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What Should I Do With My Wife's Ashes When I Remarry?

by Jennifer Oster, studioD

Everyone processes grief and loss differently. While some people may feel an emotional or spiritual connection to the ashes of a deceased loved one, others may feel the need to move forward without a reminder of the loss. If you remarry after the death of your wife, your new wife may not want to keep the ashes. Ultimately, the decision regarding what to do with your wife's ashes is a personal choice.

Give Them to a Loved One

If you wish to have access to your late wife's ashes, consider giving them to someone who was important in your wife's life -- a son, daughter or sibling. Before deciding, ask the recipient how he or she would feel about keeping the ashes. You will not only be giving the recipient a reminder of your wife, but you will rest easy knowing that your wife's ashes are with a loved one.

Spread Them in a Place She Loved

Did your wife love the ocean or maybe a particular spot outdoors? Consider spreading her ashes in an area that she enjoyed. If you went on a honeymoon, returning to that area and spreading her ashes there would be a tribute to the beginning -- and end -- of your marriage. Remember to ask permission if the place is on private property. Keep in mind that you may not have access to the property in the future for reasons beyond your control.

Lay Her to Rest

Many people think of graves as a place for the bodies of the deceased. That is not always the case. Some people choose to bury the ashes of their spouses or put them in a columbarium, a memorial specifically for cremated ashes. You can buy plots or memorials through local funeral homes or cemeteries.

Keep Them

If you feel an emotional connection to your late wife's ashes, consider keeping them. Your new wife may not like it. Take her feelings into consideration and talk to her honestly about your feelings. If all else fails, keep your deceased wife's ashes in an area that you are both comfortable with -- your office or personal closet space. Your desire to keep your late wife's ashes is understandable, but your relationship with your new wife should be respected and honored.

About the Author

Jennifer Oster holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Louisiana State University and is also a certified lactation counselor. An expert in the field of infant and maternal nutrition, she began writing professionally in 2005 and has been featured in many nationally acclaimed magazines.

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