August 25: Put Those Cremated Remains in a Cemetery!

Aug 13, 2018 | 0 comments

If you’ve had a death in the family, you may be keeping human cremated remains somewhere in your house. If you’d like to give those ashes a permanent final resting place in a cemetery – for free – mark your calendar for Saturday, August 25, 2018. My friends at FRENCH Funerals & Cremations and Sunset Memorial Park invite you to participate in their second Scatter Day event.

Families are invited to scatter remains in Sunset Memorial Park’s cremation rose garden or in an ossuary. An ossuary is an underground structure that provides a secure resting place for multiple cremated remains. They’ll also provide a free marker to memorialize the person. Here’s the news release about this wonderful opportunity.


Scatter Day, the public service that offers families a permanent resting place for their loved ones free of charge, will be returning to Albuquerque this year.

French Employee Scatters into Ossuary

A French employee places remains in an ossuary during the 2017 Scatter Day event.

Sunset Memorial Park and French Funerals and Cremations created the event in 2017 as a way to serve the thousands of Albuquerque families who are unsure what to do with their loved ones’ cremated remains.

After hundreds of families took advantage of the service last year, the cemetery is bringing it back. On Saturday, August 25, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunset will offer free scattering and free memorial engraving for anyone who comes to the park.

“The response to this service has really been overwhelming,” said Tom Antram, President and CEO of French Funerals and Cremations and Sunset Memorial Park. “I’ll never forget the outpouring of appreciation from people who finally were able to lay down a burden they had been carrying in silence for so long. The decision to bring Scatter Day back again this year was an easy one to make: there are still so many families who would love the opportunity to say goodbye, but just don’t know how.”

The event became a local phenomenon, with more than 600 people visiting Sunset in a single day to find permanent resting places for their loved ones—free of charge. Sunset also served hundreds more families in the month leading up to the event and in the weeks after.

“We really hit a nerve in the community,” said Antram. “We know that it’s just so important to have that permanent resting place. What we didn’t know is just how deeply people in our community felt that need, without any way to address it. After the funeral is over, if you’ve never dealt with those ashes like you planned to, it can create a lot of guilt, confusion, even fear for people. This is about getting past all that.”

Each year, thousands of people’s cremated remains end up in cardboard boxes, stacked in the back of coat closets, or even thrown in the garbage. Based on national research, it’s estimated that thousands of people in Albuquerque have loved ones’ remains at home, not because of an intentional decision, but because they don’t know what else to do with them.

If that’s you, Sunset Memorial Park wants you to know that you’re not alone.

During the event, which will be all day on Saturday, August 25, Sunset Memorial Park and French Funerals and Cremations will have staff on hand to answer questions and help families make arrangements. Families who come to Sunset on “Scatter Day” can create a unique experience to meet their needs: visitors may scatter with their family on the day itself, or they can make arrangements for a ceremony, burial, entombment, or other options at a later date.

Questions may be directed to Sunset Memorial Park at 505-345-3536.

WHO: Anyone who would like to find a permanent resting place for cremated remains

WHAT: “Scatter Day,” a free public service event at Sunset Memorial Park

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm

WHERE: Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107

WHY: To serve the community and bring light to the importance of memorialization

FRENCH Funerals & Cremations logoAbout FRENCH Funerals & Cremations: Founded in 1907, FRENCH has deep roots in Albuquerque and is the area’s longest standing family-owned funeral service company. Today, FRENCH is part of the FRENCH Family of Companies, which includes Sunset Memorial Park, the Cremation Society of NM, Best Friends Pet Cremation Services, and FRENCH Advance Planning. A leader in the funeral services industry, the FRENCH Family of Companies is deeply invested in the community and dedicated to helping New Mexico families honor and remember their loved ones.

About Sunset Memorial Park: In 1929, Mr. French opened Sunset Memorial Park to provide a beautiful and comfortable environment for families to honor their loved ones. Today, Sunset remains the most highly endowed cemetery in the Southwest and is poised to serve the greater Albuquerque community for years to come.

FRENCH is also a sponsor of the second annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, six days of upbeat activities to get people thinking about, talking about, and doing something about our mortality.


A Good Goodbye