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Resting At Sea - A Fitting Option For Cremated Remains

Once cremation has been decided upon, you along with your loved one (if pre-planning) must also choose a final resting place for the cremated remains. Perhaps you have a plot in a cemetery; or a niche in a columbarium. Ashes can also be scattered over land, if permitted, or over sea.

Scattering the ashes in the sea or a lake is a very attractive option, especially if the deceased had a particular connection to the ocean: a former naval service person or merchant marine; a fisherman or a surfer; or simply someone who chose to live near the ocean.  If the final resting place will be in water, you can pick a simple, biodegradable container. Find the harbor nearest your destination and ask the harbormaster if there are boats to rent for a ceremony of scattering the ashes. Make an agreement in advance about time and fees, and ensure that the skipper knows the law about ocean burial.

You may wish to have a spiritual leader onboard with you. The most moving funerals  I ever experienced was off the Leeward Coast of Oahu,  We left dock just as the sun peaked over the horizon, and pushed past the outer harbor into open ocean as it rose.  After we had spoken memorial words, we released the ashes off the side of the boat, followed by the flower leis brought for the occasion. And then they came: four dolphins who swam gentle circles around the flowers. A fitting rest for a woman who had lived more than a decade overlooking that very sea.

~ Contributed by Reverend Caroline B.

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Alterna Cremation Options