When a loved one first passes, there is an incredible amount of grief. This grief can manifest in many different ways that no one could ever be prepared for. Whether newly grieving, or feeling the loss over a long period of time, it can often be overwhelming to come up with an answer to the question “what next?”. Unfortunately, this is a question that demands answering at some time or another, as moving forward requires taking the next step.
We do often hear from clients that they were surprised by finding my jewelry, and it is true that what we do at Close By Me Jewelry is not as well known in the grief or jewelry communities. We have even been told that we were found by searching the phrase “what to do with ashes”. This inspired us to write and post a blog that provides a list as an answer to this question.
While we are always touched when a client chooses us to create a piece for them in memory of a deep and meaningful connection that they have shared with a loved one, we use so little of the ashes that there is often much left over for other projects, ceremonies, and activities. There is, of course, the option to hold onto all of the remaining ashes in an urn to keep your loved one’s presence at home, but please do consider the following options as well:
Ashes can be used in combination with soil, water and seeds to create a new life. Companies like Bios Urn ( https://urnabios.com/) use the ashes of your loved one to plant a tree, flower, or anything green in between. They even have an option to purchase two urns to give new life to those who wish to stay together even after they pass away. They have recently added an option to grow a smaller indoor plant using their automatic watering system. We found their companies mission statement and quote to be extremely touching, this option is perfect for those who love the symbolic idea of giving new life using the ashes of their departed loved one.
Imagine your loved one apart of the atmosphere for the rest of time. Celestis (https://www.celestis.com/) can take a small portion of your loved one’s ashes and launch them into space. They have a variety of options, from earth orbit, to landing them on the moon. We did not do any extensive research, but it seems like their flights are scheduled pretty far in advance. This option is for people who know their loved one wanted nothing more than to continue their grand adventures, no matter where it takes them.
This is one of the most commonly referenced memorials by our clients specifically. We have seen many photos of tattoos completed using the ashes of a departed loved one. From what we know, the process is fairly simple and can be done with any artist that is willing to use the ashes. They combine them with the ink during the tattoo process so that they are permanently embedded into the skin, and carried with you for the rest of your life. This option truly is a labor of love.
What better way to make a loved one timeless than to use their ashes to create a diamond using their ashes? This is a high-end jewelry option and companies like Eterneva (https://www.eterneva.com/) can help turn your loved one’s ashes into a diamond that will last forever. Diamonds are so hard that they cannot be broken or scratched, representative of the love and memories that are eternal in our minds. These diamonds can come in a variety of colors and setting options for both pets and human loved ones. This option is best for those who have no limit on their budget or the amount of ashes they can spare, as it does use quite a bit of the ashes during the process.
A Journey With Wings (https://www.ajourneywithwings.com/) founder, Jamie, contacted us once many years ago because one of the families that used her service was interested in keeping some of their ashes aside so they would be able to order jewelry. She is a delightful, respectful, and dedicated individual who is committed to a scattering service that will be remembered for generations. She uses technology to ensure that the ashes are scattered properly and safely, and follows all guidelines set which allow the scattering to take place in a respectful manner. Her website offers many resources and answers to questions that every grieving family comes across at one point or another. No matter the service you choose for this, scattering ashes by plan is not as easy as one may think, so make sure you do research before you choose a company for this task.
Many companies offer access to urns kept within Teddy-Bears or other stuffed animals. This is a way to keep a loved one close enough to hug and is great for children and adults alike. Urns on mantels are classic, and a perfect way to keep a loved one’s presence in your home, but the comforting presence of a soft teddy bear can offer a tactile experience as you pass your hugs and kisses on to a departed loved one. Currently, we do not offer a line of jewelry that is specifically made for children, and a teddy bear is a fantastic alternative for little ones until they are old enough to wear jewelry of their own.
Placing ashes into an urn shaped like an hourglass carries much symbolism, and can be a beautiful way to carry on the memory of a loved one while reminding you that time is always turning. Many companies offer urn creations like this, for those who are more interested in the symbolic nature of their bond with their loved one, family, and the passage of time.
A beautiful flash of light in a dark time, companies like Angel’s Flight, Heaven’s Above, and Heavenly Stars will send your loved one’s ashes into the sky for a goodbye with a bang. What better way to say goodbye than with the kind of flair and excitement that was enjoyed by your loved one during their life? These are for those that wish to truly celebrate the lives of their loved ones so that all can see and hear the connection that was shared between you.
Described as a “living legacy”, Eternal Reefs (https://www.eternalreefs.com/) will place your loved one’s ashes into a coral reef. Reefs are homes for many underwater animals, from fish and turtles to eels and anemones. Your loved one’s ashes could be used as a vital part of an undersea community that is designed to last. The ashes are incorporated into a “Reef Ball” which is placed at the bottom of the ocean in a designated spot. For sea lovers and environmental champions, placing your loved one’s ashes into a coral reef will be a story to remember for generations.
Eternal Ascent (https://eternalascent.com/) and companies like them place the ashes of your loved one into a Helium Balloon that is eco-friendly and biodegradable. According to the website, the balloon ascends, expands, and eventually freezes, which scatters the ashes from a height of 30,000 feet. This experience is a little less grand than a space flight, and quieter than a fireworks display, and may be just the respectful and touching send off that the whole family can participate in.
Although this is the end of our list of creative things to do with your loved one’s ashes after cremation, the ideas definitely do not end here. There are dozens of ways to remember, memorialize, and honor a loved one after they pass. When the initial grief, shock, and despair has passed, a little research can find you and your family a send off that is symbolic and truly meaningful for everyone that participates. From the bottom of the ocean, to the final frontier of space, the connections we forge have been spread all over our universe, with love that truly reaches beyond the stars.
The Close By Me Family
**all companies mentioned above are not affiliated with close by me jewelry and we have engaged in no exchange for mentioning them in this article. All sources, aside from A Journey With Wings were found by searching the internet and all information present was gathered from their respective websites.