Decades ago, as cremation began gaining in popularity, how cremated remains were treated was far different than they are today. A person’s ashes, or cremains, were generally placed in an urn and either buried or placed in a mausoleum.
Things began to change when families decided to keep the ashes of loved ones in traditional vase-like containers that quickly expanded to more versatile and even practical urns that included artwork, photos, clocks, and customizations. As many were choosing to keep ashes in modern, customized urns, others were “spreading” ashes to the wind, over water, and in places of meaning to the deceased and their families.
In recent years, the use of ashes has expanded once again. We’ve seen ashes used in fireworks, sent into space, in tattoo ink, and in an increasing number of other environmentally friendly ways.
Here are five more ways people are using the ashes of loved ones.
Commissioned Pieces of Art
Some are finding comfort and satisfaction in commissioning custom artwork using the ashes of a loved one. It could be a small sculpture, a painting, or wind chimes. These unique pieces are not inexpensive, but some are turning to commissioned art as a way to recognize the life of the deceased.
Spread Around the World
While spreading ashes in a favorite hunting area, golf course, park, or sports venue has become much more common, others are taking it to the next level. They are spreading the ashes of loved ones across the world.
This option makes sense for those who’ve traveled extensively and for those who never quite made it but really wanted to.
Having ashes scattered at sea is one thing. Having them taken down deep into the water is another. More companies are offering customers the opportunity to have their ashes taken down to the bottom of the ocean or a large lake and placed in a specific location.
Releasing a small amount of ashes into the air in biodegradable balloons can be a moving experience. It provides great symbolism while being environmentally responsible.
While simpler forms of jewelry containing cremains have been popular for years, today, cremains can be mixed into the metal itself, used in the creation of “diamonds,” and crafted into custom pieces. Small amounts of ashes can be used to create similar pieces for multiple family members.
Certainly, new uses for ashes will continue to be offered. If you need assistance in locating a provider, please reach out to us.
What is appropriate today is often based on what is appropriate for the grieving family. That will continue to be the same.