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All about ashes

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

What are cremated ashes?

Whilst we typically refer to the dusty grey matter resulting from cremation as ashes, ashes actually consist of pulverised bone fragments. The cremation process itself, whereby a body is placed in a cremation chamber and exposed to temperatures between 1400°F and 1800°F, destroys all organic, carbon-based material as well as the casket/container the body is placed in.

You might think that the chemical composition of ashes would be indistinguishable from one person to another, but in fact, each person’s ashes vary due to diet and exposure to things such as heavy metals, or trace minerals. Each sample of ashes is therefore completely unique.

Person scattering ashes from an urn into a lake with mountains in the background

Where can you scatter ashes?

There are numerous ways to memorialise cremated remains. Many choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes somewhere dear to them, perhaps a park near their home, a seaside location, a mountainous vista, or maybe even their favourite holiday destination.

Unlike a burial, cremation provides a sense of freedom to close mourners of the deceased, allowing them to perform their own unique and personal ceremony to provide a sense of closure. However, some people choose to place the ashes in an urn, perhaps to be placed in their homes, or buried in a spot where loved ones can return to remember their family member, friend, or former partner.

For a truly out of this world ceremony, you can scatter your loved one’s ashes in space, or even arrange for this service for yourself in the future. Aura Flights will organise an ash collection to take the pressure off, before performing an ash scattering in space 100,000 feet in the sky. Aided by our intelligent scattering vessel, the ashes are released at a stunning altitude, cascading down to the clouds below to journey with stratospheric winds around the globe before falling back down to the Earth’s surface in the form of rain or snowfall.

Aura Flights scatter vessel scattering ashes in space with the Earth in the background and the blackness of space above

What to say when scattering ashes

“Ashes to ashes dust to dust” is a common phrase often used at funeral services. Whilst it is a Biblical verse, and not for everyone, the sentiment, of coming from the Earth and returning back to it, is a poetic way of looking at death that has nature and acceptance at its heart. There are however many different ways to commemorate an ash scattering through the power of the vernacular.

Many will choose to read favourite poems, prayers, songs, or readings of the deceased, or perhaps write their own personal message, or eulogy, to accompany an ash scattering ceremony. A group of friends or family could share a message together, taking turns to share thoughtful words about the deceased.

Some may opt to say nothing at all, instead holding a minute or period of silence to honour their loved one’s life. It is not easy to summarize a life, nor verbalize how much that person meant to you.

Keepsakes made from ashes

A creative way to honour a loved one’s life might be to incorporate their ashes into a piece of jewellery, art, or other special objects. There are many different services out there to help assist in this process. Some jewellers now specialize in the creation of memorial jewellery, such as lockets, pendants, or even cufflinks. You can even have glass sculptures made that incorporate ashes. A relatively new option is a tattoo that includes small amounts of ashes in the process, marking their memory indelibly.

You can turn your loved one into a tree, by adding their ashes into the soil for enrichment. You can even have a portrait made of them using their ashes to supplement the paint.

Small ashes urn with Aura Flights inscription

One unique option is to have their ashes sent to space with Aura Flights, placing them in a ceremonial urn that travels to the stars and back. The perfect way to fulfil a lifelong dream of travelling to space, find out more today.


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