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What to do with the ashes? Urns, ash jewelry, and ash objects

By Susanne Duijvestein, sustainable funeral director of Bijafscheid

An urn. I always imagined it as an ugly pot on a chimney. Of course, there are also ugly pots, but since I started in the funeral business, I discovered many artists and designers making the most wonderful things with or for human ashes. And not only objects for ashes, also other forms and rituals when we are confronted with the question of what to do with the ashes.



Because what to do with the ashes of our loved ones? More than sixty percent of the deceased in the Netherlands for example are cremated, so you would think that anything is possible. And yes, there is.


Ash objects and other ideas

When you scroll down, you will find a nice selection of objects where ashes can be put into. But besides transforming it into an object, there are also other options. Think of scattering the ashes in a special place. In the water, close to that one tree, or on our birth ground. And what about traveling with you or scatter a little bit at each festival you visit.


You can also create a ritual with the ashes together. Take the time to think about it, brainstorm together. For example, if someone loved surfing, consider a paddle out with all the friends together. As a tribute.


The Yanomami people in the Amazon mix the leftover ashes with a paste made from banana, which they then eat as an offering to take in the life force of the deceased. Just sayin. Thousands of things and shapes can be imagined. Tattoos, paintings…


Inspiration for urns and jewelry

I regularly shop for families and find myself among urns, mini urns, ash jewelry, treasure stones, shapes, porcelain objects and bone china.


Time for a nice overview of what I found. With thanks to the Dutch Design Week Eindhoven, where projects about death are exhibited almost every year.





Read also

- Recompose, “Humusation” as an emerging alternative to burial and cremation

- Book: The Physics of Angels - The Burial Shroud

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