What to do with ashes: from the traditional to the unique

Advice on what can be done with loved one's ashes

When it comes to talking to friends and family about our own funerals, letting them know whether we prefer burial of cremation is usually the first and easiest thing we tell them*. But if, like the majority of Brits, you want to be cremated, have you told your loved ones what to do with your ashes?

What to do with ashes can often lead to great uncertainty, with one in ten people saying they couldn’t decide what to do with their loved ones ashes after arranging a cremation**. Below, we’ll talk through the options available to try and relieve some of the uncertainty, whilst also letting you know a few of the more unusual things people have chosen to do with ashes.

So what can be done with ashes?

Traditionally, ashes are either scattered in a garden of remembrance or a place of significance to the deceased, or taken home in an urn and placed on a mantelpiece. And while many people still choose to do this, it’s by no means the only option available.

You can choose to bury your loved ones ashes. Perhaps in a family plot or in a woodland setting, you can ask your local funeral director for all the different options for interring ashes or read more in our article: Where do people choose to bury ashes?

Another option with ashes is to keep them close by. As mentioned above they could be kept in an urn either in a house or garden, but there’s also a growing trend to put them into jewellery. Either in a locket or combined with glass crystals, this can be a really nice way of allowing multiple members of the family keep a loved one close by, as only a small amount of ashes are needed in the jewellery.

A more unique choice?

Every person is unique, and so it may be that your loved one wanted something a bit different for their final wish. We surveyed our colleagues to find out some of the more unusual things people have done with their loved ones ashes, and here are the top 5:

Whatever you choose to do with your loved ones ashes, we’re here to help and guide you through the options. Speak to your local funeral director, find out more information or download our memories brochure.


*According to our 2019 funeral trends report, 70% of UK adults have shared whether they want burial or cremation, ** and one in ten couldn't decide what to do with ashes.

For further information contact

Emily Penkett

PR Manager

Sarah Pyatt

Press Officer