Cremation is becoming increasingly popular in recent years, and many companies are giving loved ones creative, if not creepy, things to do with the ashes — like making diamonds.
As Mercury News points out, 41 percent of deaths in the United States result in the remains of loved ones being cremated, a noticeable increase from eight years ago when it was just 30 percent. With more and more people choosing cremation over traditional burial and funeral services comes an increasing demand for alternative ways of handling the ashy remains. Several companies offer some very creative options that were unheard of just a few years ago.
Eternal Reefs, for example, offers the ability to create “permanent living legacies” by taking cremated ashes and placing them in artificial reefs that will be placed in a permitted ocean location of your choice. At the other extreme, Celestis, Inc., with help from Space Services, Inc., will launch your loved one’s remains into space or send them to the moon.
San Francisco Chronicle reports that Illinois company LifeGem uses the carbon in the cremated ashes of your dearly departed loved ones to create sparkling diamonds of blue, yellow, or clear.
Alta Mesa Funeral Home co-owner Don van Straaten says of his offering such a service to mourners, which can range in price from $3,000 for a quarter carat to $25,000 and up for a full carat:
“Some people say, ‘Oh no, I would never do that!’ And others say, ‘I absolutely want that.’ It’s a very special way of remembrance.”
Publisher of Mortuary Magazine Ron Hast gives a reason LifeGem’s particular business has grown in popularity:
“People are increasingly looking for simple methods of honoring the departed, not more elaborate ones, The big funerals in big churches, we just don’t see them as much as we used to. And because cremations are so common now, that has led to fewer people needing graves.”
If you’d prefer to be more traditional and wish to keep the remains in an urn in order to memorialize and honor the deceased, Cremation Solutions offers an interesting concept notes Huffington Post — personalized facial urns. The life-like urns are created using one or two photographs, facial analysis and 3D imaging. The average price ranges from $600 for a six-inch urn to $2,600 for a 11 inch full size urn. Hair can even be added digitally or with a wig.
Do you think these cremation creations are a good way of remembering loved ones or just plain creepy?