My sister Kathleen died in a car accident on May 6, 2016. Our family knew that cremation was the best option for our situation, but we really didn’t have any experience with cremation as most of our family members who had passed had opted for traditional burials. When the time came to choose an urn, my sister’s fiancé said that The Living Urn really spoke to him as being something that she would have wanted. She was a very giving person in life, and this would be a way for her to continue giving even after her death. We all agreed that we were open to this option, as long as we could find the right place to plant the tree. We wanted to make sure that the tree wasn’t planted on land that would be sold in the upcoming years, and it needed to be somewhere that would allow access to whoever wanted to visit. In the end, the right place ended up being on our church property (with their blessing, of course). Our congregation was blessed to have a couple acres of land, and it is the same church that baptized Kathleen in 1984 and where our family still attends. We wanted to choose a tree that had pink or purple blossoms (her favorite colors), and the wonderfully helpful staff at The Living Urn suggested the Redbud tree. The tree arrived at the funeral home with everything we needed to plant. We all gathered together on a June evening – our parents, Kathleen’s children and fiancé, along with other family members and friends. As much as we expected this to feel like a traditional burial, it was so different – it wasn’t that we were burying the person we loved, we were starting a new life with her remains, something that would grow and flourish. She would live on not only in our hearts but through this tree as well. I will not soon forget watching her 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son as they help to dig and fill in the hole for their mother’s resting place. We were still feeling sadness, sure, but there were no tears because it wasn’t the end – it was just the beginning. She rests on the crest of a hill just to the west of the sanctuary were we attended church. The tree overlooks the old church building where she was baptized. Within two weeks of planting, the tree had sprouted little heart-shaped leaves, which are now larger than my hand. The trunk of the tree was skinnier than a pencil when we planted, but is now at least an inch in diameter. The tree is thriving! We visit her every Sunday when we come and go from church. It’s a continual connection with Kathleen, and has really been a positive silver lining on the dark cloud of her death. The Living Urn was the perfect choice for us and we would definitely recommend it to others considering their aftercare options. The staff was so helpful and patient with my endless questions, and the bamboo urn holder was a beautiful addition to the funeral ceremony. On behalf of our family, thank you for offering this wonderful alternative to traditional burial, and thanks to your staff for their excellent and compassionate service.