Winnipeg Scattering Service
When someone is cremated, their ashes are commonly placed in an urn. From this point, there are a lot of options. Some folks prefer to have one urn filled with their loved one’s remains; others prefer to have multiple urns containing the remains, so that many friends and family members can each have an urn. For others, the best option isn’t to keep the ashes in an urn at all; adventurous types, those who felt an affinity for a particular location or people of a wide variety of religious backgrounds may prefer scattering.
Scattering is the process of removing the ashes from the urn and placing them out in the natural world. There are a lot of different methods for scattering, though the name is evocative of throwing the ashes to blow with the winds. There are a few different options available for scattering; you can opt to scatter the ashes yourself, or you can elect to use our scattering service.
We offer a scattering service for families who feel the rite is best for them.
There are three locations at which we scatter ashes; they are all scenic, Provincially-owned, Crown land locations, away from drinking water, swimming areas and roads. Once per year, our licensed funeral director will scatter ashes at the locations chosen by the families.
You can leave the remains in our care before the scattering service, or you can keep them until the time to scatter them has come.
When the scattering service is completed, you will receive a Certificate of Scattering. This certificate will include your loved one’s name, the time and date of scattering, and the approximate geographical location. You can visit this location. Keep in mind that the scattering process entails sending the ashes into the wind, so while there will be no markers at that geographical location, the winds will have sent your loved one’s remains all around; they are now a part of the natural landscape you see around you.
Photos are taken of the scattering service, the container with your loved one’s name and unique identifier, and are geotagged. That way, if you want proof that the remains were scattered at the location, we can provide you with photographs for your peace of mind.
Our scattering service is $249 plus GST. This includes the travel to the location, the geotagging, the documentation and Certificate, as well as the price of the scattering and safekeeping of the remains.
Other Methods of Scattering
You can opt to scatter the remains yourself. There are several forms of scattering.
The most common forms of scattering are:
Casting: This is what most people think of when they consider scattering; the ashes blowing with the winds. Cremated remains are much heavier than what most people think of when they think of ashes, so don’t be surprised if some of the ashes fall to the ground while others float up easily into the air. Stand upwind of the ashes, so that they blow away from instead of towards you.
Raking: A process in which the ashes are raked into the soil to incorporate the remains with the earth. This might be done in a home garden, or at a place that was near and dear to your loved one; keep in mind you will need permission to do this on private property (more on that later). Multiple people may share turns raking the ashes into the ground - it can make for a meaningful ceremony.
Trenching: Somewhat similar to raking, trenching occurs when you dig a shallow trench into the ground in which the remains are to be placed. They can be placed in the ground without an urn, or with a biodegradable urn. The trench can be marked in some way in memoriam. There are some who opt to dig a trench on a beach, so that the tide will come in and wash the remains into the water.
Water Scattering: Similar to beach trenching, water scattering is the act of scattering ashes over or near the water. This can be done in the traditional casting style, or you can opt to purchase a water-soluble scattering urn that will dissolve in the water over time. Water scattering can be done at lakes, rivers, ponds, the ocean; just be sure not to scatter near any sources of drinking water.
There is some misinformation floating around the Internet about the rules and regulations regarding scattering in Manitoba; this is, in part, because the rules for scattering were not clearly defined by the Province until recently. The regulations that have been put into place explain the rules for scattering on provincially owned Crown land and water, including in public parks. You do not need government consent to scatter on unoccupied Crown land; just be sure to scatter away from roads, drinking water and swimming areas. You can find Manitoba’s full regulations regarding scattering here.
Care should be taken when you intend to scatter ashes on private property. You should obtain permission from the property owner before doing so. Should you wish to scatter ashes in a cemetery, you may do so with the cemetery owner’s permission. Obtaining permission may be as simple as a phone call or email to the property owner.
Additional care should be taken if you plan to scatter ashes outside of Manitoba. Every region has its own regulations regarding scattering, and there’s no guarantee that Manitoba’s rules apply in another province, let alone in another country. Should you wish to scatter remains in another location, and you need to take a plane there, inform yourself about the rules and regulations for transporting remains on airplanes; special declarations are needed to do so.
Should you have any concerns about following regulations, you can always use our Winnipeg scattering service; we scatter in compliance with all local laws, so there’s no chance of breaking with norms. Our scattering is done with care, and when it’s complete, you can always visit the location at which the ashes were scattered.