Let's face it — we're all going to die. Making the choice between burial, cremation or donating your body to science can be difficult since, for many people, none of these options seems particularly attractive.
With new technology, however, that choice has become at least more interesting than ever before.
From turning your ashes into a vinyl record album that plays a post-mortem message from you to your fans, to becoming a tree by blending your DNA with that of a tree, you can leave your mark in some unusual ways these days.
“We work with lots of people who would like to be remembered in some positive way, so they provide for charitable funds to be given in their name in perpetuity after death,” said Nancy B. Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
“Whether that makes them less fearful of dying, I could not say.”
Here are some ways we found for you to figuratively live on and haunt your family for years to come.
Shine bright like a diamond
The carbon from your ashes can be transformed into a beautiful diamond, either colorless, red, yellow, blue or green, by a company called LifeGem. It can set your bling in a ring, pendant or other “cremation jewelry.”
If you plan to be buried, you can still become beautiful jewelry after death. The company can make diamonds out of your hair instead.
Go out with a bang
Heavenly Stars Fireworks can send you out in a blaze of glory with a spectacular fireworks show made from your ashes. You can plan a professional display for your friends and family, or you can purchase self-fired tributes.
Be a tree
Bios Urn is a funeral urn made from biodegradable materials and filled with your ashes and a Pinus seed that will grow into a beautiful, leafy tribute to you.
Or, you can tree yourself using your DNA. Biopresence is a company that injects your DNA into the cell of a plant, which makes a new plant gene. Huh? From biopresence.com: “The goal of Biopresence is to introduce human characteristics to a plant, without changing the genes of the resulting plant.”
Your ashes can be blended into art mediums such as paint and tattoo ink. Commemorative tattoos that honor you can actually be made with you. That painting of your late great-grandmother hanging over the fireplace can actually be made from her. You can have a spectacular stained-glass creation made with your ashes. Or, The Carbon Copies project by Nadine Jarvis can turn your cremains into a set of 240 pencils stamped with your name, birth and death years. Write on!