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What can you do with the ash scattering urn after scattering ashes?

by Chris Gottschalk


Image by Christoph Kaiser*

A scattering urn is a specialized vessel. After an urn has been emptied of a loved one’s ashes and the ceremony is complete, the urn remains. The question is, “What do I do with it now?” Fortunately, there are several options.

Bury the scattering cremation urn for closure

A common option for an emptied urn is to bury it. This offers the bereaved a way to achieve additional closure, similar to burying the deceased in a burial plot. Many cemeteries with scattering gardens provide a serene final resting place for ashes. The gardens often allow a plaque to be placed for permanent memorialization at the site of scattering, and/or if the urn is entombed below ground. If you decide to bury an urn, consider choosing a biodegradable cremation urn.

Burying an urn is also a fitting way to end an ash scattering memorial ceremony. Our guide on planning an ash scattering ceremony provides a few ideas on how to make the ceremony meaningful.

The Honeycomb Scattering Urn is specially designed to make sprinkling ashes easy. It's made of eco-friendly materials, and features a practical yet attractive design. The urn is handmade by ProPueblo, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing fair trade to South American communities. Cremation scattering urns such as the Honeycomb Scattering Urn are lightweight for travel, and easy to hold for scattering. It is eco-friendly should you wish to bury it.

If you're planning on a sea burial, consider urns for scattering ashes at sea such as the White Memento scattering urn, or the shell-shaped biodegradable cremation urn. These urns are free of harmful chemicals and break down easily. They allow for the ashes to descend gracefully into the water.

Repurpose the scattering urn for ashes

Certain scattering tubes provide additional options. The small ceramic Rose Scattering Tube makes a lovely flower vase, or can simply be kept for display after a ceremony. Other scattering urns work well for dried flower arrangements made from flowers given at the time of death. Or consider keeping the urn as a keepsake to store mementos of your loved one.

Donate the cremation urn to charity

Most people don't think about donating an urn after they've finished sprinkling the ashes of the deceased. However, there are several families for whom a death is not only a tragedy, but is also a financial crisis. Consider checking with a local nursing home, funeral home or crematorium, or a worthy charity. Chances are they might know of an individual or family in need. The act of donating the cremation urn might be appreciated financially and emotionally.

Even after a loved one's ashes have been scattered, an urn retains value as a memorial vessel.

*Image can be found here: 

Chris Gottschalk is a freelance writer living in Rochester, Minnesota. He first wrote about emotional loss and healing in his book, How to Heal After Heartbreak, and often explores these themes in his fiction pieces. When not writing, he practices martial arts.