Today is Dia de los Muertos, or All Soul’s Day. If you’re unfamiliar with this holy day, a brief explanation of it can be found – where else? – on Wikipedia, here.
To celebrate, I thought I would share with you something both death-related and awesome, a combo not often seen outside of the films of Sam Peckinpah.
Sure, you can have an enormous holiday fiesta to celebrate those who have shuffled off this mortal coil, but what about the rest of the year? How can you keep your loved ones alive and fresh in your mind and heart? Some people take this to the extreme, but if you’re looking for a way to honor your loved one and don’t want to relegate their remains to the earth or a dusty box on the mantel, you can now have their cremated remains (or cremains, a portmanteau that resists tripping off my tongue) transformed into something beautiful and useful – ceramic pottery.
Now, before you freak out on me here, let’s take a moment to consider this. What better way to celebrate the beauty of a loved ones’ life than by the literal transformation of their remains into art? Their spirit has departed, but their body remains…is it better that they remain sealed in some ridiculously expensive steel Tupperware® for all eternity, or that the clay from which they came and to which they returned be used to craft an objet d’art, something that will beautify its surroundings and provide a very real reminder of your loved one?
Please keep all Fawkes jokes to a minimum.
Phoenix Memorial Art specializes in this sort of memorial. The company’s founder, Marjorie Hoachlander, originally conceived of the idea when her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Together, they came up with the idea to incorporate his ashes into a piece of artwork, one that would serve as both a cherished keepsake of her husband and a lastingly beautiful monument. Doing so apparently helped Marjorie through the process of grieving; as she says:
“I can’t begin to express how much having this lovely artwork in my home meant to me while I was adjusting to living alone. As its proximity gave me inner peace and renewed strength, I realized that I wanted to benefit others in similar ways by founding Phoenix Memorial Art.”
We all have different ways of honoring our dead. We all want to be remembered when we’re gone, and too often, I think, we minimize or ignore death in the hope that we won’t have to face the pain it can bring. To me, though, it is truly an awesome thing to honor a loved one by creating a beautiful and, yes, sacred piece of art from their remains.
Now that you’ve got a great Dia De Los Muertos opener for today’s water cooler chat, why not take a minute to click the SocialVibe link in the upper-right of my blog? By clicking through and writing a note to Dress for Success™ candidates, you help not only inspire women struggling to achieve self-sufficiency, but also The Art of Elysium. Make sure you all the way through and leave your name and message so I know you stopped by (and also so your activity will count toward the art projects we’re generating for hospitalized kids). Thanks!