Honoring Your Loved One: Ten Creative Ways to Use Cremated Remains
Cremation has become the most popular funeral choice for Americans. It currently accounts for more than half of all end-of-life dispositions in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow to nearly 80% by 2040.
With cremation becoming so prevalent, it’s no wonder more and more people are seeking unique memorial ideas for their loved ones’ cremated remains. From eternal coral reefs to playable vinyl records, there’s no shortage of creative ideas for cremation ashes. Read on for a ten of our favorite possibilities.
1. Cremation Urns: These vessels represent the most traditional option. Many people find comfort in the idea of keeping their loved one’s ashes nearby, perhaps on the mantle or a special table. An endless array of sizes, designs and price points is available to meet every taste and budget. Whether you prefer elegant bronze, rustic wood, or delicate porcelain, there’s sure to be an urn that’s ideal for your needs. This choice is also convenient: if you should move, the urn can easily be transported.
2. Scattering Ashes: An ash scattering ceremony is a beautiful way to lay your loved one to rest in a place that was both special and meaningful to them. Favorite parks, hiking trails and fishing holes are popular choices for these events, as are scattering at sea and even from the air. Please note that each state has its own laws on scattering, and in the case of scattering ashes over water, federal law may take precedence. As part of your planning, be sure to check any regulations that may apply to your preferred location for the scattering ceremony.
3. Memorial Jewelry: One of the most popular ways to cherish the memory of your loved one is by creating memorial jewelry from his or her ashes. Whether you choose to go with a large company or an artisan jewelry maker, there’s a huge range of pendants, bracelets and ring designs to choose from. You can either place a small amount of the cremains into the jewelry, such as a fillable locket, or have the ashes mixed with the actual materials used to construct the jewelry itself.
4. Cremation Diamonds: Who doesn’t love diamonds? These brilliant gems are made using extreme heat and pressure, similar to the conditions under which they form in nature. Due to the boron in the bone fragments, cremation diamonds usually have a stunning bluish hue. You can choose to leave the diamond as a solitaire or have it crafted into a beautiful piece of jewelry.
5. Plant a Tree: A tree burial is a thoughtful option for gardeners and other nature lovers. You can buy special biodegradable urns that are designed to combine cremation ashes with a special blend of nutrients to help the tree grow and thrive. In time, you’ll be able to sit beneath its shady branches and fondly remember your loved one.
6. Replicated Coral Reefs: Was your loved one fond of the water, or did he or she enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving among beautiful coral reefs? It’s now possible for them to spend eternity beneath the ocean water they loved so much. In replicated coral reefs, the ashes are mixed into cement that is molded into a design that resembles the reef structure. It offers that added benefit of becoming a habitat for many species of marine life, replacing those that have been damaged or destroyed.
7. Memorial Tattoos: This may be the ultimate way of keeping someone close to you. In memorial tattoo art, a small amount of the ashes are combined with the ink that’s used to illustrate the departed’s name or image on your body.
8. Vinyl Records: Did your loved one have a favorite song or band? Cremation ashes can now be compressed into a playable vinyl record that contains a recording of your choice. The challenging part may be finding someone who still has a record player!
9. Stained Glass: Imagine waking up each morning and enjoying your coffee with your loved one as the sun streams through an enchanting stained glass window. It’s possible with stained glass that’s crafted from cremated remains. In this process, a small amount of ashes is incorporated into the stained glass as it’s manufactured. From there, the glass pieces can be combined into virtually any design to create stunning piece of window art.
10. Blown Glass Art: A number of companies use the art of glass glowing to create magical memorial pieces. About a tablespoon of the departed’s ashes are incorporated into a glass orb or heart. The ashes appear in a swirled pattern alongside vibrant colors and metallic touches. An inscribed message can even be included in the finished piece.
Today, the options are virtually endless when it comes to commemorative ideas for the ashes of a loved one. If you have questions about cremation or need help deciding on a suitable memorialization choice for the remains, please reach out to our caring team of professional funeral directors.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.