What else can you do with them?
I bumped into one of my closest neighbours the other day; not an unusual occurrence. What was rather unique about the meeting was that after a pleasant greeting she went on to tell me how she had just arranged for her late husband’s ashes to be made into a diamond! I knew her husband has recently passed away but hadn’t had much of a conversation with her since. I had also heard about these ‘memorial diamonds’ a number of years ago but had never personally known anyone who had done it.
There seems to be heaps of new ideas that can be arranged for ashes these days, along with the more traditional ones such as keeping them in a wall niche at a crematorium or in an urn on your mantelpiece or scattering them at a meaningful place to the loved one or family.
Some of the new ideas are quite weird and wacky (and expensive) but a few are quite viable and could be considered as an option if you are looking for something different. So let’s look at some of them, one by one.
- Scattering the Ashes
It has become more common these days to want to scatter ashes in a place special to your family or the deceased. In Australia, there are regulations regarding the scattering of ashes on private land, parks or reserves but I doubt few people apply for permission as they don’t realise this. If you are unsure and want to scatter ashes in a particular place you may need to seek some advice. If you are thinking of scattering ashes out to sea, boats can be chartered but make sure you take wind and weather conditions into account as they can be very changeable. Taking ashes overseas will require a permit so if that is an idea, best check with your local health department.
- Bury Them Under a Tree in your Garden
As great as this sounds considerations for this may include how long you intend to live at a particular address and whether you own or rent the property. Biodegradable urns are available (some with seeds inside so that a tree or plant grows in time), can be purchased if you want to keep the ashes together at least at the start for this idea.
- Creating Art or Craft from the Ashes
Some artists have used ashes mixed with paint or turned the ashes into carbon that can be used as a pencil to create a portrait of the deceased loved one. Other ideas include having the ashes included as part of the stuffing for a teddy bear that might give comfort to someone who is grieving. Another more complicated but viable idea might be to mix the ashes with coloured glass ingredients to create a memorial stained glass window.
- A Fireworks Display
Ashes can be incorporated into colourful fireworks and a Memorial Fireworks Display can be arranged through an Australian company such as Ashes to Ashes. This would certainly be a send-off with a spectacular bang!
- Memorial Jewellery
This can be an expensive option but you can have ashes turned into a diamond (of various colours, sizes and values) as I mentioned above. The whole process can take a year or so but the diamond can then be incorporated in a beautifully designed piece of jewellery. A less expensive option can be storing a small amount of ashes in a sealable locket to wear on a necklace. A number of these can be made from the ashes so more people in the family can be involved. If you are interested in one of these ideas you could talk to a local jeweller or contact a specialist jewellery company online such as Memory Smith or Keepsake Memorial Jewellery.
- Launch the Ashes into Space
Another expensive option includes a few companies such as Celestis or Elysium Space (both based in the USA) that can arrange for small capsules containing ashes to be launched into either low or deep space. Obviously, they are not launching rockets that regularly but an interesting idea. I’m not sure about adding to all the space junk already out there though.
- Make A Vinyl Record
And Vinyly is a UK based company that can incorporate ashes into a vinyl record which could contain the voice of the loved one or some of their favourite songs or music.
Do you have other suggestions? Or perhaps are a provider of alternative solutions to the question, “What else can I do with the ashes?”. Please contact us with your business link and a short blurb about your solution.
Jenny England is a writer and illustrator living in Kiama, Australia. She has a B.A. in Social Science and worked for many years as a freelance journalist. She has had five books published along with numerous articles and short fiction in a variety of magazines. Now retired, she is writing about the things she has learnt over the years with a special interest in life and death matters. She can also be found knitting, creating mail art or furthering her learnings in Astrology.