End of Life

How To Transfer Human Ashes To An Urn Safely

Want to learn how to transfer human ashes to an urn safely? We'll guide you through the process in this blog post.
Nathaniel Felder
5 minutes

How do you transfer ashes to an urn?

This is a sensitive topic - and thus, one that doesn’t get talked about much. Naturally, most people don’t have a clue how this can be done. Transferring human ashes to an urn safely is not easy to do for a few reasons. Not only can it be physically difficult to safely transfer ashes into an earn after cremation. But, it may take a mental toll on you as well. This process requires a certain level of detachment, but a ton of gentleness, concern, and most important of all– respect. 

Given that cremation is a common choice for many, it might be worth your while to learn the nitty-gritty details of this process. By the end of this article, you will feel confident in how to transfer ashes into an urn. First things first - how are those human ashes going to be returned to you from the cremation facility?

How Do Human Ashes Come From The Cremation Facility?

In most cases, after holding proper funeral rites attended by family and friends, the body of the deceased is brought to a crematorium where it will be cremated. The length of the process takes just an hour or two. 

From the cremation facility, the ashes are then gathered and given to the respective families. Some facilities can release the ashes to the family after just a couple of hours, while others take 16 to 24 hours. The personnel in these facilities know exactly how to transfer human ashes to an urn. However, they rarely do so for you - you’ll typically be given a box or bag.

Why You Need To Learn How To Transfer Human Ashes To An Urn

Knowing how to transfer ashes into an urn can be useful in the event that you will have to do it for someone close to you. It might be a bit morbid to talk about it but it's the natural course of life, and we will all go through it. This is what makes knowing how to transfer ashes to an urn relevant. We don’t really wish for it, but if ever the circumstances require it, we know exactly how to transfer ashes to an urn.

So, How Do You Transfer Ashes To An Urn Correctly?

Now, how do you transfer ashes to an urn, without a significant amount spilling all over the floor?

If you are here reading still, chances are, you also don’t know how to transfer ashes into an urn. But that’s alright. We are here to tell you that there is a way to do it without breaking a sweat. First, the crematorium itself has already trained people who can do it for you - depending on the specific service you go with. This is a good choice because you already have a lot on your plate, what with you still in mourning and the funeral arrangements you had to make. However, in very rare cases, people we love pass away while they are living far from us or in the line of duty so they would have to be cremated and shipped back home. 

In those situations, the ashes are usually packed in an airtight bag. By the time this arrives home, the family members will have to transfer it to an urn. So, in these kinds of situations, how do you transfer ashes to an urn? Check out the steps below:

  1. Examine the bag and see where you can create an opening that won’t lead to you making a huge mess in the process. Make sure that the urn you picked is big enough to store all of the ashes. The last thing you want is to repeat the process when you realized a little too late that you need a bigger urn. 
  2. Pick a stable and dry place where there is no breeze coming in, nor electric fans that might blow away some of the ashes while you make your transfer. 
  3. Lay down something on the floor that can catch some of the ashes should there be even just a little spill. Newspapers or clean plain pieces of cloth can work.
  4. Now, create a hole in the bag containing the ashes. The hole must be big enough that the flow of ashes should be continuous, this way, you will better prevent spills. Pour the entire content of the bag into the urn. 
  5. If there is enough space in the urn for you to push the plastic bag that the crematorium used to contain the ashes, you have the option to include the plastic bag there. The reason for this is that, even after pouring all of the content of the bag, there might be insignificant bits that are still stuck in the sides of the plastic bag, and those are still the ashes of your loved one. 
  6. If there are bits of ashes that fell on the cloth or the newspaper, you can let them slide down the urn too. After doing that, you can seal the urn shot. Use the sort of glue that is applicable for the material of your urn. 

And those are all the steps on how to transfer ashes to an urn. Now what?

What To Do After Safely Transferring Ashes Into An Urn

Now you have a good working knowledge of how to transfer ashes to an urn. But after you have safely and successfully transferred your loved one’s ashes into your chosen urn, what’s next? Below are a few things you may want to do as a way of honoring a departed beloved. For more information, you can read our blog post on what to do with ashes from cremation.

Scatter them at your loved one’s favorite nature spot   

In one of the conversations you have had with them, they must have mentioned a certain memorable and special place they had been to once or a few times in their lifetime. This might be a good place for their ashes to be scattered to. 

It can also be symbolic of man being made out of dust and man, at his life’s end, returning to dust. 

Hike up to their favorite mountain, or to that part of the woods they took frequent walks to, visit the beach you once heard them say was the best. Make a day out of it. And then pick a moment, and make the release of their ashes. 

Store them at a columbarium so you have a physical site to visit 

If you want to have a physical site to come to when you miss your departed loved one, then perhaps storing them in a niche at a columbarium may be the better option for you. There are a number of columbariums all over every state that you can purchase a slot from. 

Create a memorial space for the urn somewhere in your home

Allotting a space for them in your home is also a common choice these days. It allows families to still feel close to their departed member, even when they have already passed on. This will give you more reasons to bring fresh flowers home, although, for the first few days after taking the urn home, you may also use some of the flowers from the funeral

Additional Advice To Help You Navigate The Grieving Process

Grief is a long and meandering road. You will need all the help you can get to move past it. But sometimes, no matter how much you share your feelings to those closest to you, you just can’t seem to feel understood because you know them, and you know for a fact that they have never really been in the same situation before. Their sympathy therefore, does not have the same comforting and healing powers as that of the empathy of someone who has been on the same road as you.  

One great tip is to join a support group. Joining one will give you a chance to talk to people who know exactly how you feel. This way, you will not feel as alone. There are others out there who can understand just how much it hurts to lose someone who meant so much to you. 

If a group setting is not something you feel comfortable with, then perhaps getting help from a professional therapist is the choice for you. Talking to a professional can be helpful. You see, in your mourning, you might not have full control of your thoughts and your emotions and this can be unhealthy. Therapy can help you understand your feelings, and assist you in navigating through the loss. 

While the first two tips can be truly helpful, a much simpler yet profound way of navigating loss is by creating an avenue for your loved one to be remembered. This can come through many platforms, such as online. Forevory can help you with that as we provide platforms for grieving people to channel their grief through creative endeavors, like creating an online memorial page for their departed loved ones. 

Build An Online Tribute Website That Preserves Their Memory Forever

A tribute website offers you one of the best ways to preserve the memories of your loved one while also allowing everyone else who cared for them to take part in the process. 

By creating a digital memorial page dedicated to your departed loved one, you give others access to a compilation of their memories that are easily preserved in online memorial photos/videos, online memorial guest books, and even online memorial articles - this is a great way to help everyone navigate the grieving process. And it comes with a dual purpose as well as it will also make it easy for future generations of the family to come to the page and learn about their ancestors. You will give them a chance to get to know their ancestors in a more intimate level and take pride in their roots. 

It simply is the perfect way to honor a lost loved one, forever. 

Final Thoughts On How To Transfer Ashes To An Urn

We understand that it is not every day you get asked how to transfer human ashes to an urn. Nevertheless, we congratulate you for reaching this far into the article. You have now gotten a good grasp on how to transfer ashes to an urn. That’s a new addition to your wealth of knowledge, you may or may not use it in the future but it is still great to know how to transfer ashes into an urn. Especially for those of you who have actually had loved ones cremated. 

If you are looking for meaningful ways to honor and remember your departed beloved, you can visit Forevory's page, there you’ll find ideas that can help you repurpose your feelings of loss and mourning into something that truly honors your departed beloved. 

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