20 unique ways to remember a lost loved one - Part 2

Posted by Nathan Lloyd | 27/09/2014 | Category: Funerals

In the first part of this blog, I detailed my top 10 ways in which to commemorate a loved one after a burial.  However, if you have chosen a cremation over a burial, you will be faced with the tricky decision of what to do with the ashes.

Typically you could keep the ashes in an urn or scatter them somewhere memorable.

But there are also some remarkable and unique ways in which people use a loved one’s ashes to celebrate a person’s life.

Below are ten of my personal favourites from around the globe.  These are not endorsed in any way by Central England Co-op.  They do make for some very interesting reading though!

1. Press them into your favourite piece of vinyl.

Music plays a massive part in my life.  I’ve worked in record shops and even had a brief stint as a DJ in the early Nineties.  So when I pass, what better way to commemorate my musical passion than by transforming my ashes into a vinyl LP?

There are companies out there who will not only press the ashes into a vinyl recording, but they will also create an album cover using the ashes in the ink!

2. Tattoo them onto your skin

I read late last year about the British actor Thomas Turgoose, who lost his mother to lung cancer just before he found fame in ‘This is England’.  Thomas didn’t know what to do with his mother’s ashes, until he read an article about how he could incorporate them into the ink of a tattoo he was thinking of having to commemorate his mother’s life.

Thomas decided to use some of the ashes to have some of his mother’s favourite lyrics tattooed across his chest. 

This is for the more adventurous out there and I would recommend always doing  your homework carefully when selecting a tattoo parlour to carry out this very unusual procedure.

3. Turn your loved one into a pencil

Perhaps the person you have lost was a keen writer?  Some people have celebrated the life of a loved one by using their ashes to create a number of pencils.   The average body’s carbon content can create between 200 to 250 pencils.  Mourners have even sent a few to family and friends to ensure their legacy lives on.

4. Send them to space

If a  loved one was a keen sci-fi buff or astronomer, then what better way to celebrate their life than to scatter their ashes in the stratosphere?  However, this one small step for man comes at a hefty cost.  To send just 1 gram of ash into deep space costs an eye-watering £10,000. 

Alternatively for a mere £1,000,  you can send the ashes up in a giant helium balloon, which at six miles up will freeze and fracture, scattering the ashes across the sky. 

5. Commemorate them in a diamond

Due to the high carbon content in the human body, it is now possible to take ashes and create a wonderful diamond.  This can then be cut to any specification and used on a pendant, broach or ring, etc. 

As with the option of space travel, transformation of turning ashes into a diamond doesn’t come cheap.  Typically you will be looking at paying between £2,000 and £10,000.

6. Always have them with you as a piece of jewellery

A very popular and affordable way to remember that someone special is to keep a small amount of their ash in a piece of jewellery. 

7. Glass Paperweight

For those that don’t want the traditional urn around the house, there are a number of companies out there who can incorporate human ashes into an array of glass objects. 

From a vase or paperweight to a sculpture or perfume bottle, there are a myriad of options that can be chosen to create a lasting memory. 

8. As a Portrait

Commissioning an artist to incorporate the ashes into a portrait of a loved one is a fantastic way to create a lasting legacy.   And because only a small amount of the ashes are required to create the portrait, you can still scatter the remaining ashes or keep them held in a traditional urn.

There are many artists out there who paint in a variety of styles, so reading testimonials and viewing their previous work will help you decide who to use.  Prices start at around £200 but can be considerably more for more establish artists.

9. Turn the ashes into an underwater reef

If the person had a keen interest in the sea or ecology, what better way to celebrate their life than to turn their ashes into a permanent living legacy under the sea?

There are companies who can mix your loved one’s ashes with specially formulated cement and mould it into a permanent eco-friendly reef, providing a habitat for a myriad of sea life once submerged.

You can then head out for a special ceremony to see the eco-reef buried at sea. 

10. Have them made into a firework display

A spectacular way to remember a loved one is to send them towards the skies in a firework display.  A number of companies are available who will collect some or all of the ashes direct from a crematorium and turn them into a self-fired tribute or scatter the ashes in a professional display.

Fireworks are packaged personalised with the name of the deceased and include a prayer or personal tribute.

If you have any suggestions on ways to commemorate the passing of a loved one, please leave a comment in the box below. And if you would like any help and support regarding a funeral, please visit the funeral section of the website here where you can also find details of your nearest Central England Co-op Funeral Home.

About The Author: Rob Smyth

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