Lotus urn on patio

6 modern ways to remember a loved one

Choosing the final resting place for someone’s ashes can take as much planning as the funeral itself. Should you pick an urn or go for a garden sculpture, for instance?

Luckily, the memorials now available range from contemporary caskets to keepsakes such as jewellery and ornaments – and everything in between.

Discover 6 modern memorials below and find the perfect way to remember someone special.

Our updated urns

If you want to keep the ashes at home after cremation, an urn is the usual choice. But you don’t have to stick with a traditional shape, colour or size. Today, you can choose a stylish teardrop urn, handcrafted in metal, or an urn shaped like Buddha’s head, for example.

Contemporary urns still contain a loved one’s ashes but the modern designs can reflect your personal taste, complementing your home décor.

Original ornaments

You don’t need an urn if you want to keep a small amount of ashes at home; ornaments that contain some ashes now look like the items you’d find on any mantlepiece. Fashionable pieces today include mini heart urns and hand-blown crystal birds.

You could even choose to share the ashes among family members, so they can create their own ornaments or other keepsakes.

Memorial jewellery

Memorial jewellery is becoming one of the most popular ways to commemorate someone who’s died. Whether you choose to bury or scatter the ashes, or keep them in an urn, you can also save a small amount to be made into jewellery.

The ashes are often kept in a separate space, such as in a locket or a tiny compartment within the clasp of a bracelet. Or you can have them incorporated into the piece itself, usually in glass gemstones. These stones are made into jewellery such as pendants, rings or cufflinks. These subtle memorials mean you can keep a reminder of your loved one with you, wherever you are.

Garden features

Keeping some ashes at home doesn’t mean you have to keep them indoors – you can now choose items like a garden sculpture or an urn specifically designed to be outdoors.

Minimalist designs, like a stainless-steel lotus flower, make striking memorials, while an urn made from natural materials such as lava stone will eventually blend in with the surroundings. Both options contain some ashes, so you can use them to create a special remembrance spot in your garden.

Photo mementos

Photographs can be a wonderful source of memories, and some of the latest photo frames have hidden spaces for a small amount of ashes. You can also create a special printed collection of 10 images, which can be given to close family or simply enjoyed at home.

If you have a number of small items you want to treasure, such as photos, souvenirs or jewellery, a memory box may be the answer. You can choose a box built from natural wood, or have a personalised memory box made using images showing happy memories with your loved one.

Handheld keepsakes

You might prefer something more intimate, a small keepsake you can hold close rather than putting on display. If that idea appeals, cuddle stones could be the answer. These ceramic ‘pebbles’ are handmade, with some ashes contained inside. The stones fit in your hand – and are comforting to hold – so they can be carried with you.

More tailored touches

Just as you can now personalise someone’s funeral there are a number of different ways to memorialise their ashes, too. Apart from the suggestions above, you can choose to scatter them somewhere significant or bury them in a traditional casket.

But you don’t need to make any snap decisions. Talk to your funeral director if you’d like an urn or memorial item but want more time to choose. Commemorating the ashes can be done at any point in the future, not immediately after cremation, so you can find the right way to remember a loved one.