Losing someone you love is difficult, most of want a connection to that special person. The question is how to make that connection, that memory bond, so it is not surprising to me that funeral or mourning jewellery (ashes jewellery as we think of it now), is now a popular choice.
Mourning Jewellery has been around it since the Victorians, in fact the trend was sparked after the death of Prince Albert – Mourning Jewellery . At recent visit to the British Museum I spotted some wonderful examples. So it would appear gaining connection to someone you have lost, through jewellery, has been with us for some time.
But, what has sparked the recent rise in cremation jewellery? Obviously the Victorians didn’t use ash as cremation was rare, but now cremation is the most common form of funeral and people are starting to understand what the ashes represent. When we started doing this about ten years ago it very much divided people – err oh my god what on earth! was a common response. However, as time has gone by there is a much greater appreciation and demand for it. Initially people were perplexed and disconcerted, as one lady said to me: before I lost mum, I thought oh how horrid, a friend of mine had one of your pandora beads and I just didn’t get it, but soon after we had the ashes back it started to go around in my head, then I got it.
We need to feel a connection and ashes are a really visceral way of doing that.
It’s about connectivity
The ashes I think provide a connectivity of memory that many other things can’t or do but aren’t as potent. So for example fingerprint jewellery, which is popular, is unique to the person whose print it is, but it is not that person. Photos are precious but in the digital age they are becoming not as unique or meaningful. Heirlooms are good but they can cause issues around ownership, meaning and heritage. Ashes are so strong in their connection.
Many of us choose to scatter ashes on hillside or beach. But when you scatter all the ashes, you can’t un-scatter them, we then come home and you may think have I lost something? This is a reaction I here from quite a few people, the answer is different for different people, but for those who feel better with a physical connection ashes jewellery makes sense.
Visible or invisible
What I also find interesting is the strength of feeling between visible and non-visible. What do I mean by that? Whether a person wants to see the ashes in the piece of ashes jewellery or not. It tends to around 50/50, but each side will feel strongly that is how it should be and those who prefer it the other way around are crazy and or wrong.
However, for those who want to see the ashes, they don’t necessarily want the jewellery piece to be obvious, it is more about if I look at it I can see it.
I think it will continue to gain acceptance, but will also be very much a marmite issue. And there will be those who object to on religious grounds, the catholic Church takes a very strong position on this – they do not permit the splitting of ashes.
For those people who choose this as something they want, we can help. We have five jewellers that make a wonderful range, we have a range of prices, styles and designs – Ashes Jewellery