Post-Cremation Duties: What to Do With a Loved One’s Ashes

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A deceased person can either be interred or cremated with the help of a funeral home in Laredo, TX, depending on their own will or their friends and family’s wishes. But between interment and cremation, the latter is more favored among American adults. It is generally more cost-effective and environment-friendly compared to traditional burial.

Post-Cremation Duties: What to Do With a Loved One's Ashes

The question, however, for the family and friends of the deceased is what should be done to the ashes after the body is cremated. Some people choose to honor their loved one by putting them in an urn and storing them at a columbarium or keeping them at home. But there are also other options, like the ones listed below:

Jewelry

Turning the ashes into a lovely piece of jewelry is a nice way to keep a loved one’s memory alive. The standard method of doing this is by putting the ashes inside hollow beads or gems. They will be crafted into fine ornaments, like necklaces, bracelets, or rings that a friend or family of the deceased can wear or bring anywhere.

Now, with advanced technology, ashes can be made into diamonds. They will be placed in a device that produces high temperature and pressure. This effectively isolates the carbon, which will be heated again until it turns into graphite, which is needed to produce the gem.

The whole procedure may take a few days, including the polishing and post-processing, depending on the funeral home in Laredo, TX that you commissioned for the service. The gemstone that will be produced is not entirely free from impurities. Even so, it is still a great and unique way to immortalize a person who recently passed on.

Scattering

Aside from storing the ash at a columbarium or at home, another common method is to scatter it in different locations, like in a memorial forest or at most national parks. Some people even disperse them on a flowerbed in their backyard or vacation house. For some people, doing this is a symbolic way to “let go” of a loved one, allowing them to return to the Earth and complete the circle of life.

There are plenty of things to consider before doing it. The location, for example, should not just be anywhere. There are areas where spreading ashes is prohibited or, at least, consent from the local government is required. The weather is a factor, as well, because it will be difficult to scatter the ashes when it is windy, snowing, or raining.

Water Burial

Similar to scattering, water burial is a symbolic way to “let go” of a deceased loved one. In this process, the ashes are spread over a large body of water, such as the sea. In some cases, a special biodegradable urn is used. The container can be made of paper, tree bark, plant-based substance, salt, or other materials that will break down over time. When it does, the ashes will be dispersed underwater.

There are several laws to follow regarding water burial. For example, the ashes can only be spread at least 3 nautical miles from the coastline. Anything that will be released to the sea along with the ashes, like wreaths or flower petals, should be completely natural and biodegradable. Also, a report to the US Environmental Protection Agency should be made within 30 days after the remains have been spread.

Tattoo

Cremation tattooing is provided by several funeral homes today. This procedure involves combining the ashes with traditional ink and using the mixture for tattooing. The amount of ashes needed for this process depends on the size of the tattoo itself.

Vinyl Record

Another unique way of immortalizing a loved one’s ashes is by turning them into a playable vinyl record that their family and friends can listen to. The two-sided disc can record up to 24 minutes of music. Popular choices are the deceased’s favorite songs, ambient sounds in nature, and a recording of their voice. Copyrighted tracks, however, may not be pressed into the vinyl record.

Also read: Funeral Traditions From All Over the World

Whatever you choose to do with the ashes is a sure way for you to commemorate your departed loved one. But always bear in mind that they already left you with a memento that will last forever: the memories of the life they lived with you.

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