From going out with a bang in a firework, to sleeping with the fishes in a man-made coral reef, there's much more you can do with cremated ashes these days than just scatter them...
1. A firework display
That’s one way to go out with a bang! Heavens Above Fireworks can help you celebrate the life of the deceased by putting their ashes into a firework for an explosive grand finale!
2. A teddy bear
This is a sweet idea. When you’ve lost someone special, many companies will arrange to have their ashes sewn inside a teddy bear for you, for comfort and cuddles.
3. A tattoo
People have been having tattoos to remember lost loved-ones for years. But now some tattoo artists will mix the sterilised ashes of the deceased with the actual ink for a permanent tribute.
4. A set of pencils
Prefer lead to ink? Designer Nadine Jarvis has devised a moving momento for those left behind. A lifetime’s supply of 240 pencils, made with the ashes of the person who died.
5. A coral reef
Sleep with the fishes, for real. Eternal Reefs are helping to restore damaged coral reefs by making artificial ones using human ashes, mixed with concrete. They make for a pretty final resting place and a lovely home for endangered marine life.
6. A diamond ring
Diamonds are forever – especially these gems. Labs like Life Gem UK will compress human ashes into a beautiful diamond for a truly priceless and one-off bit of bling.
7. An hourglass
Well this would be a talking point… The ashes replace the hourglass’ sand. In The Light Urns say they’re ‘the ultimate symbol of the passage of time, and will become an family heirloom, passed down for generations.’
8. A vinyl record
Saying goodbye to a music fan? And Vinyly offer them the chance to ‘live on from beyond the groove’ by mixing their ashes into a vinyl disc. The ideal record of a music lover’s life!
9. A painting
Cremated ashes can be mixed with paint and used to create a masterpiece, such as a portrait of the deceased, or a landscape of their favourite place. A picture-perfect memorial, that you can hang on your living room wall!
10. Get launched into space
An astronomical idea from Celestis that’s really lifting off. A portion of cremated ashes are placed into a sealed container and sent off into the stratosphere. The ultimate final farewell for any late wannabe-astronaut – or even a deceased Star Wars fan (but not if they were scared of heights!)
11. And finally… Snorting
Ok, so this is not one of the smartest things to do with cremated ashes! But then Keith Richards has never been much of a role model, has he? In 2007 the Rolling Stone, well-known for his drug use, told the press that he’d snorted some of his late father’s ashes. Though his aides later denied it, Richards repeated the claim in this 2010 autobiography, Life.