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Your guide to memorials and scattering ashes
It’s not easy to say goodbye to a lost loved one. Even with a beautiful, uplifting funeral service, it can be challenging to let go.
The initial shock of losing a loved one can take weeks, sometimes months, to subside. It’s only after some time has passed that we might reach a sense of acceptance and understanding.
And once we do, a memorial can be a special way to reunite family and friends in remembering and celebrating the person who’s passed. It can give them a special place to return to when they want to feel close to their loved one.
The importance of a memorial
Memorials can be a powerful part of the healing process. While funeral services can provide some closure and connection, they usually happen within a few days of the death – the news is often too raw, too soon for us to fully process the loss. We need time and space to come to terms with the news.
That’s why allowing a few weeks or months to pass before holding a memorial or scattering service can give people a chance to begin healing.
Scattering your loved one’s ashes
After some time has passed, you may be ready to part with your loved one’s ashes. Holding a scattering ceremony can be a meaningful way to bring family and friends back together to remember their lost loved one after the funeral.
Scattering ashes has become a common practice in Australia, where families scatter some or all of their loved one’s ashes in a special spot. It could be their favourite beach, a jetty they used to go fishing on or another place of personal significance.
You can also keep your loved one close through a piece of keepsake jewellery – with a locket holding a small amount of ashes or a pendent engraved with their handwriting or fingerprint. It’s also common to purchase a decorative urn to keep in your home.
Establishing a permanent memorial
With a burial service, your family and friends have a physical place to visit after you pass. But did you know you can also establish a physical memorial for someone who’s been cremated? This gives families a place to visit, remember and express their feelings.
You might visit the memorial to acknowledge special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries. Future generations might also visit over time to understand their heritage and feel close to their ancestors.
A memorial in a designated memorial park or garden means your loved one’s special place will be tended to as the years go by. You can purchase a traditional wall niche or headstone, or an elegant garden memorial surrounded by their favourite flowers. You can also choose a memorial that reflects your family’s religion, traditions or culture.
Whatever you choose, you’ll have somewhere peaceful and meaningful to visit for years to come. If you’d like to explore your options, you can begin by visiting MyMemorial, a collection of Memorial Gardens and Parks around Australia.