What is “wildcat scattering”?

Wildcat scattering is the practice of scattering a loved one’s ashes widely, in different locations, and at different times. The scattering locations are planned in a purposeful manner, and scattering is often done without permission. Other people besides the next of kin sometimes become involved in helping with scattering portions of the ashes at faraway locations.

The scattering locations are often chosen for their significance to the deceased and/or to the surviving relative. For example, a husband might want to honor his wife’s love for travel by scattering a small bit of her ashes at her favorite vacation places. Wildcat scattering is growing in popularity because of the increase in the overall cremation rate, and also is an indicator of Americans’ growing desire to personalize their grief and memorialization rituals.