Saturday, September 18, 2010

my own memento mori

I like the idea of knowing where I'm going, so I commissioned my own urn cover from Pondhopper. It's based on Victorian mourning dress, with all of the brimming bustle and prim lace. It's made with raw unlined black silk, lined with white lace, with a bustle-like top and vintage black buttons. I love the way it's both billowing over yet buttoned down - it very much suits me. Words cannot describe how much I adore this piece!

I plan to keep my most precious personal possessions in it for now, and when my time comes my ashes can kept sheltered in this most stylish cover. If my ashes are scattered at some point, I hope this wrap can be used to store meaningful mementos.

Everyone should have their own memento mori (Alexander McQueen skull scarves don't count.) We mention in passing that we'd like our ashes scattered, but truly never give it much thought. Contemplating and planning for our own death ultimately makes life more meaningful. Take a moment, and if you are so inclined, order your own urn cover from Pondhopper today. She will make you something beautiful and personal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

it matters how you scatter

Scattering ashes can be a dicey endeavor. After suffering the grief of losing someone we love, we mistakenly believe the universe owes us a poetic moment where everything goes right. We picture ourselves on a beautiful cliff by the sea, where after a few profound words the ashes simply flow away, dissolving into sea and wind.

But it rarely works out as imagined. Ashes can pour out in a clumsy, undignified manner. Urns can slip. And as we've seen in The Big Lebowski, the wind does not always cooperate.

Other times, good intentions (literally) fly out the window:

Before this happens to you, please take a look at Scattering Ashes, a site solely devoted to the art of scattering ashes (hence the name). From the practical to the poetic, everything is addressed here. This site provides a bevy of options, from hot air balloons to fireworks. I personally prefer a more intimate ceremony - ringing ashes at the base of a beautiful tree, or digging and decorating a trench in the sand before the tide comes in strikes me as a lovely way to say goodbye.

But my favorite? The Viking Boat. The ashes are set inside a model ship, then set on fire as it floats off into the sea. Very poetic, a hero's send-off indeed.

seeds of sympathy

I have mixed feelings about sending flowers.

I love flowers, I even worked at a florist while at college and absolutely adored being surrounded by their beauty and fragrance. But when the blooms inevitably begin to die, it's a heartbreaking reminder of the fragility and loss of life. Sigh. Perhaps not the best statement for someone who's grieving. So I've been looking for alternatives to flowers. Lil Tin Purse offers a perfect solution, sympathy wreaths made out of birdseed.

Straight from Lancaster, Kentucky, these sympathy wreaths attract and feed songbirds, a precious reminder that life goes on. Lil Tin Purse also offers sympathy seed hearts. They're packaged with care, a personalized note can be included, and best of all, a generous portion of the proceeds goes to the Humane Society.