Meaningful things to do with cremation ashes

Published: 25/8/2022

Decades ago, when you passed away, you were likely buried in a well-kept cemetery. Fast forward to today and cremations have officially overtaken traditional burials in Australia.

Choosing a unique memorial helps people remember their loved ones with something special and unique to them and their personality.

With 65% of Australians choosing to be cremated, we have seen more and more interesting ways to preserve the ashes of our loved ones.

If you have recently lost a loved one and want to find a meaningful thing to memorialise their ashes, we hope these ideas help you on your journey in remembering them.


Memorial Urn

Urn's have come a long way from the days of gothic-carved, brass urns. Many companies today are providing customers with unique handcrafted urns in a wide range of styles to suit any taste. From football urns and surfboard urns to personalised timber photo boxes, acrylic glass picture urns and living tree urns, there really is no limitation on what an urn could be today.

Memorial Jewellery

Cremation jewellery, also referred to as memorial jewellery or keepsake jewellery, is made using your loved ones ashes. The ashes can be placed or handcrafted directly into the jewellery of your choice be it ring, pendant, earrings, cufflinks or bracelet. The pieces can be created using gemstones such as sapphires and rubies (very hard gemstones, don't discolour), glass gemstones (hard gemstones, don't discolour) or grade resin gemstones (soft gemstones, can discolour over time). There are literally thousands of companies in Australia offering this service, it's simply a matter of finding the perfect piece most sentimental to you.

Memorial Glass

Have a beautiful, custom glass artwork piece created using the cremated ashes of your loved one. These lovely keepsakes are created as a reminder of all of the love and memories you have, captured in timeless and unique beauty by way of comfort stones, memorial domes, candle holder and custom artwork.

Montville glass artist Tina Cooper with one of her "Forever Yours" Memorial Orbs. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily
Montville glass artist Tina Cooper with one of her "Forever Yours" Memorial Orbs. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily Darryn Smith

Memorial Fireworks

If you want to create an unforgettable moment filled with more love and laughter than sadness and grief, then you might like to consider scattering your loved ones ashes high into the sky by way of a dazzling fireworks display!? Carefully planned with respect and dignity, the fireworks display can also be choreographed with the music of your choice. A colourful farewell option for the brightest of souls.

Memorial Tree

A meaningful way to honour a loved one is by planting a memorial tree. As the tree continues to grow, generations can visit and also share this living memorial. As we are all unique with different traits, characteristics and behaviours, so too is a tree. So a nice part about this process is choosing a tree that brings colour and life to the world the way they once did.   Memorial Reef  Only available in Western Australia, a company offers being memorialised inside an artificial, eco-friendly reef ball at the bottom of the ocean floor. The process involves blending a person's cremated remains (some or all) with a special PH neutral concrete into a unit that generates life under the sea for centuries.

Memorial Bear

These beautiful bears allow you to hold loved ones lost close to your heart. When we lose someone, we also lose their tender touch, so a tangible bear to hold is a comforting option, especially for those who have lost a baby or a child. Companies often have a heart securely built inside which safely holds ashes, hair - even special objects like dried flowers or a letter. Personal messages can also be embroidered on the bear's paws or belly as a loving tribute to them.

Other meaningful things to do with cremation ashes include having your loved ones: pressed into a vinyl record, infused into tattoo ink, have a cremation portrait made - even send them into space. However, these suggestions are not readily available - if at all, in Australia at this time - mind you, please let us know if this changes.

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." - Thomas Campbell

By Kirsten Jakubenko

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