Following the cremation and memorial service, there is a decision as to the final disposition of the cremated remains. Just as with every step in the cremation process, many options are available. Because the urn is an attractive art form, it is not uncommon for a family member or friend to retain the cremated remains as a cherished possession. But for many, a permanent placement at another location is more appropriate.
Scattering of cremated remains can represent a permanent oneness with an important place. Scattering in a river, lake or at sea, over mountains, farms, even golf courses is not uncommon provided a permit can be secured. Scattering is regulated by state law. Your funeral director can coordinate the scattering and advise you of any local ordinances prohibiting scattering.
Many cemeteries offer "scattering gardens" with the added benefit of memorialization. A scattering urn is especially designed to hold the cremated remains until the scattering ceremony and as a memento or keepsake afterwards. Be sure to consult your clergy as some religions will permit cremation but not allow scattering.
A very common disposition choice for cremated remains is burial, also known as interment. In this way, family members can be placed to rest near one another even if another family member has not chosen cremation.
The grave site provides a permanent location to visit on important occasions such as anniversaries and holidays. Burial can be in a cemetery plot, urn garden or private crypt.
For centuries, mausoleum entombment has been offered as an alternative to traditional burial for people preferring above ground burial. A columbarium niche is a similar choice for the person preferring cremation. The selected niche is identified with a nameplate listing dates of birth and death. The columbarium offers families a place to visit and remember on special holidays and other important times.