Austin's Blog

 

Saying Goodbye with Cremation Ashes

May 30th, 2017    Author:

With cremation a popular choice, we look at some unique and special ways to celebrate with your loved one’s ashes

Going out with a bang

Some people are giving their loved ones a spectacular exit with an organized fireworks display. Cremation ashes – cremains – are added to fireworks, which are then fired off into the sky in a beautiful display. One UK company, Heavens Above Fireworks, can arrange a dramatic display synchronized with music or something a bit quieter using reduced-noise fireworks. They also provide self-fired rockets if you want to have your own fireworks ceremony at home.

Memorial jewellery

If you want to keep your loved one close to you after they’ve passed, you can have their ashes made into memorial jewellery. Cremains can be added to colourful glass beads as a charm bracelet, included in a locket or set into silver for pendants and necklaces.

Up, up and away

When space fan Chester Mojay-Sinclare lost his grandmother he came up with a special way of seeing her off. He placed her ashes in a biodegradable urn and sent them up into the air attached to an environmentally-friendly meteorological balloon. Once it reached 100,000ft, a special mechanism opened the urn, releasing his beloved gran’s ashes into the stratosphere. Chester has since set up Stardust Ashes, which offers this service nationwide.

Diamonds are forever

An expensive but unique way to hold on to a deceased ashes is to have them made into a diamond. Created in a laboratory, a hi-tech process extracts the carbon from the ashes and compresses it at a high temperature, after which the molten material reforms into its natural state. It’s then cut and polished into a genuine diamond.

Space odyssey

If your loved one always had a hankering to travel into space, you can make their dream come true even after death. Cremains are put into a capsule and launched into space, where they float in the zero gravity environment before returning to Earth. The capsule is then mounted in a plaque with a launch photo and flight message, leaving the family with a novel keepsake. Other space options include launching the cremains into Earth orbit, where they could remain for up to 240 years before vaporizing like a blazing shooting star, or sending them to the Moon!

A memorable skydive

If sending your loved one’s ashes into orbit seems like a galaxy too far, you could have them scattered into the atmosphere as part of a skydive instead. British company Your Wings offers filmed skydives where they’ll take the ashes and release them into the air, letting the wind carry them far and away.  If you’re feeling brave, the company also arranges tandem skydives so you can be there to witness the amazing moment the ashes are released.

* We’re here to help. If you’d like to talk to us about a cremation or burial, please contact us on 01438 316623.

5 A Day

May 24th, 2017    Author:

We were stunned when this amazing floral display arrived a few weeks ago.  It’s certainly different and we’ve never seen anything quite like it!  Becky from Aura Floral Design based in Stevenage was approached by the family who said they were looking for something a bit different.  Michael loved his fruit and veg and asked Becky to create a tribute which was fitting for him.  We think she did an amazing job.

 

Fruit and Veg Display

Let’s talk about the ‘D’ word

April 26th, 2017    Author:

Death and dying are not something most people naturally want to talk about. In fact, one research study found that people would rather discuss money or politics with family and friends. So it’s often not until a loved one dies that our thoughts turn to their wishes concerning their funeral.

Unfortunately, according to the study, only 30% of people had let someone know their funeral wishes. It also found that because of people’s reticence to talk about death, only 25% of respondents had asked a family member about their end of life wishes and just 7% had written down their wishes about the care they’d like if they were unable to make decisions.

With Dying Matters Week  taking place next month, it’s hoped that people will be encouraged to think about and discuss death and dying. During the week there will be nationwide events on this important subject, including coffee mornings, healing woodland walks, spiritual ceremonies, talks and film screenings.

It may be a good time to open up the conversation with loved ones and ask them questions such as how they would like to be looked after in later life, whether they’ve made a will and what kind of funeral they’d like. Perhaps they have a particular song they’d like or they have a favourite colour they’d like incorporated into the ceremony.

Talking about death doesn’t have to be morbid or depressing. Chatting about it is a great opportunity to think about what you’d like and to let friends and family know your wishes. When the time comes, it will help them to know that they are doing the right thing and that everything is as you wanted it.

* For help and support planning a funeral, please contact us on 01438 815555.

Harwood Park – an oasis of quiet contemplation

April 9th, 2017    Author:

Harwood Park – an oasis of quiet contemplation

 After a loved one has died, it can be comforting to return to their place of rest and spend some undisturbed time in quiet contemplation. At Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens in Stevenage, we have 25 acres of grounds cocooned in open countryside that you are welcome to visit whenever you need to.

It’s a lovely place to enjoy the beauty of nature as you wander through Cherry Avenue, take in the majesty of Chestnut Avenue or breathe in the scent of flowers in our Rose and Trellis gardens. Our well-kept grounds also include Formal Memorial Gardens, a pond and children’s garden.

Many people come to Harwood Park regularly to lay fresh flowers or tend memorials that are dotted in special areas throughout the grounds. With a personal memorial garden, the ashes of your loved one can be scattered or buried within your chosen plot, accompanied by a feature tree, rose or shrub and an engraved memorial plaque. We have a choice of plots in different shapes, some of which are suitable for the ashes of up to four people – a lovely way to keep loved ones together.

Our memorials also include benches and seats, with an inscription dedicated to the person who has passed. Located by the pond and within our woodland areas, among other places, these make wonderful places to sit and quietly gather your thoughts.

You may wish to come to Harwood Park to visit what’s known as a ‘living memorial’ – a memorial tree planted in your loved one’s name. We have chestnut, birch and woodland trees, all planted as saplings so you can watch them grow and mature. There are memorial trees throughout our grounds and woodlands, all accompanied by a memorial tablet or plaque of your choice. Ashes can be scattered or buried by the tree.

All our memorials are available to you, whether or not the funeral was held at Harwood Park. We want our grounds to be somewhere you feel welcomed and comforted. A quiet, unhurried place you can return to time and again to reflect, remember and reminisce.

Tranquil setting of Harwood Park Crematorium

Tranquil setting of Harwood Park Crematorium

* If you would like help choosing a memorial for Harwood Park, please call us on 01438 815555.