Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Deciding mom’s final resting place

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: My mom passed away six months ago. I am in possession of her cremated remains. Shortly before her death, I moved across the country, to a place she’d never been.

She mentioned many years ago she would want her ashes to be scattered in the state of Maine, where she resided for about 15 years in the 1990s. When she mentioned being scattered, she didn’t seem very serious. She was in great health at the time and much younger.

I don’t feel comfortable with her ashes in my home. When I received them, I had them blessed by a priest at the church. My mother no longer had any friends or relatives, and when she passed away, she was residing in Florida. I didn’t even have a memorial service there because it would’ve just been me and probably a couple nurses from the facility she was in. It would’ve made no sense to scatter her ashes in Florida because she really wasn’t happy there.

I don’t have anyone to help me with this. I’m growing old and have many health issues. If I were to take the trip to Maine, it would involve a very long flight with layovers and connecting flights. I think I’d be risking my health. My question is, should I scatter her ashes here in my new homeland, which is very lovely, or put the urn in a mausoleum near me? I am so distraught and desperate for advice. – Ashes to Ashes

Dear Ashes: Handling the final wishes of a loved one is always a deeply personal and challenging task, especially if their plans weren’t clearly outlined or aren’t practical to carry out. Given your health concerns and the difficulties involved in traveling to Maine, it’s understandable to look for alternatives that still honor your mother’s memory respectfully.

Scattering her ashes locally or placing the urn in a nearby mausoleum are both respectful options. If you choose a local scattering, select a place that is serene and beautiful, where you feel her presence would be at peace and where you can visit comfortably. The mausoleum could offer a sense of permanence and ease of visitation, which might bring you more comfort. Whatever decision you make, ensure it brings you peace and feels like a fitting tribute to your mother’s memory, taking into account your own needs and limitations. I’m sure your mother would more than understand and appreciate however you decide to handle it.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to