Cremation is rising in the northwest U.S. Nationally it is about 50 percent, about 75 percent in the northwest, whereas in some places on the east coast it is as low as 10 percent, so it varies. What are the rules about scattering ashes? Dan White at Evergreen Washelli says, generally speaking, check with local authorities to see if it’s allowable, particularly in national or state parks.
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Welcome to the program everyone, and I am here with Mr Dan White, who’s the Northwest Territory Manager of Wash Shelley, located at Abbey View Memorial Park in Briar. I am very excited to talk to you, Dan, about scattering. Obviously we know that there’s laws in the state on for those of US cremation is obviously getting more and more popular as as our final wishes are happening. What are the rules around scattering? Well, Suzanne, the rules around scattering, you can look them up. I can supply you with the RCWS that cover that, but that would be ourcw sixty eight, four hundred and zero. So, generally speaking, the scattering, you have to check with the local authorities to see if you could scatter, the national parks or the state parks to see if that is is allowable. You can also do some scattering off the Washington ferry, but they generally it’s more of being placed in a biodegradable urn. So it’s not really scattering as we think about it, it’s just thrown. Yeah, so, yeah, so people do choose to scatter. I mean they’re, you know, with cremation. Like you said, it it is it is rising in our territory here in the northwest. Heard that and this is one of the largest areas for cremation. Is that correct? Well, cremation percentages of our population? Right, it’s about it, seventy five percent. Now, wow. So if you nationally it’s about fifty percent and if you are over on the east coast or the Midwest you’ll find cremations as low as ten percent. So it really just boils down to what your individual beliefs or religious beliefs or just normal traditions. That is fascinating. That is so high here in this in this area. I wonder whether it is. Is there any documentation of why? Well, I think really what it what it boils down to, is that we have one of the highest areas of non churched, as we call our affiliation with churches, right, so that’s why the cremation. But we also at all not religious, spiritual not really very big here. We also have different ethnicities that sent tend too much torch cremate. Lots of Asian, you know, Hino, and also, I’m Jewish, very large Jewish properly population. We have a large Jewish population, but most of those are are burial correct is some cremation, but most of those we do for burial, and so scattering is is really pretty nice for families and they seem to choose the scattering because they want to memorialize and be involved at the moment, and so you can certainly do that with a scattering. The Nice thing about cremation and what I like to talk to people about, and sometimes it’s very hard to do that, because I want them to think about future generations. When it comes to scattering. It’s it’s nice to be part of that and and honor your parents or your loved ones wishes, but then to think about future generations. Where are they going to go to be able to honor, honor, honor the loved one? So with cremation we can do apportionments. The only only one that we don’t do apportionments is is currently with the Catholic religion, because they still have this recently approved cremations. But with them they want the cremation, they want the cremation to be kept intact and still buried in the ground in a sacred area like a cemetery. So a lot of this is really driven by religious preferences. It sounds like, yes, a lot is driven by religious preferences. A lot of it also, I think, is from an economic standpoint for all the people. So one of the places that we do offer at Abbey, Youw Memorial Park, is we have what’s called an Ostuary, and that’s very, very minimal. What that means is that your cremated remains would be mixed with other cremator remains in one large container, and you’ll find those a lot in New Orleans where you have the above great crips and then the shure he’s were down below the personal cryps. So that’s one way. So you know, that’s what as far as scattering is concerned, it’s one way that you can that you can have. We always also encourage if you’re going to scatter, do so, be respectful around your environment and where you are, but also take time to have a memorial as well. They very much okay because that’s really the important thing to do, whether you do it in a restaurant, you do it at home, you do something out at a campsite, you do something along a river, along the puget sound, because that’s the important part. To remember that individual, not just to run off and go hike and and spread the ashes day with me means so that at least the people that are there can have some closure and really honor the person. Well, I think you bring up so many valid points and and certainly with the whole idea of cremation. You know a lot of people don’t know what to expect and they don’t even know how to have those conversations with their parents. Or are you going to tell your kids? But not only tell your kids, but make sure that you preplan so if cremation is something that you’re going to choose to do, what’s really important is to lay that out, preplan your final wishes so that there’s no question and it’s no burden on your loved ones. You know afterwards, which I think is so valuable. It’s extremely valuable because you know, as we as we talk about those families that we meet at need after the death has occurred, there are a lot of families that I met with that they do go to cremation but they weren’t sure if that really was what the final wishes were right for their loved one. But they choose cremation because they’ve heard so much about cremation in the media that it’s an expensive way to go as far as the cost, but it really is about honoring that. Are Vigil because you can have all the the service things for the same as a full body casket of burial. That you can do for cremation. You can still have a viewing if that’s important to you, with a body and a casket present. The only difference is with a full body burial, at the end of the service the casket is closed your police into the hearse and taken out to the cemetery to be placed. With cremation you could still have all that celebration around that to honor them, but now you’re put into the hearse and you’re driven to the crematory, I learned, than cremated and then the cremation, the cremated remains are returned to the family. Then you can proceed to go ahead to have your scattering and and that’s the beauty of this. Dan, and by the way, everyone we are talking to Mr Dan White. He’s a northwest territory manager of Wash Shelley and that’s located at Abbey View Memorial Park, which is an absolutely beautiful place to go and I had the privilege of getting to Experience Abbey View not too long ago and it was just a beautiful place to drive through this wonderful little residential neighborhood. You never knew that you were going to come across, you know, upon it and it’s just such a beautiful property tucked in this little community. I’ll thank you for that, Susan. So other items. are other things about scattering, HMM, and when we meet with you, they now make earns which are scattering tubes or scattering early to make it a little easier to do. So I would encourage you, if that’s the route that you choose, to take a look at the special types of urns because, remember, the cremator remains or, as we refer to them, a lot of people refer to him as ashes. They are just a a fine granulated powder right, right. And then, obviously, as part of that ceremony understanding, you know as you is you’re doing it. I’m sure that there’s a lot of different customs in which people you know share and and yeah, do yes, readings, different types of well, now, I think in our earlier discussions you had mentioned that you you did scatter for your mom. So we did you want to share maybe that experience for our listener. Really briefly, I grew up right around the bend from deception pass in Antichordis, Washington, on the Fidelgo island side, and so my I had had a cut conversation with my mother, what do you want, and she told me absolutely what she wanted in it and we followed through and it was beautiful. We did a scattering of her ashes along with her favorite kitty and a toast and through pink rols is in the water and it was very, very special afternoon. So so that yeah, yeah, so you bring up a very, very important part of this and that’s about the preplannings. Is Right. We as humans, and I know when I grew up it was pretty common place for us to talk about death, from my grandmother on down. We just had open discussions about your rarity. Yeah, it is a rarity, but it’s something that that we shouldn’t be afraid of, because death is inevitable and it’s something that we can share with those who we love and those who love us. As I always say that we all will experience the loss of someone we love and in time there will be a lot of people that will experience the loss of either you or myself when we die exactly. So it’s always good to have those kind of a talk of a lifetime, if you will. It’s the last gift you can give your loved ones and it really truly, I guess. I mean when you die, it is not the time that all of a sudden you you’re faced with all these decisions and and you know, it’s such an ease of peace of mind for your loved ones to be able to have all that stuff handled. And that’s really what it is. It is peace of mind because, like I said, we meet with people who don’t preplan and come in and everybody grieves and so they’re always faced with the grieving, but then they have to keep their hat on to be able to write all the decisions and answer all the question. Isn’t it true that people spend like seventy five percent more for at need rather than pre need? Or I don’t know if where? I don’t know not. Yeah, I don’t know if there’s a figure, but it’s what we refer to as emotional spending. So people will look because they are in that in that mode, and their mate having to make those decisions quickly, whereas if you preplan you’re not even thinking about it right, able to really take a look at what you truly want and to stay within your budgets. So, Dan, how do we reach you? You can reach me at Abbey View Memorial Park at four to five, four eighty three zero five, five, five, or you can go to our facebook page for abby view Memorial Park, or you can simply reach me at d white at Wash Shellycom Dan White, I’m so glad you were here today. Thanks so much. Thank you.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.