Lighten Up! Tips for Letting Go in 2024 – Remains & Ashes

Urn with a cross on it, female memoji looking somber. Lighten Up! Tips for Letting Go in 2024 – Remains & Ashes

Today on “Lighten Up” we are touching on another sentimental item: Remains & Ashes. Many people have urns of ashes in their homes, most typically (although not exclusively) those from pets. Having a loved one’s ashes provides a way to feel connected, and often offers a comfort in the time immediately after a death.

Nevertheless, there may come a time when you no longer want to hold onto a loved one’s remains. This is not something to feel guilty about. The ashes themselves do not have feelings, and letting them go does not in any way signify that you no longer care about the one who has died. It may simply be a practical need to discard them.

When it comes to disposing of remains, there are a couple of options:


Ashes can be buried in a special location in a backyard or other personal property. You may also want to bury the remains in a formal cemetery or place of rest. This will incur a charge, but it may be worth it to you to have a place you know you can visit permanently.

One nice option for burial is to use a biodegradable urn. These are ideal for water burials and green cemeteries because they are designed to break down naturally when buried or exposed to water.


Many people choose to spread ashes in a location that was meaningful to the deceased. This can be a beautiful ceremony of remembrance. If you choose to go this route, know that there are some laws governing this process. You can find details for a variety of spreading options via the Neptune Society.


Another option is to have the cremation remains turned into something else. For example, Parting Stoneturns remains into a collection of beautiful stones that can be displayed in a jar or shared with friends and family. Vinyly has a method for pressing remains into a vinyl album that can playback any audio you would like, such as a favorite song or an audio recording of your dog barking. Some of the ashes can even be placed into a specially made hourglass. Check outJust Hourglasses to learn more.

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Making decisions about what to do with ashes can be tough, so the first step may be to open a dialogue with relevant parties. The goal is to honor the deceased as well as those left behind.

Have you ever had to make a choice regarding remains?

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2 thoughts on “Lighten Up! Tips for Letting Go in 2024 – Remains & Ashes”

  1. What a sensitive, useful post! I was somewhat familiar with the Neptune Society, but not the other resources you listed. Vinyly, especially, sounds like a wonderful tribute to someone who loved recorded music (provided someone in the family has a turntable). I keep hearing about companies that make “cremation jewelry,” like Spirit Pieces and Perfect Memorials, and while I don’t know how it’s done, I find it fascinating that people have created so many different ways to give tribute and honor to people who have passed. (I have to say, I’ve watched too many movies/TV shows where spreading ashes has been a comic point to feel comfortable with that option, but a biodegradable urn seems like a lovely way to honor a loved one without wild expenses.) Thank you for sharing this!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…24 Smart Ways to Get More Organized and Productive in 2024My Profile

    1. I thought twice before writing this one, because I didn’t know how it would go over. However, I have come across this topic enough time with clients that I figured it was worth it. We all eventually pass away, so I think it is nice if you can tell your loved ones what you might prefer. I agree that the many options show how strongly we love, and how we want to somehow keep that love going.

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