Recently, we came across this extraordinary Memorial to a Marriage by artist Patricia Cronin. We don’t know when we’ve seen such a tender “real” memorial of and for a couple. It is also a memorial to our time, as the two women lie in close embrace.
It made us think about just what form our own memorial might take. We hadn’t really considered something permanent. But leaving something tangible in the world after we’re gone is a comforting idea (we LIKE saying ‘YES. We were here’ as much as we like reading it about people long-passed in country graveyards.)
We’ve discovered there are a lot of interesting options IF you shift your view from the usual blocky granite headstone. (Google “outrageous tombstones”though and you’ll find some pretty imaginative creations in that realm, including one engraved with a recipe and these).
Harriet Frazer was so outraged by the paucity of offerings when she wanted to honor the life of a beloved stepdaughter that she established Memorials by Artists. It exists to help people navigate commissioning an artist and to foster the art of manual letter-cutting in stone and other materials.
We kind of like the idea of a bench people could rest on, as we have often rested ourselves on plain wooden benches with little plaques honoring a stranger we’ve never met. Here’s a nice iteration:
Improvised Life assistant Mira Keras says she dislikes cemeteries; all that beautiful land housing the dead is not for her. She wants to be transformed into a diamond created from the carbon in cremation ashes, a lock of hair, or both. LifeGem claims to be able to so just that and fashion the gem into whatever you like. Yikes!
And of course, foundations and not-for-profits are often created to honor a person who has passed, and make their legacy live on. We’re especially fond of the Beeps Foundation, created to honor the remarkable Becca Eldemire.
The Spiritree is a rather odd looking urn for ashes that doubles as a planter. When planted, a tree eventually breaks the planter and grows into “a living monument”.
We wonder why not just go ahead and plant a tree, with or without ashes thrown into its roots….Maybe we’d end up something like this. The ancient tree carved with people’s names bears evidence of many lives:
Why think about such a thing? We’re down with the Buddhist’s who believe a little meditation on your own mortality helps us live more presently and completely…
How would you say “I was here…”