According to figures from the Norwegian Crematoriums and Burial Counsel, in cooperation with the Graveyard Association, every year, the spreading of ashes out in nature increases in Norway.
‘I think people don’t want to encumber their descendants with tending a grave’, said the Director of the legal department at the County of Vestfold, Per Arne Andreassen.
Figures show that in 2016, 514 urns were delivered for ashes to be spread in this country, and in only the past year, that figure had increased by 76 cases in Norway. Between 2012 and 2013, there was an increase of 103 cases of ashes being spread.
A leap in Vestfold
In Vestfold, there was a leap in ashes spreading during the past year. Previously, the statistics showed an annual increase of a maximum of seven cases of ashes being spread in that county, but from 2015 to 2016, the figure increased from 51 to 89 cases.
Managing Director of Vestfold Crematorium, Ola Asp, believes the increase is due to the media coverage having made people more aware of the possibility of spreading their ashes.
Pernille Gjertsen Moss, Senior Executive Officer for the County of Vestfold, believes the numbers may be explained by people not having the same attachment to church as they had previously.
The Graveyard Adviser for the Norwegian Church, Åse Skrøvset, believes the results of the surveys, and the figures available, demonstrate that the increase will continue on a national basis.
‘If we look at the figures, we see an expected development that the spreading of ashes is likely to increase in the future, she said.
Today, the rules about spreading of ashes dictate, among other things, that all ashes should be spread in the same place. But over time, perhaps the rules may change, said Per Arne Andreassen.
‘I think it will be possible to divide up the ashes, so that various descendants can have their own share of the ashes’, he said.
Andreassen added that it is currently not legally permitted to bring the ashes home or to spread them on football fields or similar places.
‘I think that is a trend that will eventually come in Norway’, he said.
From 2015 to the present day, the most popular ashes scattering places in Vestfold were outside Færder fyr, Mølen and Svenner.
Pernille Gjertsen Moss, in the Fylkesmannen, even wishes to have her own ashes spread, but has a slightly different place in mind when her time comes.
‘I have a desire to spread my ashes at a place called ‘Faenshølet,’ (The Devil’s Hole) she said, laughing at the name, but stressed that it is a great place, just south of Hvasser.
Source: nrk.no / Norway Today