When you're taking the time to plan your funeral arrangements, deciding on cremation brings up a number of questions; for instance, you may wish to let your family know whether you prefer to have your ashes, or "cremains," interred or scattered or if you prefer to be memorialized in some other way. If you settle on the third option, you may want to leave it up to your family what kind of memorial they create, or you may wish to personally decide which is the best option to complement your personality and symbolize your life and work. Here are five options you may not have considered for your post-cremation memorial.
1. Memorial reef
Several companies offer "memorial reef" options that involve creating structures, often out of concrete, as under-sea memorials. These companies mix cremated ashes with the wet concrete, which is then formed into a large hollow ball-like structure, a memorial pillar, or another shape (depending on the company and your personal taste). Groups of these structures are placed together to simulate a natural reef formation. This man-made reef structure helps coral and other types of marine life to flourish despite the numerous threats that face them today. If you're a marine biologist or simply love the ocean, this could be the perfect memorial option to symbolize your passion and interests.
Cremation ashes have actually been used to make diamonds. These are, of course, lab-grown gems, but they're still rather impressive. One of the big draws of this memorial is that diamonds are known as the "forever" stone, so turning yourself into a piece of jewelry could actually create a valuable family heirloom that's handed down through the ages.
3. Vinyl record
This is one of the most highly personalizable options around. You can not only have your cremains inserted into an old-fashioned vinyl record, but you can even record yourself saying something and then have that recording transferred to the record post-cremation.
4. Viking longboat
If going out in a blaze of glory is your preferred option and you don't like fireworks (which can also be made with cremation ashes) or are simply old-fashioned, the longboat may be perfect for you. The boat is placed in the water with the ashes inside it, then set on fire so it will burn as it drifts away.
5. Snow globe
This is a great option if you want your ashes to actually be visible to grieving loved ones. This style of memorial combines a traditional snow globe shape with cremation ashes, a less traditional ingredient, to create a lovely keepsake that your family can display around the house.
These are, of course, just a few of the ways you can memorialize yourself without interment or scattering. You can also have your ashes sewn into a stuffed animal, mixed into paint or tattoo ink, or put into an hourglass or a hand-blown glass ornament. If you find it too overwhelming to decide on an option, you can just pick a few favorites and let your surviving close family members choose between them based on what they think is appropriate.
For more information on planning your funeral arrangements, contact a funeral home like Union Funeral Home-Lytwyn & Lytwyn.