When my Dad died in May 2020, I created a digital memorial for him. This gave his friends and family a virtual space to remember him, when meeting up physically was difficult, due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The website I created contains pictures, tributes, video and even stories that Dad wrote himself. It is a digital legacy.
After my family collected Dad’s ashes from the undertaker, I considered having something made out of some of them. I felt the need to have something tangible to keep in addition to the website. I considered a lot of options and discovered many amazing artists who were producing various kinds of products that incorporate human ashes. I looked at sculptures, wall art and jewellery.
Eventually, I decided on a piece of jewellery. I liked the idea of having something made of wood rather than metal as I knew that my Dad was fond of wooden things. I had been following an Instagram Account for some time belonging to Nicola and David Finch who live in British Columbia in Canada. They produce the most beautiful mourning jewellery in the form of wooden rings, inlaid with ashes. I don’t really wear rings, apart from my wedding ring, and I liked the idea of a pendant to wear around my neck. I made contact with Nicola, and she immediately responded with helpful suggestions about how they could create something personal for me.
Dad had visited Canada on several occasions so Nicola helped me decide on the choices of wood that they would use, by considering the different trees that grew in various areas that Dad would have been to. Having received a quote and a design plan I was asked to post a very small quantity of the ashes to Nicola and David. I was given an expected time scale for David to complete the work and informed of when I should expect my pendant to be delivered. They sent me regular communications by e-mail to tell me how things were progressing, and asked me to send them a photograph of my Dad so that David could look at it whilst he was working on the project. Throughout the process I received regular updates and photographs to let me know how my pendant was coming along. I could not have asked for a more personal service.
My pendant arrived by tracked post and I could not have been more happy with it. I did have to pay an import tax, as it was made in Canada, but it was worth it. I am sure you will agree. Nicola asked me if I would like Dad’s initials put on the side of the pendant, but I just opted for DAD.
Choosing something appropriate as a memorial is very individual, and we all have different ideas of what we want to do to remember someone. Do what is right for you.