Things You Should Know About Scattering Ashes

By: Jacklyn Hutchens
Monday, January 4, 2021

Scattering ashes is a spiritual act for setting someone free. It provides an opportunity to memorialize your deceased loved one uniquely. If you want to know the legalities and get ideas on ceremonies, this guide will take you through everything you need to know.


Laws and Regulation on Scattering Ashes 

No national laws restrict scattering ashes on public property. However, you would need the permission of landowners if you are considering to do so on private land. If you spread them somewhere not privately owned and away from population centers, you don’t have to get permission.


Ash Scattering Ceremony

During the ceremony, take as much time as you need to think about how much your loved one means to you. You may bring objects vital to them at the ceremony and leave them at the site where the ashes will be scattered.


Burial at Sea

The Clean Water Act covers spreading your deceased loved one’s ashes at sea. This act requires you to follow specific rules, including:


Methods of Scattering Ashes

Here are two ways to honor your dearly departed loved ones while scattering their ashes:

  • Casting is the act of scattering ashes into the air in any location. The remains of your loved ones may float away while some of them may fall to the ground. Thus, it's a good idea to have any guests stand upwind, so they don't accidentally get in the ashes' path.
  • Trenching involves digging a shallow trench and placing the ashes in a long, narrow hole, then covering with soil. You can also mark the place with natural elements such as unique stones, artworks, or other objects that are significant to your departed loved one. 


Other Unique Ideas for Your Deceased Loved One’s Ashes

Besides burial at sea and scattering the ashes on public or privately owned property, you may want to consider spreading them from the air by light aircraft, hot air balloon, or drone. As long as it agrees with the deceased's and their loved ones’ wishes, the possibilities are endless.

If you want to learn more about the methods of scattering ashes in Virginia, feel free to contact Direct Cremation Services of Virginia. We are more than happy to assist you.

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