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How long after the funeral should you wait before a scattering ceremony


Is there an ideal time to scatter ashes ? How long should you leave it after the funeral? As we think scattering ceremonies can really help the grieving process, if done well. Does it help with ‘closure’?

So we asked and expert Anne Wadey – Head of Bereavement Advice Centre. This is what she said:

“As far as your original question about the timing of scattering ashes – I don’t think there is a ‘right’ time other than what is right for each individual family/relative. I think the ‘right answer’ is what seems right to them – which in some cases may mean negotiating some family compromises. Avoid becoming embroiled in those whatever you do.

Some people keep them forever or until a surviving partner dies, others authorise them to be scattered/interred at the crematorium with no additional ceremony and all the options in between which you so helpfully outline.

I personally have a dislike of the term closure – it suggests there is an end point to missing someone. I think this is unhelpful, there will be various milestones at which most people find themselves looking forward more than back, in some cases coping with the idea and actuality of a new relationship but others, especially the very elderly will ‘turn their face to the wall’ as they perceive there is no future.”


2 thoughts on “How long after the funeral should you wait before a scattering ceremony

  1. Reply
    mike wilson - 24th July 2018

    Sometimes I feel like I need to spread part of my wifes ashes in the ocean as she wished.
    When I think about doing this it makes me feel like part of her is not with me any longer

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 25th July 2018

      Dear Mike
      This is not an uncommon emotion feelings of separation impact a huge amount of people who have lost their loved one and find carrying out final wishes too traumatic. Firstly, I am not a bereavement counselor so I suggest a chat with the brilliant people at Cruse Bereavement https://www.cruse.org.uk/ who understand such matter at much great depth. I would say don’t rush, if you not ready then don’t do it, you will know when the time is right, it is not as if you are unwilling to do it you just don’t want to do it yet…
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards

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