After the death and cremation of a close relative, our family decided to scatter their ashes on our beautiful mountain top property. This made us realize that many people have a similar need — a place to respectfully inter human ashes.
We started Rest Ashured to fill that need. Many people don’t want to scatter in a traditional cemetery and prefer a beautiful, natural setting.
So, we decided to create this small, family-owned business dedicated to honoring God and all his creation. We use the land He’s blessed us with to help others. People send us their loved ones’ ashes for scattering in our garden or with a memory tree.
In our experience facilitating these scatterings, we’ve collected information that can help you ensure that your loved one’s ashes are handled reverently and interred with respect.
Table of Contents
Consider Religious Beliefs or Personal Convictions
Find a Meaningful Resting Place
Store and Ship Appropriately
Inter Human Ashes with Care
The beauty of cremation is that it doesn’t force a timeline for your grief. You can wait as long as you desire before selecting a scattering site. In fact, many people even keep ashes in their homes for years while they mourn.
When you’re ready, there are several considerations to help you choose the best resting place for your loved one’s remains.
Review your Loved One’s Documentation
Many people are overwhelmed by facilitating their loved one’s final wishes. As soon as your loved one passes, access their living quarters. Try to find important documents such as a last testament and will, financial records, and other important paperwork.
For example, your loved one’s living will may explain where they would like their ashes interred. Some people provide explicit instructions. They may even have prepaid for a funeral planning service or reserved a scattering location. If so, follow their instructions and contact the appropriate service providers.
If your loved one did not plan, you will need to choose between the various options for disposing of human ashes. This includes:
- Scattering in a garden or ocean
- Planting the ashes with greenery or a tree
- Interring in a cemetery
- Burying in an urn garden
- Placing in a Columbarium
You can weigh each of these options against your loved one’s wishes to choose the best scattering location.
Consider Their Religious Beliefs or Personal Convictions
If your loved one did not specify what they would like done with their ashes after cremation, take their convictions into consideration. Many religions have rules about disposing of human ashes. If your loved one was a member of a specific institution (religious group, fraternity, etc.), you can inquire about options for their members.
Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions can help advise on the appropriate way to put ashes to rest for someone affiliated with them.
If your loved one was part of the military or any fraternal services, notify them of your loved one’s passing. They will let you know if any special ceremonies and honors can be bestowed upon your loved one. Additionally, the Military or fraternal organizations often assist with the cost of a service or burial.
If your loved one was not part of a specific group, you may consider their personal convictions. For example, a conservationist may care about the impact of their interment on the environment. This can help you look for compatible options.
Find a Meaningful Resting Place
Once you have considered your loved one’s personality, preferences, and beliefs, you can find a meaningful resting place for their ashes.
We recommend choosing a scattering option that aligns best with the memories you have with your loved one.
Scatter Atop a Mountain Garden
Many people like the idea of scattering their loved one’s remains in a place they can visit from time to time. Ideally, it’s someplace registered for that purpose — and will be preserved over time. Scatter gardens are a wonderful option because they are filled with beauty and life.
At Rest Ashured, we’ve actually created such a place in the Blue Ridge Mountains with breathtaking views, abundant wildlife, and carefully-kept memorials.
If you choose this service, you send the ashes to us through the mail. Then, we reverently scatter them on our mountaintop garden. Finally, we place an engraved memorial stone at the site and send a certificate of release.
Although we keep the property closed to preserve the landscape, we open it twice a year for our days of celebration. During these days, we invite people to come and visit their loved one’s scattering sites. Visitors find it’s a meaningful time to pause, remember, and reflect.
Plant a Memorial Tree
As a resting place, a memorial tree celebrates a life well-lived by thriving in nature. Each year, as the tree grows taller, the memorial grows too. The tall trunk and long branches will point heavenward as a reminder of your loved one’s new home.
This tree memorial scattering service is also on our property. Similar to the scattering garden, we receive your loved one’s ashes through the mail. Then, we prepare a site for a new tree. We scatter the ashes during the planting process. After planting, we place a stone at the base of the tree and send a certificate of release.
The memorial trees are also available for visitation during the days of celebration. Our visitors enjoy seeing the tree grow each year.
Scatter Ashes at Sea
The ocean holds a special meaning for many people. Many people scatter ashes in the sea when the person has served in the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines. Others choose it as a final resting place for fishermen. Many families like to choose a seaside close to a favorite vacation spot — where they spent quality time with their loved one.
Burial at sea is legal as long as you abide by the EPA guidelines. This means you’ll need to be at least 3 nautical miles offshore and file the appropriate paperwork. We recommend choosing a scattering service that is familiar with these guidelines and operates in compliance with the regulations. Then you are free to focus on your family and friends during the scattering ceremony.
At Rest Ashured, we offer two types of burial at sea: attended and unattended. Attended ceremonies allow the family and friends to journey with the remains on a boat to the scattering location. Unattended ceremonies take place without the family or friends present.
During these ceremonies, the boat captain navigates to the appropriate location for scattering. At that spot, we respectfully scatter the remains. Afterward, the boat captain ensures that the proper paperwork is filed with the EPA.
Store and Ship Appropriately
When you receive human ashes from a crematorium, they usually give them to you in a plastic bag. This is often placed inside a temporary container made of card stock or a similar, temporary material. If you want to keep the ashes at home for a period of time, an urn gives you a reliable vessel to store and transport human ashes.
Tips for Transferring Ashes to an Urn
- Ensure the container is big enough before you transfer. Most adults’ ashes weigh between 4 to 8 lbs.
- You may need someone to help you with the transfer. They can hold the container to keep it steady.
- Place your container on a flat, stable surface. Choose a surface you can easily wipe clean.
- When you’re ready, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. This will help you pour them softly into the new container.
- If your container is narrow, you may need a funnel to facilitate the process.
- At the end, there may be larger elements to add. Carefully cut open the bag to make this easier to transfer.
After you’re done, make sure the container is properly sealed. This helps prevent any spilling and creates a stable environment inside the container.
If you need to ship the ashes to an internment location, the USPS has guidelines for mailing cremated remains.
How should Cremated Remains be mailed?
Can Cremated Remains be shipped internationally?
- Cremated remains are permitted to be mailed to an international address when the designating country does not prohibit the contents and when Priority Mail Express International service is available to that country.
- You can verify this by checking the Individual Country Listing in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM®).
Do Cremated Remains have to be shipped using a Priority Mail Express box or the Cremated Remains Kit?
- No, customers can use a box of their choice but are required to apply Label 139 to the package (available for order on The Postal Store® or from a retail counter) on all sides including the top and bottom. Customers may follow the guidelines for shipping Cremated Remains listed in Publication 139, How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains.
Why is the Postal Service requiring the use of Label 139?
- The use of Label 139 is required to ensure visibility and importance of the package contents.
Where can I purchase a Cremated Remains Kit?
Can I obtain a Cremated Remains kit from a local post office?
- No, the kit can only be ordered through the Postal Store on usps.com.
How do I pack and prepare the Cremated Remains for shipping?
If someone chooses to send their ashes to us, we make the process easier. We send you a package with everything you need to ship human ashes. We also provide pickup services to select locations.
Inter with Care
If you choose to scatter your loved one’s remains, you must follow the laws for scattering human ashes. These are predominantly enforced and managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You cannot scatter in public or private areas without permission. Unless it is your own property, you must check the location beforehand to ensure you’re complying with local laws.
One of the benefits of choosing a private scattering garden is that it has been prepared and registered for that purpose. So, you know that your loved one’s memorial will be preserved through time. Parks or residential areas may change ownership and your memorial may not be retained.
After you choose a scattering location and get the appropriate permission, you should plan for the following:
- Decide if the scattering will be attended or unattended.
- If you choose to attend the scattering, find out if you can say something during the memorial. Often, people like to recite a prayer, poem or Bible verse.
- If you choose to send your ashes for scattering, find out what the process is for verifying the scattering.
- Plan for the fees. Most memorial sites have some fees for the scattering services and reserving the space.
- After the scattering, you’ll need to mark the location. Memorial stones and memorial trees are popular choices.
- Find out if you can visit at a later date. Many people find comfort in this ritual.
We can assist you with the scattering process if you choose one of our services at Rest Ashured.
Send Cremated Remains to Rest Ashured
At Rest Ashured, we’re here to help you say goodbye. Our process follows five simple steps.
First, you start by picking a scattering service. We offer a scattering garden, memory tree dedication, and burials at sea. You can see all your options on our Services Page.
Next, we’ll send you a package. This contains all you need to send us ashes for scattering including boxes, labels, and tape. It also contains simple instructions for how to prepare and post your package.
Then, you can ship the package to us using your local post office or favorite mail service.
Once we receive your package, we scatter your loved one’s ashes as you specified. After the scattering, we send you a certificate of release. This marks the date and exact location of your scattering.
Get in Touch with Us
Whenever you’re ready, scattering the ashes allows you a final moment of closure and a place to visit for reflection.
We are honored by each scattering, and we strive to help people say goodbye with dignity and respect. If you have any questions about our services, please get in touch with us. Call 434-534-4007 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.