What to do with Cremated Remains

There are many unique options for families who choose cremation

Cremation on the Rise

Cremation continues to rise in popularity over traditional burial with over 50% of Americans now opting to be cremated after they die. However, despite this growing trend, a large majority of families don’t know what to do with the cremains (cremated ashes) they receive afterward. More often than not, the cremains remain stored in their respective containers for so long that they end up being forgotten. There’s no need for this unfortunate scenario, as there are numerous unique options available for handling cremains.

Unique Options Available

In addition to being placed in an urn, cremated remains can also be buried in a cemetery grave or interred above-ground in a columbarium niche. Here are some other ideas of what to do with cremated remains:


You can scatter cremains in a meaningful location that was important to your loved one, e.g., the family homestead or a natural outdoor landscape (lake, mountain, forest). But proceed with caution when scattering on public land or private property – make sure you understand all the rules and regulations and seek permission before you begin. Some cemeteries also provide scatter gardens for families looking for a convenient and secure place to scatter cremains.


Urns and keepsake containers allow you to keep your loved one’s cremated remains close by for comfort and security:

  • Urns – come in all shapes and sizes, forms and designs. An urn can be a simply constructed wooden box or a creative vessel designed to resemble an hourglass, holiday ornament, glass paperweight, or golf ball.
  • Jewelry – storing cremains in keepsake necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and rings is another special way to keep your loved one physically close to you.

Out of the Box

There are numerous unconventional ways to handle cremains. Each option varies in simplicity and cost but all are singular “final resting places” for your loved one:

  • Tattoos – a small amount of cremated remains are mixed with ink and tattooed into the skin as a physical and highly personalized reminder of your loved one.
  • Coral Reef – if the recently deceased was a fan of the ocean, their cremains can be mixed with concrete to form an environmentally-friendly marine reef that also doubles as a permanent water memorial.
  • Fireworks – for a grand finale, cremains can be incorporated into fireworks and set off in a customized display or packaged into self-firing rockets.
  • Space – launch your loved one’s remains into space for an incomparable (and pricey) final adventure. Cremains can be transported into lunar orbit or deep space to create an everlasting celestial memorial.
  • Diamonds – turning cremains into a diamond is a timeless method to memorialize the dearly departed. Cremation diamonds are an eternal and physical reminder that often becomes a cherished family heirloom.