It's always so tough when a family loses a loved one.

I've always thought that the worst part of losing a family member, was having to do all the yucky, everyday stuff that goes along with it.. Like planning a funeral. You're already going through some of the worst grief of your life, and this person across the desk expects you to be able to pick out caskets, or clothes, or whether you'd rather just be cremated.

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You're suffering, and life just goes on. But typically, you just have to power through it like a champ and break down exhausted at the end of it all. Now imagine that there are relatives all over the country, or you had to travel far away for the funeral. Sadly, you may be stuck in a spot where you may need to send ashes to people.

Can Mainers even do that legally?

McConnell Adams, Townsquare Media Lansing
McConnell Adams, Townsquare Media Lansing

To be honest, anyone can. It's not limited to Maine at all. Sometimes it just has to be done. But naturally, there's one small catch involved. You can't just use any old delivery service to move those ashes along. It specifically requires using the United States Postal Service.

mortician with client comforting and advising

Legally, the USPS is the only service in the country that you can use for mailing human ashes. There's no opportunity to use UPS or another company like FedEx or something like that. It all needs to go through USPS hands. At their website, not only do they get into the legalities, they even spell out how to do it quite clearly.

What if they get lost?

Well, there's the rub, right? We all know that overall, people's feelings about how the USPS handles mail and packages is kind of shaky, and it's seems to have gotten worse over the years. Hundreds of thousands of packages are lost every year, so its probably safe to say that hundreds of packages containing ashes are floating out there somewhere.

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I imagine finding them when they're lost is as hard as finding any lost package. It just has the added stress of being a family member out there. Obviously, most people wouldn't send these out anywhere unless it was absolutely necessary. But at least you know now, that the USPS is your only legal option.

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