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He claimed that he was more than willing to give families the time they needed to make arrangements.But, for remains dating back as far as the 1950s, he said it was time to give them a proper service.Ashes may be scattered, buried underground, in a cemetery or even at sea.Although people may choose to keep the ashes of the deceased near them in a classic brass urn, they have other choices.

While the decision to leave the ashes at a funeral home is considered an option by many, there are many more dignified choices to give the deceased their due. From California to Quebec, funeral directors are at a loss to determine what to do with the rising numbers of uncollected urns in their funeral homes.

The foundation of the emergent industry was embalming, a practice that gained legitimacy during the Civil War years.

Although medical schools before the Civil War relied on various European methods of preserving dead bodies for instructional purposes, most Americans had no knowledge of the procedure and abhorred any "unnatural" intervention into the body's organic processes of decomposition.

But, they usually keep meticulous records of the names of the deceased and where the remains were scattered or buried. reported last year about Phil Painter, a funeral director who publicly announced that he would scatter the ashes of 150 people whose remains sat unclaimed at his business.

Some funeral directors believe that it is important to find a final resting place for the deceased, which is not in a funeral home. Painter said that this was a final effort to alert families to their need to come get the remains of their loved ones.

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