When a loved one pops their clogs and gets cremated it is generally assumed that someone will want to keep the ashes. They might take pride of place on the TV stand, or get lovingly stowed at the back of the airing cupboard, safe in a protected refuge. They might even be stuffed into a teddy bear and so remain close at hand through long and lonely nights.
But what do we do with the ashes we really don’t want to keep? Perhaps they are the remains of some detested Aunt or a wealthy relative who left their vast treasure to a cats’ home. Maybe the ashes were deliberately willed to someone much hated by the deceased. If any of this resonates, here are some ideas for what to do with those surplus assets.
Cat litter trays are always in need of a refresh and the dead one’s ashes could be just the ticket. If you’re going this route, it’s probably best to introduce the ashes a little at a time to avoid having too much soiled clinker tracked across the floor.
Cooking is always a good option for dispersal since so many dishes benefit from a little bit of bulking up. Ideas for where to use the ashes are many, but baking them into a cake is a reasonable start. You could also use them to thicken milkshakes, especially the slimming variety, or to add that tad of extra crunch to a chocolate mousse. When you’re short of flour, bread dough and pastry can benefit from the additional padding.
Other options might be to use unwanted ashes to make filler go further when repairing cracks and holes. Or you could just sprinkle them on the floor when you want to practise your soft-shoe shuffle steps. Be sure to wear shoes though, as those bone fragments can make for nasty splinters. If you do get a splinter, use the ashes as a poultice on the wound. And mixed with the right ingredients they make an excellent face-mask.
Unwanted ashes can do wonders outside the home too. The not-so-loved one can be recycled as soil nutrients, although you might prefer not to put them in the vegetable patch. The unloved ashes can help absorb oil leaks in the garage and be used as grit to help make safe those icy winter surfaces. Unwanted ashes are a great way to add heft to concrete and to put on the floor of a stable or henhouse as an absorbant.
These options are just the start, so don’t fret if you’re left holding an unwanted urn or a dusty cardboard box. There are plenty of practical possibilities that leave your conscience clear and your life ash-free.