Once upon a time, following the death of a loved one, their remains were invariably laid to rest somewhere on the family property, or local church graveyard. Neither are options for most people these days, as burial on private property is only permitted in certain circumstances and your local church isn’t likely to have an ‘active’ graveyard, due to space constraints.

A new burial plot in a cemetery can be costly.  As a result, cremation is becoming an increasingly popular alternative. Crematoriums may allow you to store the ashes of your loved one with them for up to 12 months, before charging you for storage.

So, you are left with the question; what to do with the ashes of your loved one? The old cliché is to put them in an Urn on the mantelpiece but most families today opt for a memorial in the grounds of the crematorium.However, here are some creative ideas you might consider for the cremated remains of your loved one…

    1. Scatter – Think of their favourite holiday destination, a park, the beach, or somewhere they always wanted to visit but never quite made it. Keep in mind that the ashes will weigh up to 5 kilos. That’s a lot of ashes to scatter, so you might like to do it in more than one location. For scattering the ashes on private land, you’ll need permission from the land owner, or if you’re scattering ashes in a park or other public area, you’ll need permission from the relevant council or government department. Discretion is always advised when disposing of a loved one’s cremated remains in a publically accessible place.
    2. Create a garden – Incorporate the ashes of your loved one into the soil of a garden bed, or flower pots in your own backyard. This way, each flower that blooms will be a happy reminder of your loved one and also a celebration of life.
    3. Sail away – If your loved one loved the water, you could bury their ashes at sea. Take a trip out on the family boat and release the ashes at a favourite fishing or recreational spot. Put the ashes inside an eco-friendly, bio-degradable vessel that’s designed to float for a few minutes, then break down after gradually sinking to the bottom.
    4. Inside a diamond – You can keep your loved one close to your heart at all times, by turning a piece of their hair, or ashes into a laboratory grown diamond that can be incorporated into a necklace, bracelet, or a ring.
    5. With the ones they loved – For those who want to be laid to rest with other family members, the ashes can be buried in an existing family burial plot. This can be accommodated by most cemeteries and it is considerably less expensive to bury cremated remains than to arrange a traditional burial.


Pre-planning your funeral means that you can record your wishes for your family, saving them from having to make difficult decisions during their time of grief. Let them know whether you’d prefer a traditional burial, or a cremation, and if you do choose to be cremated, record what you’d like to happen with your ashes, leaving the guess work out of it.