After the death of a loved one, deciding what to do with their ashes can be a difficult decision. You may have initially wanted to keep the urn at home but now wish to scatter the ashes. But how do you go about opening an urn, especially one that is sealed? This article will discuss tips and tricks to help you do this.
For many, this may seem like an easy question to answer since unsealed urns are not designed to be permanently sealed. However, they are designed to remain closed when not being manually opened to safeguard the ashes inside. Additionally, the way to open one can differ depending on the type of lid on the urn. Therefore, some lids can be less easily opened than others and may require additional tools to do so.
1. The best place to start when opening an unsealed urn is to inspect where the opening is. It is common for it to be on top, but it can also be found at the side or bottom.
2. Once you have determined where the opening is, you must figure out how it is opened and if it has been sealed. Many urns can be opened by simply unscrewing/twisting the top; this is the case for most traditionally shaped urns. However, some may be less simple. For example, it is common for wooden urns to have the lid screwed into place. Therefore, you would likely need a drill or screwdriver to remove the screws to open an urn like this. Moreover, even more simple ones may be sealed, so additional tools may also be needed.
3. Now that you know how to open the urn, it is crucial to find a clear, clean, preferably indoor space to do so. In many cases, ashes are placed in a plastic bag, and the bag is placed in the urn. However, ashes can be placed directly inside, increasing the chances for the ashes to be spilled on opening. Therefore, a clear space that does not have any air movement or subject to a breeze is vital to ensure ashes do not spill or get blown onto other things in the location.
4. Finally, after finding an ideal location, it is time to open the urn. Make sure to use patience and care, especially when using tools.
Sealed urns may have similar lids to unsealed urns. However, they are usually closed with an additional sealant such as a wax or adhesive. Therefore, opening these may be a little trickier.
1. Like with an unsealed urn, it is important first to inspect the urn to determine where the lid is and how it is being held in place. Many sealed urns look the same as unsealed ones, so a way to determine if additional adhesive has been added is to try to open the lid gently. It should open with minimal pressure if not sealed.
2. Once you have determined it has been sealed, you may need to apply something to loosen or remove it. One way to do this is by soaking a cotton swab in nail polish removed or an epoxy solvent and rubbing the swab along the seal to dissolve or loosen the adhesive. You may need to do this multiple times.
3. Next, you can try to pull off the lid gently and carefully. Like unsealed urns an additional tool, such as a drill, may be needed. Even lids that can be unscrewed or popped open by hand may require other tools such as a screwdriver or butter knife to pry the lid open. Again, it is crucial to practice patience and take care when doing this to minimize the chances of damaging the urn.
4. If you are still having trouble after trying the steps above, it may be beneficial to ask a funeral professional for help. They are used to handling cremated remains and urns, so they may be better equipped to open the sealed urn successfully. This does not mean damage will not occur, but it may be easier than doing it yourself.