Cremation on the Rise

History and where are we today?

The origin of the funeral industry here in America dates back to early 1800’s.  By the mid 1830’s, planned sprawling cemeteries inspired by innovative burial ground design out of Europe began cropping up in the rural outskirts of large cities. After the Civil War though, concern grew over land conservation and toxic waste coming out of these cemeteries.  As a result, the turn of the century saw a cropping up of a large number of crematories and mausoleums within cemeteries.  The beginning of the 20th century coincided with the process of embalming as a standard practice in the United States for preservation of the bodies. This standardized practice led to the “legitimizing” of the funeral industry.  Funeral homes became respected businesses of the community, conducting rightful business transactions.

The past 20 years has seen a seismic shift in the funeral industry. As our lifestyles have changed so have our beliefs regarding the disposition of the bodies of our loved ones. According to the Cremation Society of America, in 1999 24.8% of families chose cremation, and by 2014 the rate was up to 46.7%.  The projection by the National Funeral Directors Alliance is that by the year 2030 71% of bodies will be disposed of by cremation.


Why is cremation on the rise?

There are several reasons cremation is on the rise, not the least of which is the secularizing of America.  Nearly 20% of our country is not connected to any religion.

With the religious constraints gone cremation is a viable option for many where it wasn’t in the past.  Another reason for the shifting trend away from burial, is cremation allows for much more personalization in memorialization.  With a swing away from the burial rituals that are rooted deep in tradition, loved ones are placing more value on the funeral as part of the grieving process. Individualization allows families an opportunity to highlight their deceased loved one’s passions, interests and life accomplishments- a meaningful celebration of their life.

Furthermore, gone are the days where families and extended family all stayed together in the same town.  As families members are spread all over the country and even the world, the family burial plot is no longer practical nor desired.  Cremation allows our more mobile culture to take their loved one’s cremains with them wherever in the world they are.

Lastly but perhaps the largest looming factor in cremation versus burial hinges upon our eco-conscious culture’s product and service purchasing habits. The death industry is affected by this as much as every other industry.  The baby boomers that are currently the consumers of these products and services are wanting a minimalist approach to the funeral that they are preplanning for themselves or planning currently for their loved one.  The green approach calls for the cloaking of the body in a cloth shroud and placing the body in a casket made out of a natural product such as wicker, bamboo or recycled paper, and putting it into the earth to degrade naturally.  There is no toxic embalming fluid, non-biodegradable wood, concrete or metal.

Glass + Ash = Beautiful Cremation Pendants

Take a look at these gorgeous glass pendants… These works of art, measuring approximately 1.25 inches by 1 inch, are a unique melding of colored glass, metal and cremains.  The pictures do not do them justice.  The depth of the colors are truly striking.  The artist, Henry Duquette, has been blowing glass for 10 years and is in the process of patenting his process of incorporating glass and cremains while eliminating the natural formation of bubbles, to create one-of-a–kind pendants and keepsakes.

Henry uses Pyrex glass, which unlike other “soft” glass, is hard.  The result is a very resilient piece that does not shatter.  (Although he does guarantee his pieces for the lifetime of the recipient).  Very ethically responsible, Duquette employs the same protocol used by crematories to isolate cremains in order to prevent the co-mingling of ashes.

This artist’s beautiful spirit is evidenced by not only his works of art but also his generosity.  He offers free pendants to immediate family members who lost a loved one post 911 that was a service man or woman acting in the line of duty.  His program extends to all service members-EMT’s, fire-fighters, police officers, military and canines.  His only request is that in return for this pendant he receive a newspaper clipping or obituary and a photo of the deceased, as he keeps his own memorial photo book of these fallen heroes.

The finishing touch is your loved one’s name on the back of the keepsake in 22K gold. As opposed to an urn that will likely, in years to come, be put away in a closet, these keepsakes can be passed down from generation to generation- a beautiful memorial keeping alive the memories of this lost life.

Click here to view these pieces on our website


Fingerprints Do Tell

Want to know more about the guy you are going on a date with this weekend?  Or what about the woman you are bringing in for an interview next week?  Chuck the resume- just take a look at her hands…

No two people have the same fingerprint, however there are patterns that all fingerprints possess.  Some people claim that an analysis of these patterns can reveal a lot about a person.

Fingerprints are formed before we are born and their shape are based partly on genetics and partly on random patterning.  These prints are made-up of an arrangement of ridges called friction ridges.  It is these ridges that form fingerprint pattern called whorls, loops and arches. Whorls form spiral patterns like tiny whirlpools.  Loops are prints that curve back into themselves forming a loop shape.  The arched pattern is a wave-like appearance forming plains and arches.

Palmistry is the study of fingerprints to determine personality traits. It has been practiced for thousands of years and believed to have originated in India (   These palm readers often use a combination of the lines of a palm along with fingerprints to develop a complete personality profile.  A hand with whorls on the fingertips is thought to belong to a strong willed perfectionist.  Whorls on one thumb is believed to indicate a high level of intellect, whereas whorls on both thumbs is considered to be symbolic of a controlling personality.  A “whorly” person tends to be independent and prefers to be the dominant one in any relationship. For this reason these people make strong leaders.

The belief is that the arch pattern is found on the fingertips of highly analytical and practical people.  The more numerous the arches the more cautious the person tends to be.  Because of their reliability and pragmatism these people are a good fit in a career where there is a high level of methodology. The looped pattern is seen in folks of average intelligence with pleasant and easy-going demeanors.  Because of their adaptability possessors of this pattern make excellent partners and employees. A subset of the loop pattern is the peacock eye.  This looks like a loop with a whirl in the center.  This is typically only seen on the ring or pinkie finger and believers in palmistry claim that the bearer of this pattern possess a great deal of luck.

Regardless of the truth to this, fingerprint jewelry can serve as a touchstone.  Being able to feel those arches, whorls and loops that were unique to only your loved one can bring comfort to a grieving loved one.

Take a look at our full line of fingerprint jewelry- both ash and non-ash holding…

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