When I was growing up, I was very close to my father. I was his only daughter, and we had a bond that I’ve never had with anyone else. Even after I grew up and had a family of my own, we remained very close, so when my mother let me know that he had lung cancer and the prognosis was very poor, it was like my world fell in around me. I had almost no time to come to terms with it, and when he died two months later, I had no idea how to even grieve for him. My mother planned to have him cremated and interred with his father, per his wishes, but I couldn’t bear the thought of him being gone forever. As I wept on the phone to my best friend, she suggested a Web site that might help—a site that sold ash pendants and other jewelry, jewelry that would allow me to always keep a bit of my father’s ashes in it so that he would always be close to me.
At first, the idea shocked me. Jewelry that contained human remains? My curiosity got the better of me in the end, however, and I decided to check out the site. To my amazement, the ash pendants, lockets, and other memorial items that were designed to hold ash were extremely tasteful and beautiful. In fact, many of them looked like pieces that one might wear every day, and I liked the idea of being able to wear something like that without having to always explain its significance to people. It would be a way to keep my father close to me—my own private tribute to him. I bought a lovely silver ash heart-shaped pendant and was allowed to insert a tiny bit of ash into it before the rest were interred. I wear the locket every day, and it has helped me grieve in a healthy way knowing that he is with me not only in spirit, but close to my heart as well.