Cremation is an excellent choice if you want to plan and pay for your end-of-life experiences ahead of time, while also keeping everything else as simple as possible for your surviving friends and family. With cremation services, you generally have two options for your remains – you can spread the ashes or you can be interred into an urn. The following can help you choose the right urn ahead of time so it is ready for when the time comes.
What are your plans for your remains?
The type of urn you decide upon greatly depends on whether the ashes remain in the urn or if they are spread. If you plan to have the ashes spread, a simple and inexpensive box is sufficient. You may want to opt for a recyclable container made of cardboard, or even just a simple wooden box that can be disposed of once its purpose is served.
If you plan for the ashes to remain housed in the urn, then you will want a more permanent one made of metal, ceramics, or wood.
Will the urn remain with a family member?
Another consideration is the final resting place. For some, the urn will remain with family. In this case it is important to choose an attractive urn. There are elegant carved boxes available that house a picture frame. These don't resemble the somber urns of the past and look more like a decorative memorial item, so they are more pleasant to display.
Is internment in a memorial or mausoleum planned?
For others, the final resting place of the urn may be an actual grave site or mausoleum, either alone or shared with a spouse or family. In this case, the urn must meet the regulations of the cemetery. There may be limits on the size, shape, or materials allowed. This is especially true if the remains must fit into a memorial wall or into the premade space inside a gravestone meant to hold an urn.
Are your remains to be shared?
Another option is to have the remains divided between family members. This can be achieved with smaller urns, typically matching, as opposed to a single large urn. Another option for sharing is to have the cremated remains turned into a paperweight or a faux crystal gemstone, and then set into various pieces of jewelry. These decorative or jewelry items are then divided amongst the relatives so everyone gets a memento of their loved one.