If you are a student of history or come from a family of “keepers” you are most likely aware of the concept of remembrance jewelry. Perhaps your grandmother kept a locket with a bit of hair from a child she lost in infancy. Or in your studies of American history you have read that this one or that one left provision in his will for a number of rings to be made and distributed in his memory. Jewelry made from bone or teeth dating back to the ancient Romans has been found by archeologists. In short, as long as people have been loving one another there has been a desire to maintain a connection with someone we love when they die. Those in mourning want something to take with them as they move forward with life.
As a society, at least for now, we are less inclined to bury our loved one in a family plot in our hometown cemetery. Instead, we cremate and scatter the cremated remains. We don’t seem to want to be tethered to polishing the family silver or storing or using the fine china. Consignment shops are full of these once fought over family treasures. Perhaps because we are eschewing these practices of our recent history, we are looking back to times long gone and resurrecting older remembrance practices.
Funeral directors tell us remembrance jewelry and decorative objects are being sought in ever increasing numbers. Fashions change, modern farmhouse is in, cape cod cottages are out, fire pits are in, wood burning fireplaces are out. Things change, but love doesn’t change. Grief is always with us when we lose someone we loved. We always want a connection.
Never before has there been such an abundance of creative and beautiful opportunities to remember. Cremated remains can be incorporated into stunning glass objects or jewelry. Gems, with the exact same chemistry as those made in nature, can be made from cremains. Wood, metal, gold and silver can be used for any number of remembrance items suitable for men, women, and those precious grandchildren.
If you are making funeral arrangements for a family member, ask your funeral director to help you find something that will help you remember. Even if you are a family member who is not a decision maker in funeral arrangements, don’t let that stop you. Contact your funeral director and ask for help. If you are a friend and you want that connection, call the funeral director who took care of the services and ask for help. If you are making your own funeral arrangements in advance talk to the funeral professional helping you with those arrangements and ask how you can provide for remembrance jewelry in your advance funeral plan.