Cremation Burial

There are options for burying cremated remains

After you lose a loved one, it can be difficult to make decisions about what comes next. Typically, families will choose to have their loved one cremated or buried after a traditional funeral or memorial service. But families often struggle with the decision of what to do with the ashes after cremation takes place. There are a number of options for the interment of ashes to create an important and lasting place of remembrance for those choosing cremation.

While some people choose to keep a loved one’s cremated remains in an urn or container in their home, or even scatter them at memorable places, others find the idea of a cemetery burial comforting. In fact, some religious customs—including those in the Catholic church—actually require the ashes to be buried or entombed rather than scattered.

If you aren’t sure how to handle the interment of ashes, consider this: Burying cremated remains in a cemetery provides a permanent place where friends and family members can come to pay respects, enjoy a loved one’s legacy and reflect on their life.

If you add a memorial or marker, such as a plaque, stone monument, pedestal or bench, generations to come will have a reminder of your family members and the great accomplishments they made in their lifetime. If you are interested in scattering the ashes, you can still choose to have a marker in a cemetery as a symbol of lasting remembrance for your loved one.

Outdoor companion cremation columbaria monuments with yellow flowers at Pacific View Memorial Park.

If you’re interested in establishing a permanent place of remembrance for your loved one’s cremated remains, consider these options:

Interment in a columbarium

A columbarium is a structure that houses cremated remains aboveground. Many cemeteries have beautiful columbaria on-site that are composed of dozens of small wall spaces called niches. Each niche can house a burial urn or container for ashes. Some niches have glass fronts, allowing families to personalize the space around the urn with photos, beloved mementos and other items personal to the person being honored. Other niches have bronze or granite fronts.

If you choose to handle interment of ashes by purchasing a niche in a columbarium, you can also purchase a plaque that can be customized by engraving your loved one’s name, birthdate, death date and other special information like a favorite verse or quote. Some people prefer to place ashes in a columbarium because it serves as a public memorial and you can visit the columbarium to pay your respects.



Burying remains in a cremation garden

Some cemeteries feature a cremation or urn garden where you can purchase space to bury your loved one’s ashes. This can be an ideal type of burial if your family member loved spending time outdoors in beautiful spaces. Most urn gardens are landscaped and some are so elaborate that you can choose to memorialize a burial urn with a park bench, boulder or decorative fountain. If you are interested in placing a loved one’s ashes in an urn garden, your Dignity Memorial® professionals can help you choose a beautiful and fitting tribute to your loved one, regardless of your budget.

Interment of ashes in a traditional plot

Burying cremated ashes in a traditional burial plot is a good option for families who prefer to be buried in the same area. Some cemeteries will allow more than one urn to be buried in a single gravesite because urns don’t take up much space. Similar to a burial vault, urn vaults are available for purchase to protect the urn as the surrounding soil settles. You can purchase a traditional headstone or choose another grave marker to memorialize your family member’s cremated remains, like a striking bronze plaque or a majestic stone statue.



Plan a memorable cremation funeral

Planning a personalized cremation funeral or memorial is an event unlike any other. We created a guide to help you understand all of your cremation options and how to plan a truly memorable event. Understanding Cremation—A Complete Guide is free, and it will help you start planning today. Then, when you are ready, a Dignity Memorial provider will be there to walk you through every step of the cremation process.

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