Cremation has gained popularity during the last several years. In fact, latest survey results in 2010 surpassed most projected numbers. In the US alone, more than 40% of all deaths opt for cremation. In many other places in the world, the rates are much higher.
That being said, there are countless cremation urns and memorials available on the Internet. There are probably hundreds of styles in today’s market, yet most of them look the same. Most of the urns are mass-produced and outsourced.
Many of today’s consumers, especially baby boomers, are seeking uniqueness and personalization when it comes to memorializing a loved one. Yet most consumers are not aware of the fact that there are companies that can help to customize a cremation urn by providing a design that is created especially for one individual person. The commission of a custom urn can reflect the spirit and personality of that person, thus honoring his or her memory in a way that offers solace to surviving family members and friends.
There are several options for the custom urn. Variables such as favorite color of the loved one, style, or material can greatly affect the individuality of a custom urn. For example, a person might have loved wood. When we see a classic wooden urn, it may remind us of that person. One might try to consider including purple in the custom urn. This person might also have been a gardener. It would be perfectly appropriate to incorporate flowers, whether painted or carved, on the surface of the urn.
A great way to ensure an original, unique, custom urn is to commission an artist to design and create the piece, based on the personality and interests of the loved one. While this may sound inaccessible to most people, the opposite is actually true. An art gallery may be able to help you to identify an artist who might do this type of commissioned work. Otherwise, an Internet search can connect you with an artist who specializes in custom urns, or a company that can facilitate the commission.
The collaboration between client and artist provides a wonderful opportunity to process the loss of a loved one. The artist who offers this type of work often has a list of preliminary questions to initiate a dialogue about the person who has passed. First questions might include general inquiries about the size, style, shape, and materials for the custom urn. Questions such as: What is the preferred size of the urn? What colors help you think of your loved one? Will the custom urn be displayed or buried?
Once the artist and client have a clear vision of the general appearance of the urn, questions about the piece may inform the artist about the personality of the loved one. What were his/her interests? Did this person have a bold personality, or was he/she more reserved? Did he/she have modern or traditional sensibilities?
During this part of the exploration, the client has the chance to reflect on the unique qualities of the loved one. This is often a great opportunity to process, and thus becomes a healing process for grief. All grief counselors agree that it’s important to address grief as soon as it is felt. If avoided, grief does not disappear. This can be an extremely positive, healing opportunity to engage in the remembrance of the person who has passed.
The end result becomes much more than the purchase of an urn. A custom urn can represent the deep memories that are revealed during the process. Throughout history, cremation urns were often commissioned and were considered valuable art pieces. A commissioned urn is indeed a work of art, and an expression of love and cherished memories. Many people are intimidated by the belief that this is an expensive process. Yet the custom urn is often the same price or less than some of the mass-produced styles that are so plentiful.
The beauty of the Internet is that all things are searchable. A search for "artist made cremation urns" or "custom urns" is sure to lead one to a source for a custom urn.