So we’ve reached January. Usually the most depressing month of the year. With the year we’ve just had it’s hard to imagine anything more depressing coming at us.
Oh … wait … January the 20th got ya.
This is the month where we try to make good on our New Years resolutions, seek to focus on the year ahead and look back on our past. This is also the month where we most remember those we have lost.
For me this started earlier last month: I celebrated my birthday on December 11 last month, but it wasn’t a happy one. It was the day my beloved Ziggy, an adorable Jack Russell dog that I had for fifteen years (since she was a puppy) got ill. A few days later she had to be put to sleep as nothing more could be done for her and she was in too much pain.
The loss alone was horrific, but for me, it triggered a lot of regrets, trauma, self-loathing and the remembrance of other losses.
Taking away Ziggy’s bowl and things made me feel even sadder: if it weren’t for the pictures you’d barely know she’d been there at all. Thankfully over the years I collected a lot of the fur she lost during shedding and kept it in a little box, this way a real part of her will always be with us.
When my grandfather died, I kept his cap and a piece of the coat he always used to wear in my room. When my grandmother died, I kept wearing her ring and a necklace. Just to keep them close to me.
Recently I found that doing things like this isn’t as odd as I thought. People do not want their loved ones far away from them after death. Instead, they want to keep their loved ones close.
In some ways, this trend has always been around. Holding onto keepsakes from a loved one is a time-tested way to honor their lives and memories. Even small items can have lots of significance.
Psychologists not only recognize the healthiness of remembering loved ones in some way but also promote this type of remembrance as a coping mechanism for grief. For example, the American Psychological Association suggests; finding a concrete way to remember the deceased as a necessary step in moving on with life after death.
This advice coincides with J. William Worden’s last “task of mourning,” which encourages mourners to forge a lasting connection with their deceased loved one. This link brings comfort and promotes remembrance, even while allowing the mourner to move on with their life.
Recently, a new way has emerged to forge this kind of tangible connection to deceased loved ones, The Cremation Diamond. These beautiful diamonds are grown using the cremains or the hair of a deceased loved one.
The 70-120 day process mimics the way in which diamonds are formed within the earth.First, the carbon is removed from the remains or the hair. Then, it is placed within a mixture that will become the diamond.The mixture is subjected to a high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) environment. Within this environment, the mix grows into stunningly beautiful gems that can be set into any jewelry desired.
Cremation diamonds resonate with many people who have lost loved ones (including those who have lost pets). Many cremation diamonds are created every month for people looking to remember beloved family members, friends, and pets who have passed away.
People enjoy the opportunity to wear a beautiful piece of jewelry that allows them to bring a reminder of their loved one with them everywhere. When people have a beautiful memorial diamond to wear, they experience a certain comfort that would be difficult to obtain any other way.
These gems help people grieve because they serve a role very similar to memorial keepsakes such as my Ziggy’s hair box, the cap, and jacket from my grandfather and the jewelry that was my grandmother’s. They are a tangible way to remember the loved one who has passed away. The loved one can no longer be seen or felt. Whenever the mourner misses their loved one, all they have to do is wear their memorial diamond to feel as if their loved one, and the memories they have of their loved one, are near again.
At the same time, unlike the memorial keepsakes like mine, cremation diamonds are made from the deceased loved one. To some that might sound creepy, but in many ways its a comfort. The diamonds allow the mourner to keep their loved one close. In this way, their significance goes deeper than a memorial keepsake.
Cremation diamonds also help with grief because they offer a natural way for people to talk about their loved ones. Talking about a loss can be a major way for people to process their grief and remember their loved one. Often, people find it difficult to talk about their pain, especially weeks or months after the loss has occurred. Friends and family may stop checking in with the mourner, and conversations about the topic may feel awkward to initiate.
In my case, there have been people out there commenting “it was just a dog,”
When someone wears a cremation diamond, however, its beauty gets attention and feedback from others. This recognition can open the door to conversations and remembrances about the deceased loved one. Even a simple, “Thank you for your compliment. This diamond is special to me because it is a way for me to remember my mother/father/dog.” can help the mourner to acknowledge their loss and honor their loved one’s memory.
By giving people such a beautiful and concrete way to hold onto their loved ones, cremation diamonds give mourners a way to process their grief, talk about their loss, experience comfort, and remember their loved one forever.
This week I will be collecting Ziggy’s urn from the clinic and who knows, I might very well have a diamond made from her ashes.
She was with us for fifteen years, and I want her memory to last even longer.
Ziggy © Danni Cohen All Rights Reserved