When you are faced with a loved one dying, trying to find information about the cremation process and what to do with the cremated remains you will receive can be overwhelming. In this guide we will give you a clear overview of our experiences and thought process, and hopefully some useful ideas and considerations for deciding what you want to do with the ashes, and thus for choosing an urn. (notethat the funeral industry often uses the word cremains, which we feel is an odd an tasteless conglomeration, we use either cremated remains, or simply ashes)
The first thing to consider is whether or not you want to keep the ashes, or at least some of them. When my father died, my sister and I decided that we liked the idea of scattering most of them at one of his favorite places, near where he spent most of his life and where we grew up. The remainder we placed in two small urns, one for each of us. My grandparents where also both cremated. Their ashes were placed in urns then put side by side in a small burial vault in a cemetery that they had chosen together before they died. Other options are to bury the ashes in a favorite spot in a garden or under a tree, scatter them outdoors or at sea (laws about all this?). You and your family's beliefs and ideas will guide you in doing what feels right for you.
One thing to think about is bringing a more ceremonial or monument like presence to the urn and the act of keeping and displaying it in your home, perhaps a place where you can have mementos or keepsakes displayed around the urn, or including a vase with flowers or cuttings that change throughout the seasons. Maybe a beautiful base or stand for the urn would add a special touch (we can work with you to create these), or simply include some candles to light in memory of your loved ones.
Once you have settled on a plan for what you want to do with your loved ones cremated remains, you will be able to choose the appropriate size urn. Please see our sizing guide here for more info.