Deciding On Your Final Resting Place

Burial Place

Destination Final

You've decided to be cremated but you figure your loved ones can decide where they'd prefer your final resting place to be.  That would be the most caring thing to do right?  Maybe not.

When faced with a menu of Goodbye options families often struggle to make the decision about where to scatter or bury their loved ones cremains.

Without direction, families are left guessing, arguing, disagreeing and more often than not some poor sod is left with an urn of cremains in their linen press for 20 years.

I've never yet heard of a person who wanted their final resting place to be staring at sheets and rolls of leftover Christmas gift wrap.

Welcome to your Final Resting Place Tour, I'm your guide Fiona Shilton...

When you include a declaration in your will about where you want your ashes placed, you take the guesswork and indecision away from your family.

I suggest a location for your remains is included with a request to inter or scatter your ashes on the 1 year anniversary of death.

A year gives everything time to settle.

It allows time to grieve and let go, for everything to feel less raw and more celebratory.  Without leaving things for so long it feels like there's no closure.

Of course, leaving a declaration is only a wish (and sometimes a whim if your family does not have the means or inclination to travel to your nominated destination or undergo the ceremony described by you).

Discussing your destination with your family

Like everything else in your will, I ask you to discuss your final goodbyes whilst you're still alive so your family are not put in a precarious position where they;

  • Feel guilty if they can't honour your wishes because of travel restrictions, legalities or other reasons beyond their control
  • Put themselves in harm's way in order to honour your wishes, no matter what
  • Lack the money of their own or in your estate to carry out your final goodbye plan
  • Aren't in the emotional position to put themselves through the process that you have mapped out for them
  • Don't have the physical ability to get to Machu Picchu in Peru, or any other exciting location you may choose, to scatter your ashes


If you don't have a fixed idea of where you want your end destination to be, here are some places other clients have nominated as their final resting place;


J de Telmont

In September you can walk around the five hectares of the biodynamic vineyard in Damery, France where Champagne Telmont is produced.

I’m assuming this ashes scattering is taking place on the sly. Even though J de Telmont is an advocate of biodynamic farming, I don’t think a shit load of cremains can be that healthy for the soil or create the microbial life needed for soil fertility and outstanding Champagne production. I don’t know. I’m not a viticulturist.

More than once, my clients have nominated J de Telmont. In my mind’s eye, I see family members arrive and channel Andy Dufrense from Shawshank Redemption; discretely depositing cremains through holes in their pockets as they walk the grounds.

Or maybe they have a salt and pepper shaker shaped like a hip flask.

Either way, you'd be guaranteed top shelf bubbles for your anniversary toast.


In local Aboriginal language Natimuk means “Little Lake”.  This small Victorian town near Horsham was settled by colonists in the mid-1880s.

In its hay day, Natimuk had a flour mill, a salt works and of course, a courthouse. These days it has a population of about 400 people, a caravan park, a jetty jutting into the usually dry lake (complete with warnings to not dive in) and directions to get to every mountain climbers’ challenge, Mount Arapiles.

Simply, Natimuk is a community. For some it's the home they grew up in and then moved away for work opportunities. For others it’s a place of memory-making, where they did and still do spend their holidays or take day trips.


Belair National Park

Established near Adelaide in 1891 the Kaurna people referred to this area as Piradli, which means ‘baldness’.

By 1929 Belair National Park boasted 42 tennis courts, several pavilions, lush ovals and a well-developed road network all designed to encourage public gatherings after the Great Depression.

In doing so, it’s created an accessible place for families and friends to spend time together.  It's a place where many people spent time making memories and those memories mean that Belair National Park is a place people often wish to leave their ashes.



In 1856 a small German community established the Lutheran Church near Callington on the Bremer River in South Australia.

In 1865 twelve German settler families opened their own school which remained in operation until 1936. In 1890 the new Salem Church was built next to the cemetery that contains more than 150 gravesites.  The church tower in the cemetery is all that remains of Salem.

The living population in Salem is now zero but a few of my clients have nominated it as their final resting place.


Black Point

Located on the Eastern coast of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, colonists established a quarantine station here during the Smallpox epidemic of the mid-1880's.

For many years it’s been a popular getaway destination for lots of families, evidenced by all of the simple beach shacks lining the coast. Black Point is a place for endless hours of surfing, fishing, swimming and games of scrabble.

Many of my clients have nominated Black Point as the place to have their ashes scattered and in doing so, provide their family another excuse to get over to beautiful Yorkes.


Maslin Beach

Despite being an official nude beach since 1975, I believe my clients when they say that it’s the high cliffs overlooking the ocean near Blanche Point at Maslin Beach that makes it attractive for them to have their ashes scattered there.

They're attracted by the vastness of the ocean not the bodies on the sandy beach they assure me!  Though I always hope when the time comes to tip the ashes into the seabound winds none add to the chafing of the sunbathers below.


Kilvrecht Campsite

Maybe you're destined for a final resting place further afield.

Your loved ones arrive at the airport with their passports and airline tickets in one hand and a letter from the funeral director in the other.  They check in their carry-on baggage including the sealed container holding the cremains.

Bound for Scotland.


When they arrive in Scotland you send them into the wilds of Kilrecht Campsite in Black Wood of Rannoch where you have memories of many childhood family trips.

You'll go sometime between July and September.  It's the best weather for tent living.

That’s how two of my clients want their family to say their final goodbyes to them.


It's all about place.

Some people like the idea of going home after their death.  Returning to where they came from is like coming full circle.

Some want to go back to a place that holds dear memories.  More often than not childhood memories; a place they spent time with their family without the distractions of everyday life.

Others want to be buried with the rest of their family’s dead or other loved ones.  A chance to be reunited in some physical sense.  Where tradition, familial pride and belonging are important.  Conveniently creating a one-stop-grieving-spot.

And many like the idea of using the disposal of their ashes as an opportunity for their family to make new memories after their death.

A way of saying goodbye and hello all at the same time.  Like turning the page of a book to another chapter.  A cliffhanger.

Talking about, thinking about and considering your final resting place gives you the power to discover your place.  Your final destination.

A place that is often just as much about life as it is about death.


"To the organised mind, death is the next big adventure" JK Rowling.

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