How to address subject about a cremated loved ones ashes?

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My mother-in-law passed 5 1/2 years ago and her ashes are still in the box from the funeral home. That isn't so much the problem. The problem is the ashes are in "the box" in the basement under the stairs getting dusty. My husband feels his Mother is being disrespected (so do I) because her ashes have not been properly taken care of ie: in an urn, scattered or "displayed" ....how do we or how does my husband approach talking about it with his father.

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I'm gripped by all this information about regulatory matters and cremation. Wooh! - what happens if you trip and drop them? And how do the authorities get to know? I'm agog.

VS, quite right about Islam. Whereas in Hinduism cremation is mandatory, and must be done en plein air (they have special crematoria which comply with public health and safety requirements too). It's yet another reminder that what all ritual boils down to is respect: having and applying an accepted method for dealing with life. We just have to let each other get there in our own way.
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Has your husband spoken to his dad about the ashes? Is your husband the one who is upset, or are you the one who is uncomfortable? "Hey Dad, let's talk about what to do with Mom's ashes. I've got some ideas, but I'd like to know what you have in mind".
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Oh, and ex's house is on the market!
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I never met my FIL he passed before I met his son. FIL passed about 30 years ago and was cremated. The intent was to always commingle his ashes with MIL's when she passed then scattered in a location I will not publish. Susan is right this is against the law unless you obtain a permit to do so. However, governments to not sell many of these permits. Make sure you remove the tag from the cremains or you will be fined.

In the 30 years since FIL's passing, MIL has moved four times. FIL was lost more than once. But he was always found again. LOL!

MIL passed about a month ago and the funeral home cremated her, then did the mixing with FIL. They will be scattered at some point in the future, unless they are lost first. And the ashes currently reside in the house of my ex. Maybe there is one more cremains hunt in the future. ;)
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By the way, "a souvenir for the mantelpiece" sounds very disrespectful. It isn't.
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One of my reasons for preferring cremation is to avoid using land space for burial. So interring the ashes makes no sense to me. A souvenir for the mantelpiece works for me. So does scattering, but I want to keep it distinctly separate from littering or disposing of trash. But I'm cool with other people's preferences.

If one relative has the ashes and other relatives have a different idea of what should be done with those ashes, the logic thing is simply to talk about it.
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I have my dad's ashes in a nice wooden box (from the crematory) on a table. They've been there for 5 years. And I have all of my cats' and my hamster's ashes as well. I talk to my dad's ashes from time to time and I'm not at all creeped out by them. Having them nearby reminds me of my dad (and my beloved pets).

I'm an Air Force brat and I read in an excellent book (Military Brats) that military brats and career military families favor cremation because we're so used to moving around, we can take them with us. That's my view about why I do what I do.

Funny thing is, in five years, neither my brother or my mother has asked where Dad's ashes are. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. I find that weird.
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Well, since the 60's at least, its OK for Catholics to opt for cremation, as long as it is not an act of denial or faith in the Resurrection. But, just out of respect, we are supposed to have the cremains properly interred and not scattered or used as a souvenir for the mantelpiece or whatever. I guess we figure the original Designer keeps a good copy of the blueprints. :-)

Seriously, a couple religious perspectives on this:

catholicworldreport/Item/1719/changing_catholic_attitudes_about_cremation.aspx

http://reformjudaismmag.org/articles/index.cfm?id=1446

Islam generally forbids it though.
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So done with, I will have to look into the fireworks thing! That sound awesome!!!! Thanks!
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There are fireworks companies that will make "a beautiful memorial display" out of cremains, which might be a better option than shooting them out of a cannon.
You can also have cremains made into jewelry, or added to a coral reef.
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