Skip to Content (Press Enter) Skip to Footer (Press Enter)

Cremation Meets Cemetery: 3 Ways to Give Ashes a Final Home

The majority of Americans now choose cremation, creating more options beyond caskets and headstones, mixing the affordability and flexibility of cremation with the permanence a cemetery offers.

Cemeteries Offer a Variety of Options for Cremated Remains

While many people choose to scatter ashes in a location that was meaningful to their family and loved one, others seek a more permanent final resting place. 

You might think of a cemetery as just a place for traditional burials with caskets and headstones. But, with the majority of Americans now choosing cremation, there are more options to have the best of both worlds, mixing the affordability and flexibility of cremation with the permanence a cemetery offers. 

For some, there are religious reasons to have a permanent location. For others, there may be a family plot or other connection to the cemetery.

There are three main options for placing “ashes” in a cemetery (plus a fourth for scattering).

  1. Bury the cremated in a cemetery plot 
  2. Store remains in an above-ground columbarium 
  3. Use an urn garden that accommodates urn burials 

1. Traditional Cemetery Plots 

A traditional cemetery plot can be a good choice if there is already a chosen family cemetery and/or a family already owns one or more. Every cemetery has their own rules, so make sure to talk with them about their policies to see if they will allow burying multiple urns in the same plot.  

2. Columbariums 

Modern columbariums come in a wide variety of styles and seem to be popping up inside most modern cemeteries as the cemetery owners try to accommodate the increasing number of people who choose cremation. These above-ground structures range from the simple to the elaborate and elegant. Depending on the style of the columbarium, there may be an opportunity to provide a small display along with the urn to further memorialize a loved one’s life. 

3. Urn Gardens 

More and more cemeteries are creating special urn gardens with professional landscaping and peaceful paths along which you can bury remains. Some provide such choices as having the remains buried as part of a large rock, in a bench or other landscape elements such as architectural obelisks. Some cemeteries may require a liner to keep the urn from slipping down and sinking over time. 

Scattering Gardens: Another Option 

If you don’t need to have your loved ones’ ashes stored separately from others and you don’t need an individual marker, you could consider a scattering garden in a cemetery. In a scattering garden, there are often opportunities to put a marker on a nearby bench or other garden feature. 

One of the benefits of a scattering garden is that the family can have confidence that the loved one has been scattered in accordance to local laws and additionally, that landscaping will be “well-manicured, beautiful locations” where loved ones can contemplate their loved ones’ life, explains planning website, Cake. 

Comparing Cemetery Options 

Depending on where you live, you likely have several cemeteries from which to choose, including many of our providers. It’s also good to keep in mind that pricing changes for each property and based on the type of burial you are considering. Do your homework. It will be well worth your time to make sure you find the right place for yourself or your loved one. 

As always, make sure the prices you are looking at are the final, complete cost. It’s also important to make sure the property will not be changing ownership or restricting visitation in the years to come. 

Having a beautiful place to visit your loved one’s final resting spot can be a healing experience.

For more detailed information on cremation, take a look at our article Why Choose Cremation: A Comprehensive Guide.