North Van funeral home hosts free-ashes scattering ceremony

A funeral home in North Vancouver is hosting a free ceremony next month for individuals to scatter the cremated remains of loved ones in a memorial garden.

First Memorial Funeral Services and Boal Chapel and Memorial Gardens, located at 1505 Lillooet Rd., is hosting the ceremony on Nov. 3 starting at 11 a.m.

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The event is intended to allow members of the community who have not yet completed the final memorialization of their loved one’s cremated remains to do so in a nondenominational, barrier-free setting, according to Emily Bootle, funeral director and assistant manager at the funeral home.

“It’s a way of having a memorialization without having to worry about the cost of it,” said Bootle.

Noting how in recent years funeral plots have increased in price along with skyrocketing B.C. property values, many are instead now choosing to scatter loved one’s remains in meaningful places or hold onto them at home indefinitely, which in the case of the latter can lead to feels of guilt, according to Bootle.

“Often what happens is, people aren’t comfortable with the idea of scattering in a public place, or even private, or maybe they don’t have the funds to afford a burial or a niche space,” she said.

The event will begin with a life celebration and words of comfort in the location’s chapel, for those who wish to participate, according to a release. Following the ceremony, participants can walk through the landscaped cremation garden and hold their own private memorial before scattering their loved one’s ashes.

“I think that it does feel very natural to people once they’re in those positions to do something like that,” said Bootle.

The event is open to the public. Those who wish to participate in the scattering ceremony are asked to register by Oct. 15 by calling 604-980-3451.

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