When considering the scattering of ashes, you need to realize that you either are dealing with public property, public lands or you are dealing with private lands.
You are not allowed to mark the place unless it’s a cemetery. They don’t want people coming across or buying a piece of land that later on has a headstone there saying “here lies the remains of”. That can really spook some people out.
Scattering at your own home, in the garden, front or back yard, under the cherry tree or apple tree, you know, that’s something you certainly are free to do. I encourage people to think very long and hard about where should they scatter. Sometimes the sentiment around the place where you feel they should go, later on, you wish you hadn’t. I’ll give an example.
I had a family, their mother was an amazing gardener. She actually even won the Communities in Bloom award before. She was in the lower North End – this is years ago – but they took her ashes and scattered them in a garden. ‘Cause neighbours and everyone knew it was a beautiful place.
A few years later her husband passed away, and I look up the old arrangements and I know what they’ve done. So making the funeral arrangements during my consultation, I bring up, you know, that we have the cremation and return the ashes so they could scatter. The family surprised me. They said, “Well, can we actually bury dad at the cemetery? Is it OK? Are we allowed to put a marker down that has moms name at the same time?”
I said, “Yes, well why? What’s changed?”
And it’s an age old story. Because the house was nice, it was kept up well. But after her passing he became ill, he had to go to a care home, the house eventually had to be sold and – very sadly – today, now that it’s sold, it’s a parking lot. It’s no longer what it was.