New ways to be remembered forever
It's increasingly popular to go the non-traditional route, when memorializing the ones we love or planning our own memorial. With the increased popularity of the pre-planned funeral, a non-traditional memorial offers an opportunity to make one last statement in life. There are a variety of different non-traditional memorials available. You can decide on the best one for you based on cost, ceremony or personal preference.
One company that's doing something truly unique is Eternal Reefs, Inc. They place cremated remains into "a permanent environmental living legacy." The urn or memorial (which can be as big as a breadbox) is placed in the sea and becomes part of a reef. The memorial is designed to last up to 500 years. Eternal Reefs has built memorials all over the coastal US, from Pensacola , Florida to Atlantic City , New Jersey . Prices range from $1495 up to $5000 US.
Cremation urns can come in many unique designs. Some of these are very expensive, but it's not always necessary to spend a large amount to achieve your desired result. There are a number of different types of cremation urns that can suit any atmosphere or budget.
When You Wish upon a Star
Why not choose a star as a memorial, and name it after someone you love? You can purchase your own star (for someone dead or living) through several services that will register its name and specifics. This is a unique and relatively inexpensive way of providing a memorial (or even just a unique gift) for someone you love.
When you name a star after someone, you'll receive a picture and a star map that will locate your star for you. These are great keepsakes that can be reproduced and shared with different family members and friends. A star makes a great memorial, because you can look up at the sky at any time to remember your loved ones.
Some of the people who have had stars named after them through the star registry are Ed "Buzz" Aldrin, Cher, Walter Cronkite, Elton John, Magic Johnson, Leonard Nimoy, Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, Garth Brooks, Princess Diana and John Lennon.
A Truly Final Frontier
For the science fiction or space buff, you can have your cremated remains launched into space. This is a fairly recent form of memorial. The first flight has had some delays (a common occurrence in space flight), but interest in this type of memorial is still growing.
Surprisingly, the cost to have your ashes released into space is under $1000. It's a great way to have a creative and uplifting final sendoff - no dour graveside ceremony, and your loved ones will be able to celebrate your life knowing that you're headed off to a new and exciting place. It's definitely for those who are positive about death.
Timothy Leary was put to rest in space, and many others are 'out there' with him. From 1997 to 2001, there were four Celestis launches, with plans for more. In the summer of 2005, James "Scotty" Doohan made headlines, when at his death it was announced that he too wished to have his ashes sent into space as a memorial.