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Options When Choosing a Final Resting Place

flowers on a columbarium

Stress-reducing suggestions when it’s time to select a final resting place and create a thoughtful farewell.

Interment gives your loved one a final resting place. Interring your loved one’s ashes in a permanent memorial is a comfort to family members and friends as it provides a place to gather, honor, and remember for generations to come.

You do not have to hold an interment of ashes ceremony right away. The act of cremation allows you as much time as you need to locate a final resting place, plan an interment ceremony, and gather with family and friends. Whether it’s one month or one year after their death, the following suggestions can help you decide how best to honor your loved one.

Consider a Direct Cremation Service

A direct cremation service takes care of the details so you can focus on planning the ceremony. A cremation provider can send your loved one’s ashes and necessary paperwork to you or the place of interment, whichever you prefer. These cremated remains are shipped in a simple container that can be used for the interment or transferred into a more decorative urn. Most cemeteries and columbariums have a coordinator who can sign for cremated remains.

Choose a Final Resting Place

Your first decision is selecting a final resting place for your loved one. Assuming that they did not pick a specific location, you have several options to inter or bury your loved one’s ashes. Some are more traditional resting places, while others take a more creative approach. All are respectful options that work well with a direct cremation provider.

You can learn more about each potential place before selecting a location that respects your loved one’s religious beliefs or preferences.

Cemetery or Churchyard

You may bury your loved one’s ashes in a cemetery plot below the ground, with a marker or monument of your choosing. Some cemeteries allow more than one urn to be buried together in a single gravesite.

Urn or Memorial Garden

Some cemeteries offer urn or memorial gardens specifically for cremated remains. These gardens are often beautifully landscaped, with the option to inter your loved one below ground or above ground.

Columbarium

A columbarium is an above-ground structure or wall with small spaces called “niches.” Your loved one’s urn is placed within, with a plaque or marker on the niche’s exterior. There are options for both community or public columbariums, or private columbarium estates.

Private Land

You may bury your loved one’s urn on private land with written permission from the owner and according to local regulations.

Artificial Ocean Reef

Some families opt for a unique living memorial by interring their loved ones in an artificial ocean reef. Your loved one’s ashes are placed in an environmentally safe concrete urn that can be marked with a plaque. You might also have the option of placing handprints while the concrete is damp and soft.
Your loved one’s urn is lowered into the ocean, where it becomes a safe haven for all forms of sea life to live and flourish. If the reef provider does not have another locator method, you may use longitude and latitude coordinates to visit your loved one’s final resting place.

Memorial Tree

Memorial trees are becoming more popular as families want to combine their desire for a final resting place in an environmentally friendly way. Planting a tree is a beautiful gesture with life-affirming symbolism. Tulip Cremation offers families the option of planting a tree (or trees) in a National Forest. We partner with American Forests, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthier planet.

You can also choose to purchase specially prepared sapling kits to plant a living tree with your loved one’s ashes in your backyard or garden. A memorial tree provides shade and beauty for generations as well as a thoughtful reminder of your loved one.

Choosing an Urn

Make sure that the urn you select is suitable for your loved one’s final resting place. Cemeteries, urn gardens, and columbariums may require that you choose an urn made from granite, marble, metal, or another durable material. You can use a biodegradable urn for planting a memorial tree.

Plan the Ceremony

Depending on the final resting place, interment of ashes ceremonies can be held inside or outside. Some memorial or urn gardens have an indoor banquet or meeting room that you may use. It’s a good idea to have an indoor location as a backup if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Theme or Tone

You and your family members can decide if you want a religious or secular service. For religious ceremonies, you might ask your faith leader to serve as the celebrant for the ceremony. The celebrant leads the service.

For secular events, anyone or multiple people may serve as the celebrant.

Ceremony Format

There is no “right” way to plan an interment of ashes ceremony. Many people choose a basic format such as this:

  • Guests Arrive: Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite songs; classical or religious hymns are appropriate.
  • Celebrant Welcomes Guests: The celebrant reads an opening prayer, poem, or brief introduction.
  • Eulogies: You might select someone to read a eulogy, then invite others to share their remembrance.
  • Interment of Ashes: Either you, the celebrant, another guest, or someone from the facility places your loved one’s urn into its resting place.
  • Closing Remarks or Prayer: Religious ceremonies often end with a prayer; secular ceremonies might use a poem or favorite quote.

This structure is a suggestion – you may create a unique format for your selected location, your loved one’s beliefs, and your family’s needs.

Keepsake & Memorial Items

You might want to create a keepsake item. Guests often find these small but meaningful tributes comforting, particularly if they live too far to visit.

Ideas for keepsake items include:

  • Wallet-sized cards with your loved one’s picture on one side and a favorite prayer or poem on the other
  • Prayer or affirmation cards
  • Ceremonial pins or ribbons that can also be worn during the ceremony
  • Flowers, wreath, stones, or seashells to place on or near interment place
  • For veterans, you could lay an American flag on or near the interment.

Décor

You can keep the ceremony simple and forego any decorations. Some families set up a table with décor and objects that they feel are appropriate.

  • Candles (real or flameless)
  • Framed photos or video slideshow
  • Memorabilia that represents your loved one’s favorite color, beliefs, sports team, or place

Tulip Cremation Makes Memorial Planning Easier

There are many ways to create an interment of ashes ceremony. The most important thing is that you and your family come together to support each other and honor your loved one.

Tulip Cremation offers direct cremation that makes it easier on you and your family. We provide affordable direct cremation that includes transportation, preparation, and private cremation. Our caring and professional team places your loved one’s ashes in a simple container and ships them to any U.S. postal address.