There really is no right way to deal with death. You never know how you’re going to react, unfortunately. At least with a burial at sea, you can honor that family member one last time in a majestic and respectable fashion.
The sea is infinite and your loved one’s remains can become one with it. Since these funerals are a little different than traditional proceedings, you may have a few questions about how this process works and its legal aspects.
Can You Ship Ashes?
At times, life can get hectic, and you may not have an hour to spare in the day. This makes it hard for family members trying to get ready for a funeral. Fortunately, with a burial at sea, you can have your loved one’s ashes shipped directly to the charter company. That you won’t have to deal with any unexpected problems with the TSA folks at the airports. (Be sure to let your charter company know of your shipping plans.)
You can ship the ashes through the U.S. postal service. However, since you’re shipping ashes, and not an ordinary package, there are some packaging tips you should remember. You’ll need to choose the appropriate container and protect said container. Air bubble wrap and foam peanuts are generally recommended because they are cost-effective and easy to obtain.
Is Catering Available?
Being on a vessel such as a spacious schooner, even just for a few hours, can deplete you of energy. As such, you may be wondering if catering is available with “comfort food” to help everyone deal with such an emotional day. There are many charter companies that provide relationships with catering. Check with them to see if they have experience in this area.
Your local charter company can help you choose between different restaurants, with each one having a diverse menu to choose from. Since a lot of your guests may want to stand throughout the entire ceremony, it’s a good idea to select finger foods. They can be consumed without a plate and won’t be that messy for family and guests.
Drinks like water and sodas can also be provided if that is what you request. They’ll be stored below decks, where they can remain cool for when your family and friends are ready to get started.
What Type of Service is Available?
There are several different services that a schooner company can carry out, which really depends on your family’s personal preferences. A lot of times, families will recite poems and speeches before the ashes are placed into the waters. This gives everyone a chance to honor that loved one and pay their final respects.
Other times, you may want to have a more private service where only close family members and friends are invited. A charter company will carry out your wishes and may even send out the appropriate invitations months in advance.
Sometimes, you may want the event to be as casual as possible, where people just relate a few of their favorite memories of the departed loved one.
Are Permits Required?
You may be wondering if permits are required to dispose ashes in the ocean. According to law, all burials, whether they’re a full body land burial or the scattering of ashes, require a county permit. When you hire a charter company, they’ll already have the necessary permits so you don’t have to worry about doing anything illegal. The charter company also takes care of any necessary paperwork and knows exactly where they have to be when scattering ashes into the waters.
Your family member may be gone, but their memory will live on forever when you carry out a memorable burial at sea ceremony. Know that there are companies you can hire that specialize in this service, who will make sure the ceremony is both beautiful and as stress-free as possible for all.
How to Ship a Package: Cremated Remains, about.usps.com
Burial at sea, environment.gov.au