With the baby-boomer generation finally moving on, its unsurprisingly that an increasing number of people are choosing creative options for their passing. Funerals should reflect the life lived and more people than ever are choosing unusual ways to celebrate their lives. Cremation is a popular option and this article examines the top five creative ways to use cremated ashes. Whether you are planning your own funeral or looking for ideas for someone you know, here are five creative ideas to get you started.
#1. Funeral Beads
The practice of creating funeral beads, or ‘death’ beads, started in South Korea. There is so little vacant land there that the government passed a law stating that buried remains must be exhumed after 50 years. This means that those who choose to be buried in South Korea must burden their future family with the inconvenience and expense of having their final resting placed disturbed. Unsurprisingly, many Koreans elect to be cremated. Instead of storing ashes in a jar or urn, they pay companies to form the ashes in to beads. These can be stored or displayed in the home. Despite their name, these beads actually look beautiful. They can be colored and polished to suit the customers’ specifications.
#2. Houston, We Have Lift Off
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry paid for his cremated remains to be blasted off into space in 1997 along with a reported 23 others. Since then, a steadily growing number of people have chosen to disperse their ashes in this way. For less than three thousand dollars, anyone can pay for a small portion of their cremated remains to be stored on a satellite and launched into low earth orbit. Celestis, a space burial company, is the primary provider of this service but other firms are joining the market all the time. Satellite owners actually make a lot of money this way and use it to offset the cost of the equipment and rocket launch. The satellite, and its cargo, is destroyed when it reaches the end of its useful lifespan and reenters earth’s atmosphere.
#3. ‘You Lookin’ At Me?’
If blasting into space isn’t your thing, how about being blasted out of a gun? An innovative company Holy Smoke, LLC, can incorporate cremated remains into a shell or cartridge for a firearm. You can choose between shotgun shells, rifle cartridges or pistol cartridges as a memorable and unusual way of using your ashes. According to the website, the rounds function as normal and can be fired from any appropriate weapon. The cremated remains do not affect the operation of the gun although cleaning is required afterwards, as with all ammunition. This is certainly a great idea for those who like to go out with a bang.
#4. Create Art
There are many ways to use cremated remains to produce memorable art work. Ashes can be mixed into ink and used in a tattoo parlour or even used to produce an oil painting. Memorials.com offers an oil painting service where cremated remains are mixed into oil paints and used to produce a picture. The company’s ‘Art in Ashes’ project creates abstract oil paintings out of the paint, not portraits of the deceased as you might expect. This is a beautiful and memorable way of displaying ashes, compared with keeping an urn.
#5. A Diamond Is Forever
Anyone opting for cremation in New Haven CT will have their work cut out deciding what to do with the ashes. LifeGem® offers to take a lock of hair or cremated remains and turn them into a certified diamond. This gem can then be displayed on a ring or other piece of jewellery to provide a permanent reminder of the person. The best thing about this idea is that only a tiny portion of cremated remains is used, meaning that the bulk of the ashes can be displayed or dispersed in other ways.
If you are struggling to choose, don’t worry. Many of the ideas on this list use only a small portion of the ashes. You can do something creative without using up all of the cremated remains. The remaining portion can be scattered or displayed in the traditional way. Have you heard of any more creative ways of using cremated remains? Let us know and leave us a comment below!