Not Sure What to Do with Ashes After a Cremation? Here’s 25 Unique Ideas to Inspire You 2

After someone close to you has been cremated, there’s an inevitable question: what to do with the ashes? Luckily, with over 70% of Brits choosing cremation these days, there are a LOT of options to choose from. If you’re feeling a little lost, our list of creative ideas below is sure to have something that speaks to you.

 

25 unique and special ideas for a loved one’s ashes

If you’re not sure what to do with the ashes after a cremation in the UK, there’s something for everyone here.

 

1. Take them out on the ocean waves

Done well, a scattering ceremony on the ocean can be one of the most beautiful things to do with ashes.

Unlike sea burial, you don’t need a licence to scatter ashes at sea: you can simply charter a boat. But keep an eye on the weather and other seafarers. On windy days, a floating urn may be smarter than scattering.

Find out more about scattering ashes at sea here.

 

ashes pressed in vinyl record2. Say a vinyl goodbye

One of our more unusual ideas for ashes. UK-based company And Vinyly promise to help loved ones ‘live on beyond the grave’ by pressing them into a playable vinyl record.

The record is completely personalised: you can choose the tracks, customise the record cover, and even send a voice recording to be included. Perfect for musicians and those who always needed to be dragged off the dance floor at the end of a night.

 

3. Help them go out with a bang

For someone with a lot of spark! There are a few companies around now that offer custom fireworks that can contain a person’s ashes. A display can be a dramatic and powerful tribute that the family will remember fondly.

Set up an evening bonfire, gather round and watch your loved one light up the sky.

 

4. Turn them into diamonds

Thanks to the miracles of 21st century science, it’s possible to turn the ashes of your loved one into a diamond. Natural diamonds take between 1 to 3.3 billion years to be created, but luckily there is a shortcut: with plenty of heat and pressure in a lab, you can bring that down to around 24 weeks.

 

5. Let them rest in a 3D-printed replica of their face

Yes, this one’s a bit bizarre. But one person’s nightmare fuel is another’s touching memorial, so why not look into Cremation Solution’s 3D printed personal urns? You send the company a few different pictures of your loved one, and they send back a (slightly uncanny) urn in the shape of their head.

If you’re not sure what to do with the ashes after a cremation, but know it needs to frighten small children, this is the answer.

 

6. Scatter them from a vintage fighter plane

Watch your loved one’s ashes float down from a vintage WWII Spitfire or Piper Cub as it passes over the funeral.

There’s something about the sight of these old fighter planes that speaks to most Brits. Whether your loved one was a veteran, loved planes, or was just a fighter themselves, this scattering ashes idea never fails to impress.

 

This Viking longboat urn is one of the most impressive unusual urns for ashes around

7. Give them a Viking send-off

A true warrior’s farewell: place the ashes in this replica longboat urn, float it out on the water, and set it alight. Best for an evening ceremony, when the light of the flames is clearest and the sheer drama of the ceremony can cast its spell.

An amazing, if unusual, idea for ashes. The quaffing of mead and roasting of hog is entirely optional.

 

8. Let them hit the dance floor

If you’re not sure what to do with a loved one’s ashes but know they would have wanted a big gesture, you could give them to their favourite band to scatter on stage.

Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten may have gotten some stick last year for accidentally inhaling superfan Stuart Clark’s ashes, but with a little more competence this can be a very rewarding gesture.

 

what to do with ashes - send them into space9. Send a balloon up into the stratosphere

The sky’s the limit when it comes to special ideas for scattering ashes! Or is it? Ascension Flights will take your loved one’s cremated remains to the ‘edge of space’ in a serene high-altitude balloon. There, the ashes will be released, swirling a little in the stratosphere before gently descending to earth.

 

10. …or venture beyond

Technically, the stratosphere isn’t space. So, for people whose loved ones would have wanted to explore that final frontier for real, there’s Celestis.

Based in the US, this company will take ashes or DNA up in a rocket, releasing them into orbit or taking them on a deep space voyage. At £3,928 to £9,830, this is one of the most expensive things you can do with ashes. But for true space enthusiasts, it can be a fitting way to prove that you love them to the moon and back.

 

canal boat - what to do with ashes

11. Take them out on a traditional canal boat

If you’d like a quiet, intimate family scattering, this is a lovely idea. Rent a genuine vintage narrow boat from Canal Holidays for a weekend and scatter the ashes on the river in an early morning ceremony. Our guide here explains what to do with cremation ashes in a waterside ceremony.

 

12. Fire them out of a cannon

Famous gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson chose this option for his ashes: to have them fired out of a cannon. If you don’t have access to a standard military cannon (and let’s face it, who does?) the Loved One Launcher from Cremation Solutions is a neat alternative, firing ashes up to 70 feet into the air.

 

13. Hold them close with a cuddly toyteddy bear - what to do with ashes

Cami-Bear make memorial teddy bears with an opening in the back for a small amount of ashes.

These huggable urns are popular among parents who have lost a child and in families where small children are grieving. A comforting and discreet memento.

 

14. Plant them with a tree and watch it grow

Capsula Mundi Ashes

A tree burial is a thoughtful option for gardeners and other nature lovers. Nowadays, you can get special biodegradable urns that are designed to mingle ashes with a special blend of nutrients to help a tree grow. As time passes, you can sit beneath the shade of the tree and remember your loved one.

If you think you might move home in the future, consider a tree or a bush that’s designed to grow in a pot – that way, you can take it with you wherever you go.

 

15. Keep them in a Neolithic-style barrow

In ancient times, our ancestors kept the bones and ashes of their dead in sacred earthen barrows, where important ceremonies were held. Sacred Stones is reviving that tradition, with two stunning replica barrows so far in Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire. Ashes are kept in niches inside the candlelit barrow, often behind unique stone plaques. Find out more about Sacred Stones here.

 

16. Scatter them via remote control helicopter

One of the more unique answers to the question of what to do with ashes in the UK! Angels Away will take your loved one’s ashes up in a cute remote control helicopter for an aerial tour of their favourite place, before releasing them into the air.

 

17. Celebrate them with a memorial tattoo

A lot of us like to get tattoos memorialising our loved ones – but you can go one step further. A few tattoo studios in the UK now offer memorial tattoos: the artist mixes some of your loved one’s ashes in with their tattoo ink and uses it to create a unique, personal design. Bubblegum Ink in Cheshire have an interesting post about their method here.

 

ideas for ashes - bird on rose bush

18. Keep them in a garden birdbath

Haddonstone create impressive stone memorial birdbaths for families to keep in their gardens. The ashes are held in a container in the base. Not just one for birdwatchers, it’s a subtle way to keep the ashes of your loved one close by while also doing something for the local wildlife.

 

19. Let them swim with the fishes

Many people would be disconcerted to hear that they’d end up encased in concrete and nourishing life on the ocean floor. But Solace Reef isn’t some mafia offshoot: an eco-friendly initiative, they cast ashes into concrete pyramids and use them to create an artificial reef that helps fish and plant life flourish. One of the more environmentally-friendly things to do with a loved one’s ashes.

 

things to do with ashes - take them abroad20. Scatter them in a favourite holiday spot

Most of us have fond memories of a perfect holiday spot: perhaps it’s that place you took in the view at the top of a hill, or a sunny beach you spent hours basking on. For those wondering what to do with ashes after a cremation, taking them to a place that’s special to you as a family can be an easy, thoughtful option. You can find out more about taking ashes abroad here.

 

21. Take them skydiving

What to do with ashes - take them skydiving

Not for the faint of heart! UK-based Your Wings will take you up for a tandem skydive, during which you can release your loved one’s ashes into the open sky.

 

22. Turn them into colourful windchimes

Memorial Windchimes will take the ashes of your loved one and swirl them into brightly hued glass windchimes. Hang them in the garden or a window and enjoy the way they gently tinkle in the breeze. A good option for those looking for things to do with cremated ashes but still want to keep them close to home.

 

23. Strap them to your motorcycle

If the open road was your loved one’s favourite place to be, Final Ride’s motorcycle cremation urn might be the answer. This chrome-plated solid steel canister attaches to your vehicle, so that you and your loved one can ride off into the sunset together.

 

24. Keep them close with memorial jewellery

Memorial jewellery – also known as ‘keepsakes’ – are designed to hold a tiny amount of ashes. The ashes can be swirled through glass or kept in a tiny compartment.

Memorial jewellery can be a thoughtful way of keeping your loved one close by you, especially on special occasions. Brides wondering what to with someone’s ashes, like a parent’s, on their wedding day might consider a small blue glass ring or pendant as their something blue, for example.

 

25. Keep them at home

While most families choose to scatter their loved ones’ ashes these days, keeping them at home is still a popular option. It doesn’t have to be an impersonal choice, either: check out our guide here to see some of the most unusual and creative urns available in the UK.

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Missouri Storm Chaser’s Ashes to be Released into a Tornado 0

Tornado

What would you say if you could write your own obituary? For a creative option, you can’t beat Jim “Mad Dog” Sellars’ self-penned goodbye, in which the adventurous former ice cream dipper, butcher, weatherman, telephone lineman, reserve policeman and veteran storm chaser from Missouri announced that his ashes would be released into a twister.

“My friends the ‘Outlaw Chasers’ will launch my cremains into a tornado at a later date”, Sellars wrote. “That’ll be fun!!!!”

The scattering will be a fitting tribute to a man who chased well over 100 tornadoes in his lifetime. Speaking to the Kansas City Star, Sellars’ older brother John described Jim as a dedicated and generous person who approached all his hobbies whole-heartedly. “If he knew (a tornado) was going to set up somewhere, in Oklahoma, or Alabama, he would load up with a couple of people and go chase.”

“If he found something that interested him, he jumped into it all the way up to his neck.”

Even when Sellars was confined to his bed due to illness, he continued to track tornadoes for the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program, also sending out radio reports to help his fellow storm chasers.

“It was a tough time for him, but he spent every waking hour helping people all over the radio”, said John. Condolences on Sellars’ memorial page describe him as both “fun loving”, “generous” and a “big hearted guy who was very devoted to helping others”.

Jim’s self-written obituary tells the story of a busy life well lived, with memories of family, friends, and a range of careers:

“I remember the 1960 Winter Olympics we had in our snowy backyard, sitting with Dad watching the satellite Echo 1 flash through the night sky.

“I was honored as a Policeman to have met and protected … Presidents Reagan and Ford, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, George Carlin, Dolly Parton, Mac Davis, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones, Elvis and many more.”

It also paints a portrait of a self-deprecating man with a strong sense of humour. “I had a few tryouts with the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals. … I was either too drunk or too hung over to do much good … But I had fun.”

Yet, as you might expect from a long time storm chaser, the weather seems to have been Sellar’s enduring passion. “I saw my first tornado in Sept 1975 and my last 30 years later … I liked all kinds of weather, rain, snow, sleet, hot, cold … I really didn’t care as long as I was here to see it.”

Despite the unusual nature of his brother’s last request, John has promised to launch the ashes into a tornado as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Jim Sellars is survived by his two children, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

“I loved all my family, friends, caregivers, and the people that made my world turn.” Sellars said. “So, as we move forward on our path around the sun at 66,660 mph, let’s all pray, hope, or wish for peace and love for our world.

“Bye for now. … See ya on the other side.”


Do you have any unusual wishes for your own ashes? Make sure your family know what to do when the time comes by sharing your funeral wishes in your will with Beyond. It’s free, easy and takes just ten minutes. Start writing your free will here today.

Baptist Funeral Customs 0

Baptist Funeral Customs

The Baptist churches have their origins in the reformation movement in Europe. Baptism spread from Amsterdam to England and then across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, where the largest Baptist congregations are now based.

The fundamental principle on which Baptism differentiates itself from other Christian churches is ‘believer’s baptism’. Whereas other parts of the Christian faith baptise infants at a very young age, Baptists believe that you need to be able to personally affirm your faith if the process is to hold any spiritual significance. Here, we take a look at the beliefs, customs and traditions surrounding Baptist funerals.

 

Baptist beliefs

There is great variety in tradition, custom and belief among Baptists and this fact is reflected in Baptist funerals. While all Baptists are joined in the belief that only those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ should be baptised, other theological differences aren’t as divisive as in other sects of the Christian faith. This means funeral services can be personalised to a greater extent to reflect the life and opinions of the deceased. It also means there are diverse opinions on what death means. However, most Baptists believe that those people with faith in Jesus Christ will find salvation in him and go on to live forever by his side in heaven.

 

Baptist funeral customs

Diversity of belief between Baptist congregations means that some funerals will be joyous celebrations, while others will be more sombre affairs. The first step in organising a Baptist funeral is contacting the local deacon or pastor. They will assist in organising the funeral and ensure everything is as it should be.

Baptist Funeral CustomsA viewing service is common amongst Baptist congregations. This gives friends and family the opportunity to pay their respects and usually takes place a day or two before the funeral. The funeral itself is led by the local deacon or pastor. Often the casket is closed at the beginning of the service. In many cases, the service and readings will focus on the power of God and His role within everyone’s lives. It’s not unusual for there to be little said about the deceased’s life. Music and the reading of scripture both play an important part in Baptist funerals and both religious and popular music may be heard.

Once the service is complete, it is traditional for prayers to be said and scripture read by the grave site. Once the coffin has been lowered into the ground, the mourners often disperse and reconvene at a reception at the family home, the church or a public space. Food is sometimes provided and it’s usual for mourners to contribute to the meal.

 

Baptist Funeral etiquette and other customs

Traditionally, mourners are expected to dress respectfully in black and clothes that reveal too much skin are not considered appropriate. However, some families may ask mourners to dress in brightly coloured clothes in honour of the deceased. Sending flowers to the family of the deceased is also common, although individuals may be asked to donate to charity instead.