It is no secret that the popularity of cremation is on the rise. However, with so many embracing the sensible, highly affordable method, the question arises, “What do we do with the cremated remains.”
For many years, the idea was to accept whatever your local funeral home had to offer. And during those years, the choices were limited. Traditional urns lined the shelves in funeral home selection rooms and was another large expense item. Recently, many cremation providers have turned to cremation jewelry. However, because of the mass production, the jewelry is beginning to lose authenticity.
On a recent news report regarding cremation options, the loss of authenticity was proven. One young lady, a funeral director in Houston, Texas said about the jewelry, “We sell a ton of it.” From a business marketing standpoint, I can picture her boss cringing over her answer. After all, he “sells a ton of it, right?” However, she appeared very green and probably spoke without thinking. But, she helped verify that the jewelry may very well match that of your neighbors. A Bentley is nice, but loses its appeal if there is one in each driveway down the street.
Artificial reefs have been around for decades, but with the rise in the popularity and affordability of cremation, many are learning about the living memorials for the first time. Eternal Reef offers the heavy concrete structures to families to personalize.
The cremated remains of loved ones are mixed with concrete and formed into what’s called a pearl. That pearl is inserted into the center of the reef ball and serves as a weight. The reef ball will then become part of an artificial reef off the coast of Galveston.
George Frankel with Eternal Reef explained the process.
“What we’ve done is created a concrete that is PH neutral to the marine environment and then we texture the outer surface of the reef ball itself. What this does is allows all those little microorganisms that are floating around and are the buds of life… they now have a place where they can attach, burrow in, grow, mature and start to propagate before predators can start to feed on them. So, we get an immediate life cycle start process,” Frankel said. “People will dive off of these reefs for generations. People will fish on these reefs and they really are a living memorial.”
Loved ones can decorate the top of the reef ball. They can leave handprints. One young man left the baseball medallion he always wore in his sister’s memorial. For many of these families, they’ve held on to the ashes of loved ones for years. Finding a permanent place is not always easy.
If you want more information, check out the website: eternalreefs.com