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Internment of ashes explained

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

When someone is cremated, you might wonder what to do with their ashes. Scatter them in a sentimental location? Keep them in an urn? Bury them in a cemetery? One option is internment. Internment is when ashes are kept in a permanent place. Sometimes loved ones come together to conduct a ceremony surrounding the internment of ashes, this is a tradition followed by many religious and non-religious people the world over.

Why have an internment of ashes?

Having a specially chosen final resting place for a loved one can help those mourning to feel a greater sense of closure, as well as, in some circumstances, allow for a more personal ceremony to be conducted in the deceased’s honour.

If family and friends live in different corners of the world, it might be preferable to divide up the ashes so that people can decide to have their own special ceremonies or perform an internment of the ashes, especially if they don’t have the funds to attend a funeral service abroad.

It is now more common to have a funeral in two parts, consisting firstly of a direct cremation (doing away with traditional funeral formalities and instead having the body cremated at a crematorium with no prior service) before having the ashes sent to a friend or family member for them to put together their own unique ceremony.

For some, a funeral parlor, no doubt an unfamiliar venue unlikely to have been visited by the deceased in their lifetime, does not make those grieving feel like they can say goodbye in a way that is true to them. An internment of ashes allows for this wish to be granted.

Hand placed on an ashes box at an internment of ashes funeral

What steps do I need to take before arranging an internment of ashes?

How to approach an internment of ashes depends on whether or not a ceremonious burial will take place, or if someone chooses to have ashes put in an urn for them to keep. There are however many different locations fit for the burial of ashes.

Before choosing a venue, you will need to choose an urn to place the ashes in, if you haven’t done so already. There are many different types of urns available - personalised, one of a kind commissioned urns, water soluble urns, ceramic, biodegradable, and plenty of others. You can opt for a stylized urn which reflects the deceased’s passions or profession. Lepidopterist or marine, there’ll be one out there which captures their essence.

Where can an internment of ashes take place?

There are thousands of burial sites in the USA. Here are just some of the places you might consider burying ashes in.

A cemetery

After signing for and receiving an issue for a burial plot, you can perform a small burial service in your plot at a specially chosen cemetery or churchyard. The document will cover access for a set number of years and will typically have certain conditions associated with it which are worth researching.

Graveyard on a hill with tombstones at sunrise

On private land

For a more personal option, you can bury ashes on a private piece of land, such as the garden of a relative. If you do not own the private land, permission will be required in advance. There’s every chance that in the future the ownership rights will change hands so bear this in mind if choosing this option.

A memorial garden

Memorial gardens are now a common extension of cemeteries across the USA. If you’d rather have a site to remember your loved one away from gravestones and surrounded by flowers, an internment at a memorial garden is something to consider. You can choose a special tree to remember them by, or a plaque, perhaps mounted to a memorial bench.

A woodland

To ensure that nature in the woodland goes undisturbed, be sure to contain the ashes in a fully biodegradable urn.

Trees in a forest

Alternatives to internment of ashes

There are other things you can do with cremated ashes besides keeping them in an urn or burying them in a specific location. One option might be to scatter their ashes. But where to scatter them?

Scattering ashes…in space

For an out of this world way to remember a loved one, Aura Flights offer space memorials that can be arranged over the phone or through our site. If you would like to look up at the skies above and think of your beloved at one with the clouds, we can help put something together that is truly special for you.

Our custom-built, highly intelligent scatter vessel releases the ashes high above our planet to marry with stratospheric winds and journey across the globe. Later the ashes will fall back down to the Earth’s surface in the form of rain or snow.

Please contact us today to arrange a space memorial for your loved one. There’s nothing out there quite like it.

Aura flights scatter vessel scattering ashes in space


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