Why Do Families Divide Ashes?


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/ Why Do Families Divide Ashes?

When a loved one dies, the thought of cremating them can be comforting. It can feel like they are still with you in some way. But what do you do with the ashes after the cremation? Some people choose to bury them, others choose to scatter them. But another option is to divide the ashes amongst loved ones.


For many, cremation is chosen as the final disposition of the body. This process offers several options for dividing the ashes among family members. Some families choose to divide the ashes in an urn after cremation. This urn can be shared among family members or scattered in a place that was important to the deceased. If scattering is chosen, it can be done individually or as a group. 

Another option is to have each family member keep their own urn of ashes. This allows each person to have a physical reminder of their loved one and also makes it easy for everyone to take part in memorial ceremonies or scattering events.

No matter why families decide to divide the ashes, it is a very personal decision that should be made by each individual family.

Five reasons why you might want to divide ashes

1. Dividing ashes can be a way for families to come together and honor the memory of their loved one. Dividing the ashes by putting them into seperate bags to be taken by multiple people, is a delicate process, one that should be shared amongst the family members. If you aren’t comfortable doing this together, you may want to ask your crematorium to divide them for you. Regardless of how you physically divide the ashes, your family can all go together to collect their bag and put them in their own urns. This can be a comforting process for those who are grieving. 

2. It can also provide a sense of closure for those who are grieving.Each person has individual access to the ashes, and can have their own way to honor them.  

3. Dividing ashes can be a way to spread the love ones’ ashes in multiple locations, which can be comforting to some people. A relative living across the country may find great comfort bringing a piece of their loved one home with them after the funeral. Scattering the ashes among family members makes this possible. 

4. It can give family and friends a tangible way to remember the deceased. Some people find comfort in visiting a cemetery or memorial site after they lose a loved one. Having a portion of the ashes beautifully displayed in a wooden urn in their home also gives an honorable way to remember the person who was lost, and keep the memory alive in the home. 

5. Dividing ashes can help keep the memory of a loved one alive and close to those who are grieving. When you have a portion of the ashes in a part of your home where it is visible, you and your other familly members can each keep the memory alive in your individual homes. You don’t have to travel to pay respects, because you have the urn right there with you. .

How to divide ashes

There are a few things you need to know in order to divide their ashes correctly. The first step is to decide who will get the primary urn. This urn will hold the majority of the ashes and should be placed in a prominent location in the home. The secondary urns will hold smaller portions of the ashes and can be given to other family members or friends. If possible, it’s best to have all of the urns present when dividing the ashes. This way, everyone can see that they are getting an equal share.

There are many different ways to divide the ashes. Here are a few scenerios where you may have to think about how to divide the ashes: 

You may keep the majority of the ashes together in a larger urn, and divide smaller amounts into small urns, jewelry or other vessels to divide the ashes. 


You may decide to keep some of the ashes in an urn, but scatter the rest of the ashes based on the wishes of the decedent. 


You may decide to divide the ashes equally among a group of loved ones, so they can each have something to remember the decedent by. 

Once you decide how to distribute your loved ones ashes, you can then discuss whether you’d like to do the work of dividing the ashes yourself, or if you prefer to have the crematorium do this for you. There is no right or wrong way, it’s a matter of preference. 

When to divide ashes

Some families choose to divide the ashes shortly after the cremation has taken place. Others may wait until they have gathered together for a memorial service or other event. If you choose to divide the ashes, it is important to plan ahead and have an urn that is large enough to hold all of the ashes. 

If you are scattering the ashes, it is important to choose a location that is special to the deceased. Before scattering, discuss whether or not you’ll keep some ashes in an urn to have a physical reminder of your loved one. 

All of these factors will determine when you will divide the ashes. 


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