More and more Australians are choosing cremation when planning their own or their loved one’s arrangements. Cremation has become popular as the more affordable, eco-friendly and flexible choice. For some, the scattering of ashes is a more personal way of saying goodbye to someone who has died. Once the deceased has been cremated, families have the opportunity to scatter their ashes in a place of significance.
This article will explore the different ways someone can scatter ashes and other important factors to consider during this process.
What are the different ways you can scatter ashes?
After your loved one has been cremated, you’re able to take your time in deciding when and where you’d like to scatter their ashes. Whenever you do decide, you can choose which manner is most fitting for you and your family.
1. Casting ashes into the wind
Place the ashes into a scattering tube to keep them secure beforehand. Once you’re at your meaningful spot, tap the ashes from the tube into your hand and gently cast the ashes into the wind blowing away from you.
2. Trenching ashes in the sand
At your chosen beach, dig a shallow hole in the sand and pour the ashes into it. The hole should be deep enough to safely cover the ashes with a layer of sand. Let the tide wash over the ashes as you say your farewell.
3. Ringing ashes around a tree
Spread the ashes into a ring around a tree or bush. Once you’ve scattered the ashes, stand around the circle with your family and friends. This creates a moment where anyone in the circle can speak up and say a few words about your loved one.
4. Spreading ashes across a garden
In your own backyard or the backyard of a family member, you may choose to create a garden feature to spread the ashes. For some, keeping the ashes close by can bring comfort in knowing that your loved one is always near. Keep in mind, if you do ever decide to move, the ashes will remain settled in the garden. You might choose to plant a flower or tree as a reminder of the person you have lost.
5. Scattering ashes into the ocean
Securing the ashes in a scattering tube, travel to a beach that means a lot to you. You may choose to scatter the ashes from a boat, jetty or lookout. Alternatively, you can keep the ashes in a biodegradable water urn that will gradually release the ashes into the sea.
Can you split ashes?
There are many families who choose to divide the ashes between family members. Others may prefer to scatter the ashes together. How one person chooses to say goodbye to the deceased may differ, making it unique to each person who has experienced the loss.
Is it legal to scatter ashes in Australia?
Scattering ashes is legal, but in certain circumstances and locations, you may need to ask for permission.
If you wish to scatter ashes on private property, you must get permission from the property owner. To avoid any legal issues, it’s encouraged that you gain permission in writing form.
Private properties may include:
In some instances, you may need to get in touch with the council to clarify if the area you choose to scatter the ashes is considered private property.
While it’s legal to scatter ashes in Australia on public land, each state and territory has its own regulations. To help guide you for the requirements in your particular area, refer to the information below:
Can you mail ashes?
It’s possible to send ashes in the mail, but some shipping companies have internal policies against mailing ashes. It’s best to refer to the internal guidelines at the discretion of each individual company. If you’re wanting to send ashes overseas, you’ll need to find out more about the destination country’s regulations by contacting an embassy or consulate in Australia.
Are there any health risks with scattering ashes?
You are safe to handle ashes if the cremation has been undertaken by a professional. The cremation process is performed at extremely high temperatures to make sure there’s no potential contamination.
How long do cremated ashes last?
Ashes can last for a very long time safely stored in an urn. You’re able to keep your loved one’s ashes for as long as you want to before deciding to scatter them. Once you’ve scattered the ashes at your chosen spot, they will settle and become one with their surroundings.
Safewill can help you
Our friendly team at Safewill Cremations can help provide a personal, affordable and eco-friendly way to say goodbye to your loved one.