How To Scatter Ashes

By: Alterna Cremation
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

After losing a loved one, it can be hard to accept that someone so close to us is now gone. Scattering ashes allows us to visualize their departure and take comfort in knowing that their remains will be in a place that was significant to them.

Choosing where to spread the cremated remains of your loved one is a personal and complicated decision. We’ve put together some information about the different ways you can scatter ashes, and what to know before doing so:


Where Can I Scatter Ashes?

In Manitoba, you can scatter the remains of a loved one in government-owned provincial parks or waterways without approval. If there is a park or other place in nature that your loved one enjoyed spending their time, you may choose to put their remains there.

You might also choose to scatter the ashes on private property, as long as you gain approval from the owner of the property.


Places to Scatter Ashes

  • In a waterway

First, a word of caution: be careful not to scatter the ashes near drinking water or in a public swimming area. 

You can purchase a biodegradable container for the ashes that will slowly dissolve in the water.

  • On a shoreline

Dig up a small section of the sand and place the ashes in it. Over time, the tide will wash away the area and disperse the remains throughout the water.

  • In a garden

Bury the ashes in a patch of soil, then plant a few flowers or plants overtop. Seeing the circle of life can provide comfort during the grieving process.


Consider the Following

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you scatter ashes:

  • The direction of the wind

Make sure you scatter ashes the same way the wind is blowing. Certain pieces of the ashes will be heavier than others, and they may drop to the ground instead of flying with the wind.

  • How to clean up afterward

Remember to bring a sanitary wipe to clean your hands from any leftover ashes.

  • What the ashes look like

As you handle the ashes, you may be surprised that they aren’t the finely-ground powder that you may have envisioned. The consistency is actually closer to coarse sand that contains pieces of bone fragments. 

  • Remembering the event

An occasion like this only happens once (or a few times, if you choose to scatter the ashes in multiple locations). When you think back on it, it may be therapeutic to keep a few mementos of the event. Record who else attended, what the weather was like, and why that location was significant to your loved one.

  • Scatter them all at once, or keep some?

Your next choice will be a deeply personal and very important one. Do you wish to scatter all the remains altogether, or do so in several locations? 

You might choose to scatter some ashes but keep the rest in your possession. Perhaps someone else would like to keep a portion of the ashes. You can place them in an urn or keepsake jewelry. 


We all grieve for lost loved ones in our own way. Scattering the ashes of a deceased friend or family member can stir up difficult emotions. Be sure to practice self-care following the event, and seek counselling if need be.

For direct cremation in Winnipeg, contact Alterna Cremation. Along with our cremation services, we provide grief support and pre-planning for final arrangements. 


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