Cremains (NL): crematorium ash-scattering garden

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The Netherlands has quite liberal burial and disposal legislation providing a wide range of disposal options. Cremains can be collected after a minimum one month waiting period. The bereaved can take the ashes home where they often become part of some kind of home memorial. The ashes may also be scattered – although it is not always easy to choose the ‘right’ place to do that. Do you intend to visit that place afterwards? Is it a place that is primarily directed by the deceased or the bereaved? And do all the bereaved agree? Having many options can be great but also a source of despair and/or disagreement. Most crematoriums and cemeteries offer various options. There are (well confined) ash-scattering gardens or plots, columbariums and urn burial plots. The latter two provide possibilities for personalizing the place. When scattering the ashes that is not always possible. But a lot of people try. Places are marked (for longer or shorter periods of time) and re-marked (every year or at certain anniversaries). Each facility (crematorium, cemetery) has its own regulations in dealing with this urge…
Following the flowers one can see where the ashes are scattered: near a tree or a tree-stump, along the side of the lawn,  along the pathway or a bit further from it.

The photos show the ash-scattering gardens – a lawn and a woodland plot- of crematorium Venlo-Blerick. A sign at the entrance of the garden states the regulations: ‘The place of dispersion is anonymous; meaning that more than one ash-scattering can be done in one particular place. It is allowed to place fresh flowers; once past flowering they will be removed by our staff. The placing of nametags, memorial plaques or the like is not permitted and will be removed. The ash-scattering gardens can be visited daily form 9.00 -16.00 hrs.’

The last pictures are of the quite tragic looking columbarium; it is rather big and there are hardly any urns placed in it…




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