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10 Meaningful Places to Scatter Ashes

When a loved one is cremated, families can choose to bury the ashes, keep them in an urn or scatter them somewhere. While the act of scattering ashes can be a highly personal and meaningful sendoff, it can also be daunting. If you’re interested in scattering your loved one’s ashes but aren’t sure where, here are some ideas to consider, and keep in mind that you don’t have to choose just one.

1. Their favorite outdoor spot

If your loved one had a favorite hike, river, running path or park, consider scattering their ashes there. It may give you a feeling that you are returning your loved one to something they loved, or bring back memories of times that you spent together there. Spreading your loved one's ashes in a favorite outdoor spot can also lend a sense of weight to the space whenever you visit it, especially on special anniversaries and or times.

2. A place where a major life event occurred

You may want to honor a milestone in your loved one’s life. This could be a college campus, a wedding location, a sports location, or a place where a meaningful goal was accomplished.

3. The ocean

If your loved one enjoyed being out on the water, a scattering at sea may feel right. You can add a colorful touch to the event by scattering flower petals with the ashes. This will let you easily witness the movement of the ashes as they float away over the waves and into the ocean. Many of those who love the ocean or the water specifically request for their ashes to be spread at sea. However, if you want to be able to visit the place easily, a scattering out at sea may not be the best choice.

4. A high point near your home

If you live in a mountainous area or a place with other easily visible geographic markers, those high points can be meaningful places to scatter ashes. Some find themselves taking daily walks or favorite hikes near areas around where they live, so spreading ashes at a favorite hiking spot near your home is not a bad idea. You’ll be able to easily look at it throughout your day and feel close to your loved one.

5. A place where he or she would go to relax

If your loved one had a favorite place to escape and think, that can be a beautiful place to scatter ashes. Some ideas are favorite parks, hikes, lakes, rivers, or other serene spots. When you’re missing him or her, you yourself may feel like you want to escape, and this will give you time to yourself while also letting you feel connected.

6. A garden

For those who appreciated the beauty of nature, a garden can be a fitting place to scatter their ashes. If you’re able to, consider also replanting a flower from the garden in a pot at home, giving you a beautiful reminder of your loved one. If the garden is near your home, you can also place memorial stones or grave markers to mark the location.

7. A favorite vacation destination

If there was a vacation spot that you and your loved one particularly enjoyed or frequented often, consider scattering their ashes there. Some people feel it symbolizes leaving their loved one where they can always be on vacation. For others, it brings back cherished memories.

8. A place they always wanted to go, but never visited

On the flip side, some people choose to take their loved one to a place that they were never able to visit in life. For some, it feels like they’re granting their loved one a final wish.

9. Your own property

Sometimes, what feels the most natural is to keep your loved one close to home, especially if you want to be able to visit the spot with ease. Perhaps there’s a spot in the yard that you would want to scatter the ashes. Think ahead, though, and consider how you’ll feel if you move and are no longer able to visit the spot.

10. Space

While not technically scattering ashes, you can now send your loved one’s ashes into space, where they’ll orbit the earth for two years. This may feel like a fitting send off for someone who loved astronomy or rockets, or if you want to be able to look up at the stars and think of your loved one up there.

Like many other things involved with coping the death of a loved one, there’s no right or wrong place to scatter ashes (so long as you check local laws and confirm that the location is alright) – it only matters what feels right to you. And if it doesn’t feel right to do anything yet, that’s okay, too.

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Last updated June 15, 2022
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