Until recently, if you wanted to keep the remains of a loved one your only option was cremated remains, or as many people call them, ashes. While there are dozens of keepsakes and products that let you transform a portion of your loved ones ashes into something else, solidified remains are the only complete alternative to ashes: a totally new form of remains. If you’re used to cremated remains, it’s understandable that there might be a level of anxiety choosing something new, but–believe it or not–there was one time when the idea of ashes was just as novel. In 1970, only 3% of families in the United States chose cremation, with traditional burials being the leading choice. Cremation is now the leading form of disposition in the U.S. with the cremation rate reaching 57.5% in 2021 according to the Cremation Association of North America.
Still not completely sold on the idea of solidified remains? Let us put your mind at ease. Take a look at the top reasons why solidified remains might be the best option for your family.
- Comfortable to Hold
If you’ve had ashes of a loved one in your home, you know that they’re not exactly something you can get close to. The container they’re stored in creates a permanent barrier between the remains and the person keeping them. Many people find ashes uncomfortable, messy, and difficult to have around. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for urns to end up in closets or even basements after many years of people having them. With solidified remains, you can hold your loved one close to you and carry them with you at all times.
Speaking about the differences of living with ashes versus stones, funeral director Jody Herrington said, “Solidified remains remove the shackles of a barrier separating Mother from Daughter, Husband From Wife, Sister from Brother, and provides a gift of interaction. Parting Stone has created an unprecedented opportunity for families and loved ones to keep those they cherish close without the separation of a cold steel urn.”
- Easy to Share
Solidified remains are a great option for anyone who has a large family or many close friends. The average adult yields between 40 and 60 stones, which means they can easily be shared among people they were close to. We even provide drawstring sharing bags with each collection of solidified remains we send to make the process as simple as possible.
- Easy to Travel With
Traveling with remains can be somewhat tricky. While traveling with ashes is legal, there are things to consider that can pose issues if you don’t properly plan. Some airlines do not allow ashes in checked luggage, and if the container used to transport them doesn’t allow TSA officers to see what’s inside when they go through security, they won’t be allowed. Because solidified remains don’t require storage in an urn, it’s less likely that you’ll run into issues flying with them.
- A Platform for Memorial Experiences
It’s not hard to romanticize the idea of scattering ashes: you take your loved one to their favorite place in the world, say a few words, and gently lay them to rest for eternity in a place you know they loved while they were alive. It’s a beautiful thought, but oftentimes this is not reality. If the conditions aren’t perfect, things can go sideways quickly. One gust of wind and your dearly departed could be going inland when you intended for their final resting place to be in the lake they loved to fish on. Even worse, they could end up flying back towards the memorial guests in attendance for this ceremonial moment. Ever see the film The Big Lebowski? It’s not just something that happens in the movies, and you only have one chance to get it right!
Unlike cremated remains, the options for solidified remains extend far beyond scattering (which is still an option!). Outside of sharing and scattering stones, they can be used in a variety of elegant memorials that will honor your loved one for years to come. Solidified remains can be featured in gardens, displayed among photos on a mantle, and even painted. They also look beautiful in glass containers–something that cannot be said about ashes. Furthermore, solidified remains will not dissolve in water, meaning they make a great accent to a fountain, pond, or fish tank! The best part? Whatever memorial you choose with solidified remains does not have to be permanent.