Mourners consider new ways to scatter a loved one’s remains


More people are opting for cremation over the traditional burial which leads families to having to decide what to do with a loved ones cremains. If families opt to scatter remains, permission should be obtained. For distributing ashes in the ocean, it must be done at least three miles offshore; most New England state prohibit ash scattering in fresh water. For other options and the complete article, follow our link to the Boston Globe.

Mourners consider new ways to scatter a loved one’s remains

By Beth Teitell | Boston Globe

Fenway Park gets so many requests to sprinkle cremated remains on the field that the park’s operators have had to start saying no. At Disneyland and Disney World, custodians are so regularly called to vacuum up ashes that they reportedly came up with a term for it: “Code Grandma.”

At funeral ceremonies, a new trend has emerged — mourners are being asked whether they’d like to take a package with the deceased’s ashes and sprinkle them someplace meaningful.

“It was my first experience with this,” said Michael Mackan of Dorchester, who recently attended a funeral where the mother of the young man who died asked friends to help continue her son’s journey in the world. “I thought it was a beautiful idea.”

In 1960, hardly anyone was cremated — the rate was a mere 3.6 percent, according to the Cremation Association of North America. But by 2016, cremation had become so popular it surpassed burial, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

Along the way, a once-fringe ritual — scattering a loved one’s ashes — has become such a widespread practice that the bereaved can now take ash-scattering cruises or purchase rocket-like devices to launch remains into the hereafter. And odds are creative options will increase: Funeral directors are projecting that by 2035, the cremation rate will hit 79.1 percent.

The trend is fueled by cost considerations — cremation is about one-third the price of burial; environmental concerns; an increasingly transient population; fewer religious prohibitions of the practice; and the desire for simpler, less-ritualized funeral practices, according to the funeral directors trade group.

With Americans increasingly spelling out where they’d like their remains scattered, fulfilling that last wish is a growing way for the bereaved to seek comfort, said Walker Posey, a spokesman for the Funeral Directors Association. “It’s very common to hear, ‘Dad said please scatter a portion of my ashes here.’ ”

Well, that’s easy for Dad to say. Continue Reading

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