Companion Cremation Urns
by Linda Banks
photo courtesy of Oscar
Wedding vows traditionally promise ‘til death do us part.’ Many couples hope for something beyond death, and plan to spend eternity together. Historically, couples have chosen to be buried side-by-side in a family burial plot. Today with the rise in cremation, couples have many choices in how their final remains might reside together.
The type of cremation urn selected depends on what you wish to do with the remains. When selecting companion cremation urns, consider several factors that help you choose the right urn, beyond just the aesthetics:
- Do you want the cremated remains commingled in a single urn or placed in one companion urn designed with two separate compartments?
- Will the cremation urn be displayed and where?
- Do you plan to place the urn in a columbarium or niche?
- Do you want the ashes scattered in a memorial garden or at a favorite location?
- Do you want to bury the cremated remains, or set them afloat in the ocean?
- Will the cremated remains be shared among family members?
- Keep in mind that each adult will likely die at a different time. Think about where to store the ashes of one adult until ready to commingle or store with the other ashes upon death. This can be more than just a simple box, but a decorative urn, or even the companion urn itself.
Begin by deciding where the companion urns for ashes will ultimately reside. Will they be displayed in a family member's home, or in a columbarium or niche at a cemetery or memorial location?
Memorial display cremation urns
A companion cremation urn that serves as a permanent memorial to a couple’s union is also known as a display urn. Companion urns are large cremation urns designed to hold the cremated remains of two adults. One style holds the ashes of both parties commingled in a single compartment. Other companion urns are designed with two compartments to hold each adult’s cremated remains separately. Ashes can also be contained in a bag separately and placed in a single compartment.
Samples of companion urns include:
Burial cremation urns
Perhaps it’s your wish to be buried in a family plot with your beloved. Stone, cultured marble and metal urns are excellent materials for burial. Wooden companion cremation urns are lovely urns to commingle ashes and then bury. Biodegradable urns for ashes can hold commingled ashes and will decompose naturally when buried in the ground. Be aware that if you are not wanting the urn to biodegrade you may need an urn vault to secure your cremation urn in the ground since some materials will get crushed by the weight of the earth on top. The earth may also sink as a biodegradable urn decomposes.
For those who wish to have their ashes scattered together, specially designed scattering urns can be used to transport and scatter the ashes. The ashes can be commingled and placed in scattering tubes to be dispersed by family members. Scattering gardens have become popular sites for couples to have their ashes dispersed together.
These small companion urns for ashes are designed to hold a portion of ashes. Cremated remains can be mixed together and placed in a standard memorial urn to be displayed; then smaller amounts of cremains can be placed in keepsake memorial urns and shared among family members.
Columbariums and niches
Columbariums are walls with cubbies or niches that each hold urns or other receptacles with cremains. These installations are often found at the cemetery and are dedicated to holding cremains. These columbariums can be open, where the urns are on display, or they can be closed where each set of cremains are in a drawer or cabinet.
Companion urns can be placed in a columbarium or niche, which can hold two cremation urns or one large companion urn. Be sure to find out the dimensions of the niche to assure it will hold the companion urn you have selected.
Companion urns can also be used to hold the cremated remains of a parent and child, siblings or friends who wish to have their ashes kept together. Some pet owners have used a companion urn, or an extra large sized urn, to hold a pet’s cremated remains mixed together with their own.
Don't forget that many of these companion urns for ashes, even some of the biodegradables, can be engraved and personalized for that final touch.
Linda Banks provided extended end-of-life care for her beloved Aunt who was like her mother. When her brother suddenly died, she was instrumental in orchestrating all of the details of his final wishes to be cremated. Linda has been an active blogger for ten years, including blogging about Willie Nelson and his family. Willie told her recently that he reads her blog every day.