What to do With a Loved One’s Ashes

Purple flowers with sunlight beaming over them.

The majority of Americans choose to cremate their loved ones or be cremated themselves when they die. But many don’t discuss their options with their families when it comes to what they will do with the cremated remains, and fewer know just how many choices they have. Just like a personalized funeral or memorial service, there are seemingly endless ways to honor and cherish someone’s memory through their ashes.


Just because a person is cremated doesn’t mean they can’t choose to be buried as well. Just like traditional burial, cremated remains are placed in the ground in a cemetery plot. Graveside services, just like at a traditional burial, can be performed as a part of their funeral services, and loved ones can even choose to be buried in the same plot in this manner. Choosing to bury a loved one’s ashes provides their surviving family a permanent place to pay their respects for generations to come.


Scattering can be a beautiful and meaningful way to say a final goodbye. If your loved one had a favorite place on your own property or somewhere they loved to visit, you might consider dispersing their ashes in one of those locations. Just be sure to secure the proper permits required to scatter on public lands and state parks. French Funeral’s own Rose Garden is also a beautiful area where families are invited to scatter their loved one’s ashes. No matter when someone passed away, families are invited to scatter their ashes for free on Scatter Day, held annually in August.

Keep in an urn

Many families choose to hold on to cremated remains, keeping them in an urn and placing them on a bookshelf, mantle, or by their bedside. Urns come in numerous different shapes and styles and can be customized to match an individual’s personality. For some, this provides them with comfort knowing a part of their loved one is always nearby. For others, this option can have unintended effects, including lack of closure, or not knowing what to do with a relative’s ashes that have come into their possession after their own loved one has died. The choice to keep ashes is a very personal one, and we are always here to help guide you in your decision.

Keepsake jewelry

Urns aren’t the only things that can keep your loved one’s remains close. Today, there are countless ways to preserve ashes and have them always nearby. Some of these include putting them in keepsake jewelry, spinning them into glass pendants, or having them turned into a diamond. A member of French’s staff can show you many personalized options of our own.

Thinking outside the urn

What to do with a person’s ashes can be as unique as their own character. There is seemingly no end to the creative things one can do with cremated remains. Ashes have been mixed with paint or clay and turned into art, or been mixed into ink and tattooed on the skin of friends and family. You can launch ashes to the moon, place them at the bottom of the ocean in a reef, plant them with a tree or rose bush, or turn them into a vinyl record of your loved one’s favorite song. We’ve even heard of a company that will put cremated remains in fireworks, to create a bright and memorable final goodbye.

Whatever you decide to do with the remains of a loved one, French can help guide you through your options and help you make an informed decision that is right for you and your family.

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