Beyond the Urn: Memorial Options for Your Loved One’s Human Ashes

When a remarkable loved one passes away, it can be an overwhelming and challenging time. As we process the complicated emotions surrounding grief, we may also be asked to make decisions regarding our loved one’s’ post-life services, such as their final resting place. 

Cremation is the most common way to lay our loved ones to rest. This ancient practice has been embraced as a way to honor loved ones who have passed on for thousands of years. Today, it’s a thoughtful and ethical way to prepare our loved ones for memorial services after they’ve passed.

In the modern-day, the choice between cremation and burial is a highly personal one. Finances, memorial options, and environmental sustainability all contribute to the decisions we make both for ourselves and for our incredible loved ones.

As you consider the best way to honor your loved one’s impact and legacy, you’ll discover that not all forms of cremation are the same. There are three common choices when it comes to cremation and within each, there are unique opportunities to celebrate the remarkable lives led by our loved ones who have passed on.

Today, we’ll discuss what cremation is and how it works, so we can better understand our end-of-life options and the ways we can display our love for our remarkable loved ones.

What Is Cremation Exactly?

Cremation is one of the most common ways to lay our incredible loved ones to rest after their passing. The other popular option is burial, in which our loved ones are laid to rest underground. Unlike burial, cremation uses heat to transform our loved ones’ bodies into ashes.

When we choose cremation, our remains are placed in a specialized oven and exposed to extreme temperatures. Because the human body is mostly composed of water, when exposed to the elements in cremation, the majority of our bodies turn to gas. This leaves behind any solid material in the form of ashes. These ashes are typically hard structures like bones that can be further processed into what we know as ash. 

The ashes themselves contain carbon atoms unique to our loved one who was cremated, and there is usually a very small amount of ashes left over, around four to six pounds.

Once the ash has been created, they are carefully gathered and placed inside a container like an urn that is given to our loved ones’ family or friends. 

Different Types of Cremation

Although all forms of cremation create ashes, they each offer different memorial options to celebrate your loved one’s remarkable life. Different types of cremation services allow for different memorial services and levels of community involvement. 

Traditional Cremation

The first option is called traditional cremation. Traditional cremation provides an opportunity to celebrate your loved one through a traditional memorial service. This option allows the b

For traditional cremation, our incredible loved one is preserved as they would be for an earthen burial. This option is the most expensive because it not only will include the fee for cremation but also the embalming and casket.

Some families choose traditional cremation in order to have a wake and funeral service with the body present. This gives your community the opportunity to celebrate your exceptional loved one’s impact on their lives through group remembrances.

Following these memorial services, your loved one is cremated instead of being buried. Then, their ashes are given to the family or beloved friends in a commemorative urn. 

This method of cremation is very similar to traditional burial and is a strong option for allowing a community to mourn and participate in an end-of-life service together. 

Memorial Cremation

This option is very similar to traditional cremation; however, your loved one is cremated directly after death so there is no need for embalming or to purchase a casket. A wake and funeral service are still held — allowing for a communal celebration of life — but the ashes are used in place of the body.

Instead of sending your loved one to be cremated following traditional memorial services, you may choose to lay your loved one’s ashes to rest in a cemetery. Although this will add fees regarding the services and the cemetery, you will be able to bypass embalming and casket expenses. 

The money saved can then go towards other forms of memorials, such as the cemetery fees or the creation of a memorial display. This display centers typically around photographs of their loved one. 

Because this is still a memorial service, the option to be creative and make the display truly one that reflects their loved one is still present. Typically these displays will also incorporate the urn holding the ashes of their loved one so people can still feel a sense of closure even without the open casket services. 

Direct Cremation

This third option is the most cost-effective of the cremation options. In this service, your loved one will be directly cremated, their ashes will be gathered and placed in an urn, and then these ashes will be given directly to their family and loved ones. No formal services will be held, and there will be no other fees aside from the cost of cremation. 

This can be a wonderful option for memorializing your loved one if they were a more private person. A powerful way to commemorate their memory if this method is chosen is to even scatter their ashes over their favorite area, such as their favorite hiking trail or fishing spot. Even though this option has the least amount of formality, the ability to memorialize your loved one is still available. 

Memorialization: Two Meaningful Methods

Whatever method of cremation that a loved one chooses for their end-of-life services, there are two meaningful ways of memorializing them. 

Commemorative Urn

The first is that of choosing an urn. The urn is a sacred part of the cremation process. These vessels hold the human remains of a loved one and can be as unique, ornate, and specific as desired. A very thoughtful way to commemorate a loved one is even to use a homemade urn if a close family member has the skill to do so. 

Purchasing an urn is a fairly easy process and there are a variety of different options so you can truly make a very special and unique decision. These urns will be kept in the family for generations and whether you choose to keep them at a cemetery or in the privacy of your own home, they become a powerful way to memorialize those who have passed on. 

Commemorative Memorial Cremation Diamonds

A cremation diamond is a unique and beautiful way to commemorate and memorialize those who have passed on. This amazing process takes the human ashes of your loved one and caringly crafts a one-of-a-kind unique diamond from the carbon in the ashes. This diamond will uniquely commemorate your loved one’s memory in a stunningly beautiful and thoughtful way for generations to come.

The process for creating a diamond out of your loved one’s ashes is straightforward. The ashes of your loved ones contain elemental carbon that is needed for growing a one-of-a-kind diamond. The carbon is extracted from your loved one’s ashes, and then is placed together with organic carbon in a specialized container that houses what is known as a seed diamond. This diamond seed is simply a blueprint for the carbon to follow to grow your diamond. 

This specialized container is then exposed to extreme heat and pressure for an extended period of time, mimicking the natural diamond forming conditions of the earth’s crust. The carbon from the ashes will start to rearrange around the diamond seed due to the heat and pressure and a diamond will begin to form. 

Once grown, the diamond will be cut to specification and can be used to uniquely commemorate the life of your loved one. You can set the diamond in a piece of jewelry such as a necklace, ring, bracelet, or even watch. This provides a personal, touching, and intimate way to keep the memory of your loved one within your family for generations.

It’s important to find ways of making the memorialization of your loved one special, and creating a diamond from their ashes is a powerful option. 

Keeping Your Memories Close

The most important thing to remember when looking at options surrounding cremation is to make sure you are keeping your memories close. Whether that looks like specifically investing in a special urn or turning your loved one’s remains into a beautiful memorial diamond. 

Sources 

Different Types of Cremations | New Jersey Funeral Home 

History of Cremation | Cremation Association

Cremation | Britannica 

US cremation rate 2020 | Statista 

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