Cremation Memorials: Urns and Memorial Keepsakes


Following cremation, families must decide how to honor the remains of their loved one. Options range from cremation burial to scattering of ashes to a cremation memorial. A cremation memorial is a physical way to keep and honor the cremated remains of a loved one.

Cremation Urns

Cremation urns are a common cremation memorial. Urns are available in a great variety of materials, styles, and price points. The simplest cremation container is a cardboard box, often used to transport cremation ashes from the crematory to a scattering location. When remains will be kept in the cremation urn, a box or vase-shaped urn made from wood, pottery, or stone is commonly used. Cremation urns may be bedecked with jewels or ornamentation, and may be in unique shapes designed to reflect the personality or passions of the deceased. A boat-shaped container or box carved with nautical symbols might be used for the ashes of an avid fisherman for example. A cremation urn may be kept by a family member, or stored in a columbarium or mausoleum.

Green Cremation Urns

For the ecologically-conscious, green cremation urns or cremation containers made from renewable materials and biodegradable materials are available. A sweetgrass basket urn is a lovely green choice, as are bamboo urns and natural salt urns. Biodegradable cremation urns are a good option for cremation burials as well as for display.

Keepsake Urns

While virtually any cremation urn or cremation container can be kept in a home or columbarium, families often choose elaborate keepsake urns for display. Keepsake urns may be made from precious metals or from stone such as granite or marble. They are often ornamented with carvings, artistic elements, or jewels. Display urns tend toward the higher end of the price range for cremation urns, costing hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Cremation Memorials

Families may choose a meaningful memorial beyond an urn. Families may keep ashes in cremation jewelry to keep a loved one close, or have the ashes mixed into a memorial bench or the Memorial Reef™. Families may also place cremation ashes in a memorial garden. These cremation memorials offer a beautiful way to memorialize the deceased while providing a place for family and friends to visit the deceased and grieve.

Individuals that pre-plan cremation should consider cremation memorial options, and discuss their preferences with their families. When families choose a cremation memorial, they should consider the intended placement of the cremated remains, and the passions and preferences of the deceased. Cremation memorial options are available to fit every budget and location.

February 4, 2013

By Karen Parker