Rather than place their loved one’s ashes in a cemetery or scatter them somewhere meaningful, some families have decided to incorporate them into memorials that honor the deceased’s unique personality and passions. Here are three of the most creative ways people have found to commemorate their loved ones:
1. Music lovers can have their ashes pressed into vinyl records. About 30 of them to be exact. Whether they have a special playlist you’d like people to remember them by, songs that they’ve written or recorded, or simply a farewell message they made to share with friends and family, it’s an inventive way to honor the audiophile in your life.
2. For nature lovers, there’s the eco-friendly option that allows the forest or garden be your cemetery. Some companies will place the ashes in a biodegradable urn that is filled with seeds. The urn is planted in the earth, and the seeds utilize the surrounding soil and the calcium in the cremains to grow. Eventually it will sprout into a beautiful, living memorial for your loved one.
3. Not all memorials need to be Earth-bound. In 1997, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was laid to rest in the final frontier, as part of his cremains were carried into low-Earth orbit by a rocket. In 2006, a sample of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto, were placed aboard the first space probe to explore the planet. The probe is on course to leave the solar system after its mission ends in 2015.
Whether you decide upon a traditional burial in a cemetery or a more creative memorial, it’s important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and to make your requests known in writing.