Whether it was a long time coming or a sudden departure, losing a loved one is always difficult. You have a lot of decisions to make at that time, too, which can be overwhelming.

While you probably know your standard options for honoring someone’s life, you may not have heard of these five unique ways to preserve your loved one’s memory. 

1. Pottery

You’ve undoubtedly heard of holding the deceased’s ashes in an urn, but Lifeware takes it one step further and creates different types of pottery (including urns) with your loved one’s actual ashes. It sends a collection kit to retrieve the ashes (typically around one cup for larger pieces according to the company’s website). Then Lifeware creates a special ceramic glaze so the ashes are directly included in the piece. Lifeware has candle luminaries, bowls, mugs, decorative bottles, and more to choose from. 

2. Jewelry 

Cremation jewelry is made in two different ways, either directly integrating the ashes or containing them inside a vial that holds the ashes within the jewelry. Necklaces and pendants are popular ways to hold your loved one’s memory close, but rings and bracelets can be used, too.

3. Diamonds

When you think of a diamond, it’s likely in the context of an engagement or celebratory event. However, Algordanza creates real diamonds from one pound of the ashes of the deceased.

Made in a lab, the diamonds are created using high-pressure-high-temperature-one-crystal-synthesis and are cut, polished, and inscribed before being returned to the customer in five to eight months. Yes, it’s a long process, but just think how long it takes to extract a naturally found diamond from the Earth.

4. Art

If wearing the ashes of your loved one doesn’t interest you, Art from Ashes creates glass art with a swirl of ashes. Art from Ashes’ products range from suncatchers to heart sculptures.

A tablespoon of the ashes you would like to use are encased in molten glass and the design is created around that. In four to six weeks, you have a permanent memory of your loved one.

5. Tree

Bios Urn lets you literally nurture new life in the form of a tree of your choosing. The company’s urns are biodegradable and contain a space for seed and soil on the top and the ashes below. Once the whole urn is planted in soil (indoors or outdoors) it just needs water and sunlight before it sprouts.