Mom's Cremains

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Mom's Cremains
2
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 3:30pm

My mother passed away about 5 years ago and was cremated. My daughter is a jewelry designer and took some of Mom's cremains and made a jewelry piece for herself and for my sister-in-law who asked for one containing a small bit of cremains. Both women are artists and have their jewelry pieces in their art studios and find it very meaningful.

I am not creeped out by cremains, but I don't find them particularly "charming" or meaningful either.  I'm a big believer that one's body is only a temporary loan while we're here on earth and becomes a mere empty shell which is no longer needed after death, but when it's your mother's cremains, it gets a little more touchy feely emotional.  About a year ago, I somehow ended up being given a small package housing the cremains left over after making the jewelry pieces. 

I sort of put them in the back of a closet and forgot about them until I cleaned out the closet this week.  And, there the little package sits.  Any suggestions on how to properly "dispose" of them?  I mean, it doesn't seem somehow proper to throw them in the garbage, and she had no connection to where I now live, so releasing them to the wind here seems a bit odd.  The main portion of her cremains were buried next to my father's cremains in a cemetary in my hometown...but I rarely ever go there as it's quite a drive.  (I thought about pouring these cremains on their grave.)

I guess it's silly, but I suddenly feel like this is a huge responsibility!  I feel like I should do what's "right" with the cremains, so am looking for suggestions as to what YOU might do with them if you were me.  They always lived near the ocean, and so do I, so maybe pouring them into the ocean would be "proper".  And if so, should I go by myself and do it privately or should I bring my daughter or husband or some other family member and make it a bit "ceremonial".

Sometimes one's grown children put their parents in odd circumstances, and for me, this is one of them!!! 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 6:22pm

I would take them to the edge of the ocean and release them there, either sprinkled into the water or scattered into the breeze---but if you choose the breeze option be careful about wind direction so they don't blow back onto you!

Both of my parents and my brother were "buried" at sea, as they all loved sailing. Here in California the law requires that it must be a minimum distance from the shore but for a small amount of ash you could probably get around it, if your state has a similar law.

If you are a gardener you might want to put the cremains in the bottom of a planting hole and you can think of your mom as you watch the plant grow. That's what I told my dh I want them to do with my cremains.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sat, 03-30-2013 - 12:47am

I had my mothers cremains for about 10 years till the family was finally ready to finally say good bye.  We took my mother on a cruise with us and released her in the ocean.  It was really wonderful as the cruise line had a special team that helped us with this and they gave us a certificate of the longitude and latitude of where she was released.  She always wanted to be buried at sea and we were happy that we finally were able to give her her wish.