Beyond the Planting: How a Living Urn Helps the Memory of Your Loved One Live On
We all know that the early stages of loss are particularly devastating, but loss continues to be hard at every stage. Yes, time does bring healing, but healing is also measured in stages, and it’s possible to experience some of that deep grief of the early stages years later. As time passes, and we begin to heal, our thoughts turn to our memories of our loved one who passed. How do we keep them close to us, as time passes and memories start to slowly fade? How do we remember who they were? Many people choose to plant a memory tree with a living urn, both as a way to honor their dearly departed, but also to help them remember.
Many people find comfort in the planting ceremony of their memory tree and will continue to find comfort in the years to come. Memory trees grow as your grief heals, and they’re there for when it breaks through. And, as time passes, they become less a symbol of loss and more about honoring and celebrating the beautiful person who is planted there. They help you and those who loved this person remember who they were and how much they mean to you all.
What is a Memory Tree?
Memory trees, or living urns, are trees planted in an urn with the ashes that are present after a person is cremation. You can choose a plant other than a tree, like a rose of sharon or gardenias. Since cremation ash can be harmful to plants, it’s important to work with a proven system like the Living Urn. This BioUrn has been designed with input from arborists and soil scientists to help ensure that the ashes do not negatively effect plant growth or harm the tree so your loved one’s memory tree can grow and thrive.
Ways to Use The Living Urn Memory Tree to Remember
Here are a few ways your memory tree can help you honor and remember your beloved who’s passed on.
- If your memory tree is close by, such as in your yard or a local park or cemetery, you can visit it regularly. If it’s on your property, daily visits can be a soothing option. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in your yard or garden, setting up a comfortable area around your memory tree can allow you to spend time with it regularly. The seating area can be for occasional, quiet contemplation, or could become your regular space, where you have your morning tea or coffee and relax in the evening. As your memory tree grows, it will start to provide shade for outdoor activities like cookouts, picnics, and games. If it’s in your yard, it can become a regular part of your activities with friends and family.
- Memorial stones are a wonderful way to mark the special location of your memory tree. They are engraved with your departed loved one’s name, dates of birth and death, and often a sentimental saying or image. They work in quiet spaces or spaces with a lot of traffic. A granite memorial stone will last for thousands of years.
- Wherever your memory tree is planted, you can visit it. If regular visits aren’t feasible, consider making a yearly visit to your loved one’s memory tree. Make it a group activity and invite other friends and family on this trip to honor your loved one’s memory. Many people want their loved one’s to celebrate their lives once they’ve passed, so this is an excellent way to honor those wishes. Memory forests don’t allow camping but may be close to other places to camp. Combining this visit with fun activities like camping or sightseeing in the area around the memory forest will keep family and friends connected while they remember their beloved who passed.
- Carving a symbol or the names of your departed beloved and other friends and family members can be a fun way to make your memory tree your own. Just be sure to wait until the tree is strong enough. You’ll be able to watch the carvings grow with the tree.
- Depending on where your memory tree is located, installing a swing once it’s big enough is a great way to include the memory tree in day-to-day life. It’s a lovely way to introduce younger family members to the dearly departed. They’ll have fun playing in grandpa or auntie’s tree and will associate their memory with fun and a beautiful tree.
- If your loved one's memory tree is a fruit or nut tree, make a yearly ritual of preparing any food your memory tree or plant produces. Many trees produce fruit or nuts, and some people choose berry bushes for their living urn. Gathering pecans, and picking fruit can be a group activity and an opportunity to remember the dearly departed. Nuts can be packaged and gifted to friends and family, and fruit can be made into tasty treats like jam, butter, and baked goods.
- Mark the spot of your loved one’s memory tree on the Ecorial app’s memory map and upload photos and videos of the tree as it grows.
- Holding annual gatherings of family and friends at the tree can be a great way to remember and reflect.