When choosing an urn, there's a few key factors to consider on a practical and emotional level. And, if the whole process is feeling daunting at an already overwhelming time, start by answering the below questions to guide your search:
Where do you want the final resting place of your loved one to be?
Consequent sizing constraints of the urn?
How do you want the urn to look?
What's your urn budget?
How can you make the urn personal and meaningful?
We provide an easy, step-by-step process to walk you through your urn choice. Read on for some inspiration, as well as successive considerations when faced with this decision.
1. Final resting place for the ashes
Firstly, you’ll need to consider the final resting place of the urn. Will it be kept at home or in a columbarium? Will it be buried or kept visible? In deciding the location of an urn for ashes it’s important to reflect on whether you’ll find the presence of an urn comforting or distressing. Whether you want it to close, or near. Alternatively, some find more comfort in scattering urns or water burial urns where the ashes are released into nature. In choosing a meaningful location, many find comfort in revisiting that place, rather than having the urn itself near.
Ultimately knowing where the urn will be placed can help you make a decision on the material and design of the urn.
2. Size of the urn
Once you’ve decided a meaningful location for the urn, the next practical consideration is the size. Urns come in a range of sizes, from small urns that hold an individual’s ashes, to larger urns that can hold the ashes of multiple people. It's important to consider how much space you have available for the urn, as well as how much of the ashes you wish to keep.
You might make it a feature of your mantelpiece, or simply bury it in a meaningful spot. Either way, the size of the urn should be representative of location practicalities, as well as the role you want the urn to play in your grieving process.
3. Urn material & design
Leading on from these considerations, is the material and design of the urn. Urns can be made from a variety of materials; wooden urns, metal urns, glass urns, and ceramic urns are now all viable options. Each material has its own unique look and feel, and can offer different levels of durability. For example, metal urns are often more durable than ceramic urns, but may not have the same level of warmth and character. If burying the urn, some people also opt for a biodegradable urn.
The material you decide on will also depend on visibility, once the urn is located in its final resting place. If it’s a feature of your family home, you may take more time to choose between an intricate pattern, or a simple and understated design. You could go handcrafted with unique details, or a more uniform appearance from machine-made options. An urn means different things to different people, but consider your loved one's personal style and what they would have liked when choosing the design.
4. The cost of the urn
Cost represents another important consideration in choosing the design of your urn. Depending on the material, design, and craftsmanship, urn prices can range from a few dollars, to several thousand dollars. It's important to consider your budget when choosing an urn, but also keep in mind that an urn is a final resting place for a loved one and should be treated with the respect and care that they deserve. Another helpful way to think of your urn budget, is to reflect what you would have otherwise spent on a burial stone and casket.
5. Making the urn personal
Finally, it’s important to not get lost in the practicalities, and forget the fundamental concept of the urn: it’s emotional significance. An urn can be incredibly meaningful to you, and also a special reflection of what was important to your loved one. For this reason, some people like to reflect the essence of the deceased in their urn. Whether it's through a colour which matches their sports team, a natural material to reflect their love for the outdoors, or an intricate design which reflects their love for art- there's many options on both appearance, as well as location.
To Wrap Up
Choosing an urn for a loved one can be a daunting task. But by breaking down what can feel like a mammoth decision into small and practical steps, you can make an urn choice which honours your loved ones memory. And in doing so, find comfort and peace with your ultimate decision.
How Safewill can Help You
Safewill can help with cremation plans for now, or for in advance. We provide a no-extra-charge urn in addition to your cremation plan with us, or an extensive catalogue to help you make your personal choice. What's more, we have a team of experts on hand to support you at every step of the way, available for support at any time on 1800 103 310 , or via live chat now.