to them in a was that is meaningful to you!

lynfromnm's avatar

We spread my mother’s ashes near our family’s favorite picnic spot in mountains near the city we call home. There were a lot of wonderful memories there, for 4 generations. Another idea we had was to put some of her ashes in the garden at the local library, which she had donated funds to. We also considered traveling to the town in which she was born to scatter some ashes there, but we all agreed about the picnic spot as the best place. We will all be able to visit that spot again easily.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@partyparty -People seem to like them for that reason.They almost always have a small carved leaf on them too . :)

Scooby's avatar

I’d like my ashes to made in to a large firework rocket & blasted in to the night sky on my birthday, my Mother said I arrived with a pop!? :-/
I’d like to go out with a huge BANG!!! Even over the sea the source of all live…….. :-/ just an idea!

Draconess25's avatar

My uncle died on a fishing trip, so they threw his ashes in the middle of the lake. It was always his favourite place…......

phil196662's avatar

@Just_JustineDon’t do it yet!!!

You need to ask yourself if yor ready to part with them like they’re friends that you have shard your most intimate thoughts. It’s like a friend going off to college you might never see again so you go together and share a favorite place either close or far away where you grew up.

then figure out there favorite place they really loved and scatter them there.

I still have my dads ashes from his death in 1997 and have not decided yet so don’t rush!

(((hug)))...

arnbev959's avatar

Do what feels right.

I was talking to a woman the other day who’s mother had died. Her mother had been wearing a particular sweater when she died, and this woman had saved it. Every day she spent time touching it and smelling it, and she said that it became a kind of obsession to her. A few months after her mother died she decided she needed to get rid of the sweater. She just knew it was time for her to do it, so she did. She brought it outside and burned it, and she said it was a really liberating moment for her, like she was finally releasing her mother’s spirit. Holding onto the sweater had been keeping her from moving on.

You probably have a pretty good idea what you want to do, so my best advice would be to go ahead with whatever your heart tells you.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If your parents didn’t leave any specific request, do what will make you the happiest. It sounds like you want to hold on to them for now, so just find joy in purging other things from your home and life. You can always scatter the ashes when you are ready, but once done, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to do. Please let us know what you decide.

P.S. I cleared out 2 walk-in closets full of work clothes and gave them to a women’s shelter that focuses on helping ladies get back on their feet and get a job. The wire hangers were donated to a local dry cleaner who recycles them. It felt great.

zzc's avatar

We buried my Mom’s ashes at the foot of her parents’ graves. My Dad’s went in the big river we lived by. I have a friend who’s Dad died. She split the ashes with his best friend. Then they each went to places her Dad loved, where they had good memories of being with him. They didn’t know if it was legal to spread them in all these various places, so they were pretty discreet, she said. A little here and a little there. . .that sounded great to me, a warm review of good times past, a celebration of his life, fun, yet intimate. She felt really good about it.

tigress3681's avatar

Part of the reason we scatter the ashes is to allow ourselves to let go the pain, similar to putting dirt on the casket, for some people. I think you should consider places your parents loved, if there was a park they adored or something like that. That would be a really great place to let them go.

AshlynM's avatar

If the time is not right, then you shouldn’t feel pressured into letting go of your parents. Their bodies may be gone, but their spirit will still remain with you forever.

You also don’t need to spread their ashes out all at once. You could do it little by little. Spread some out by the sea and others out by perhaps a favorite vacation spot of theirs.

Or…consider saving some ashes after you’ve done your duty and just keep a little for memory’s sake. But be sure to label the jar or urn. You don’t want to accidentally spill it or use it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@AshlynM Thank you for providing additional options in this scenario. I just checked, and the OP’s (Original Poster) Fluther account is closed. While the OP may not hear your suggestions, others will.

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