Paranormal Activity - Do Cremation Ashes Invite Spirits to Stay Around Home?
by Maggie Thompson
Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for families to be uncertain about where to display, bury, or scatter the ashes of a loved one. When there is no rush to make a decision, what about a closet “for now?” becomes the approach. This indecisiveness springs from understandable emotions or circumstances.
- Sometimes it’s a matter of family members coming to consensus.
- Geographic logistics can delay the opportunity for a formal family gathering to bury or scatter the ashes.
- Some believe the essence of their loved one is gone, and the ashes have little personal significance.
- Others prefer having the ashes nearby, without making further plans, because they are not ready for a more final step.
There are countless ways to care for cremation ashes. But what happens when months, years, or even generations go by, and the ashes remain in the closet?
Cremation ashes at home in a closet
In an unusual example, psychic medium Lisa Guttierez-Haley relates her true story on Psychic-Experiences.com. Lisa was contacted by an exasperated family. They had been experiencing strange paranormal negative activity in their home - images of people walking by, a strong sense of aggressive behaviors and bad energy. Lisa reported that a pervasive, overwhelming meanness was coming from an elderly female spirit, dominating an elderly male spirit. This energy was strongest by the closet. Confirming the psychic’s sense, the family opened the door, and on the shelf were two boxes of ashes – cremains of the wife’s great grandparents. Lisa advised removing the ashes from the house right away. The husband did so and immediately, the air lifted.
However, Lisa could feel more spirits in the house. Yes, in another closet, two more boxes of cremains. These were of the wife’s grandparents, who evoked a gentle presence of love and pure intention. Lisa deemed it was good to leave their boxes in the closet, that the spirits were happy to be there, providing positive energy.
How long do the dead stay around?
This question, a relevant one given the story above, was posed to Jaime Licauco, who has been researching, teaching and writing on esoteric knowledge and the paranormal for 35 years. He responded to questions in his article on the Inquirer.net Lifestyles page. Licauco says:
When a person dies, their psychic connection with loved ones is not immediately severed. It can remain for a long time. Because of this, their energy can still be felt by the living. In truth, the dead never leave us, but are in another dimension of existence. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a loved one’s ashes in the house.
Ashes at home in a basement – and ashes in an alter
In writing this piece, I gathered a few stories from friends.
Gail and Arthur were making repairs in the basement of the family summer home, beloved by several generations. Tucked on a back shelf, was an old coffee can that neither of them recalled. Opening it, expecting to find an assortment of nails, nuts and bolts, they came to a startling realization: The contents, sealed in a plastic bag, were obviously cremains. But whose? Running through a mental list of deceased grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles provided no ready answers.
In our church on the back of the free-standing altar, there is a small locked door. Behind the door? Ashes. Several containers of cremains. This is not a columbarium, but rather an unofficial, safe holding spot, while families decide what they want to do. One box has been there 12 years, another, 8. The most recent has been there 2 weeks, with plans for burial in the church’s memorial garden next month. Some boxes with cremains have been there such a long time, that no one knows who the remaining family members of the deceased are, or how to contact them.
If you have ashes in a closet, what can be done with them, especially if family wants to keep the ashes at home?
- Traditional options: Memorial urns designed for display are an aesthetic option for keeping ashes in the house. They come in a variety of designs made with ceramic, glass, marble and stone, metal, and wood. Smaller keepsake urns and jewelry pendant urns that hold a nominal amount of ashes are also satisfying choices.
- Scattering solutions: A garden, forest, and water are meaningful places for scattering ashes. Although not always necessary, scattering urns are available to use during a scattering ceremony. Before scattering, a portion of ashes can be kept at home in a keepsake urn or ash pendant.
- Ashes blown into glass such as a vase, paperweight, or distinctive glass cremation keepsakes
- Scattering ashes at the edge of space
- Ash incorporated into a diamond gemstone
- Ash mixed with paint for a portrait of the deceased
Cremation offers the benefit of time - there is usually no urgency to make a decision about what to do with the ashes. This allows families time to make plans and to grieve well. Cremation is an option that offers that space. Keeping ashes in the home is a comforting, and meaningful way to still feel connected to a loved one for many people. Will it be the same for you?
Maggie Shopen Thompson, MFA, is a freelance writer and writing workshop facilitator in Montpelier, Vermont. She has had experience as a caregiver for her mother many years ago, and for her husband and daughter during their recent cancer treatments and recoveries. She is a contributing author/artist in Healing Art & Writing – using creativity to meet illness, curated and edited by Patricia Fontaine, published in August 2016.