It’s no secret that more and more people are selecting cremation over traditional burial for their end-of-life planning. As we have highlighted on this blog previously, many families opt to place the cremated remains of their loved one within their home in a decorative or uniquely personalized urn. By doing this, your loved one forever feels close to the family and is easily able to be fondly remembered.

Often times, in the event of an untimely or early passing, a spouse will not only provide their blessing, but will implore their surviving husband or wife to seek happiness as life progresses without them. In a recently written and very interesting article, one such instance was highlighted where a husband was able to remarry after the passing of his wife and mother of his two children. The urn of his deceased wife was, even after the wedding, kept in the family living room of the house. While keeping her near was no doubt a source of comfort for both he and his two children, it is understandable how an ever present reminder could stir feelings of insecurity in his new wife.

The memory of a loved one and how we are connected to them is different for each person. As noted in the article, the insecurity of the new wife likely led her to broach the topic of relocating the urn to a less prominent place in the home in a manner that was perceived as having been insensitive by the children and her husband. She asks, “Was I wrong to ask my husband to move his late wife’s urn?” The answer is, “Of course not.” But there is more to it than that. 

It is clear that having the constant reminder made it difficult, if not impossible, for the new wife to feel that the home she shared with her husband and step-children was her own. While it would be important to bring sensitivity and tact to the situation, a spouse should recognize that if they have made the commitment to move past the death of their loved one, they should ensure their husband or wife is not overshadowed by the memory of the deceased.

There are many options above and beyond urns that can be used to commemorate the life of your loved one. Each person would have to make their own decisions on how they would deal with a situation such as this, however several alternatives come to mind that would heal the hurt felt by the surviving family. Relocating the urn might work for some families. Other meaningful options might actually serve to strengthen the bond between the children and their mother while alleviating the understandably tense situation.

Several keepsake jewelry items exist that are designed specifically for keeping the cremated remains of a loved one always near you. For children, an item such as a ring or necklace would provide the important connection they seek to maintain with a deceased parent. Of course with jewelry, the entirety of the cremated remains cannot be used. Exploring a meaningful disposition of the remaining ashes helps to bring a sense of closure to the grieving process.

Scattering services come in all shapes and sizes. Taking the cremated remains of a loved one to a favorite park, lake, or other location is a peaceful and beautiful way to say goodbye. The chosen location will forever be as hallowed as was the urn in the home. Of course, scattering services are not limited to gently distributing the ashes across the surface of the water or landscape. If it suits the personality of your loved one, certain companies will incorporate their cremated remains into a glorious fireworks display. Other providers will allow your loved one to slowly ascend to the stratosphere contained in an industrial-grade helium filled balloon. When it comes to electing for a scattering service, not even the sky is the limit.

Life, love, and loss are experienced differently by each of us. The sensitive nature we need to adopt to discuss these issues is also dependent upon the individual with whom we are speaking. For the person in the above mentioned article, she might have caused less familial distress if she had understood the many alternatives available to the family above and beyond a decorative urn, and brought those ideas into the discussion. If you have questions about cremation, urns, scattering services, or other alternatives, contact the Philadelphia Cremation Society today!