Memory Tree Stories & The Life of Your Living Urn
Living Urn tree memorials, also known as memory trees, are a wonderful way to honor the incredible person that your departed beloved was. The life of your Living Urn is beginning as soon as it’s planted. Not only does its planting mark a closure, but it marks the beginning of something new, something alive. Your memory tree (or plant) has a life outside of simply being a plant. It’s truly something, something incorporated with the person planted at their base - Living Urns become tangible reminders of someone who once lived. There are countless stories of comfort and solace brought by not just planting memory trees but living with them day-to-day. Your Living Urn has a life all its own, and it’s worked into the lives of you, your family, and your loved ones. Here are a few stories about people and the life of their Living Urns.
Golf Course Tree Burial
Judy lost her husband George in 2016. He was an avid gardener and spent many happy hours in his yard which overlooked the 17th fairway of their neighborhood golf course. When George passed, Judy decided to plant a memory tree with George’s cremation remains. Since George loved the view of the golf course from their yard, she decided to ask the golf course if she could plant her memory tree on their property. The staff at the golf course, according to Judy, could not have been more kind and supportive. They even knew exactly which house was George and Judy’s, by how well George had kept it maintained.
Judy went on to have two ceremonies at the golf course, one where she planted an October Red Maple with George’s ashes. Judy and her children were invited to plant the tree themselves by the golf course staff, and so they gently lowered the root ball of their soon-to-be glorious red maple into the ground. A couple of weeks later, friends and family gathered at the golf course to remember their beloved family member and friend. Judy says seeing George’s memory tree provides her great comfort as she watches him grow into a new life. The October Red Maple has grown tall and strong, just like her George.
Scattering & Tree Planting
When Amber’s husband passed away, Amber told her mother that she wanted to be a tree when she died. She wanted half of her ashes to be laid to rest in Hawaii, where her husband is laid to rest, and the other half to be planted in a Living Urn. After Amber passed, her Mom pondered where to plant Amber’s tree. She had grown up in South Dakota, so she decided to return her daughter’s ashes to where she played as a child. Her Mom's next step was to call a funeral home in their hometown, whose kind staff directed her to the local Parks and Recreation department. Pleasantly surprised to discover that the town had a memorial tree program, she was able to explain to them the Living Urn. There was paperwork to be filled out, and with a little help from Mike at the Living Urn, her application to plant her daughter as a memory tree was approved. The Parks Department chose an Amur Flame Maple for Amber’s Living Urn because it will grow well in the climate. She planted Amber’s Memory tree at the beautiful park she played as a child, near the duck pond. It’s now grown into a healthy tree, that provides shade for ducks and children alike.
This story from Libby illustrates that you don’t have to plant a tree to use the Living Urn and that what you plant can mature within a few years! Libby lost her beloved dog, Atticus to cancer in May of 2016. That was almost six years ago. Atticus was a very special dog, as all dogs are, but he also was a therapy dog at a wilderness rehabilitation center. He helped people who were sick and struggling find joy in life and come to peace with themselves. Atticus was a loving family member and coworker. Libby wanted to find a way to honor how special Atticus was and the impact he made on the world. And so she discovered the Living Urn. Libby held a planting ceremony with her family and some of Atticus’ closest friends. He now lives on as a beautiful blueberry bush that nourishes his family the way he did every day.
Jami’s brother passed away after battling cancer, sarcoma, for a year. Two years prior, he and Jami had been talking after their uncle’s funeral and he casually mentioned that he wanted to be buried straight into the ground, wrapped in cloth, with no casket, so he could become a tree. Jami and his brother didn’t talk about this again, until towards the end of his brother’s battle with cancer. Jami had done some research and discovered that their state did not permit burials without a casket. When he knew time was almost up, Jami asked his brother what he wanted to be done with his body. He said he wanted to be cremated and didn’t care about it after that. After his brother passed, Jami discovered the Living Urn and was able to give his brother exactly what he wanted. Jami’s brother was planted in the same cemetery where their mother is buried, and now Jami gets to watch his brother live his dream of becoming a tree. His brother’s tree is now a stately, pleased presence in the cemetery.
Did you know that it doesn’t matter how old your ashes are? You can use cremation ash of any age to plant a Living Urn. For example, Amber had the box holding her daddy’s ashes sitting on a shelf for fifteen years. She struggled with moving the ashes somewhere nice because it felt too permanent. Amber learned about The Living Urn and planted her daddy’s ashes with gardenias on their deck, which overlooks a lake. Amber feels like it was the best thing to do with the remains because now her daddy is part of daily life with his family where he lived, laughed, and loved. Amber and her family look at the beautiful gardenias and know that a part of their daddy is still with them as they have coffee in the morning and host birthday parties and big family dinners.
Park Memorial Tree
Nikki’s mother’s dying wish was to become one with the earth. She also wanted to leave a calm, and comforting place for her friends and family to visit and think about her. Nikki used The Living Urn to plant her mother as a beautiful tree in a park, where she will watch generations of people live, play, and walk their dogs as a majestic tree, truly one with the earth.
Blooming Tree Memorial
Aaron had been thinking for a while that there had to be a better way to memorialize someone you’ve lost than with the traditional casket, burial, and headstone. His beloved father was a Fire Chief for thirty years and was married for almost forty years. He was beloved and respected not just by his family and his fire station, but by the whole community. He had children and grandchildren. Aaron wanted a way to truly send his father off with the honor and respect he deserved. Cancer took Aaron’s father away before he could see his son’s newly purchased home. Aaron knows his Dad would have been proud of this accomplishment. Aaron and his family chose to memorialize their father as a magnolia tree in his new home’s front yard. He looks at taking care of the sapling as a reminder to constantly nurture his family and close relationships, the way his father nurtured his. The close bonds that Aaron is growing in his family are truly reflected in the growing, and blooming, tree.
Front Yard Memorial
Wes had secondary progressive MS. His family knew what was coming and were able to make plans together for his death. When her family was all together, they used the BioUrn from The Living Urn to plant Wes’s remains in their front yard. His son goes out to visit his father whenever he wants to. And, in some way, as the tree and the child grow up together, it will be like his father is watching over him every time he goes out to play under his father’s tree.
Shyan discovered The Living Urn and knew that’s what she wanted to do when she passed. She told her mother about The Living Urn and her wishes. She had spent time at a recovery home in the remote Tennessee woods and loved it there. She said she felt at peace and that her soul was at ease when she was there. It was at this center that she regained her sobriety and a sense of well-being. After Shyan passed, her family planted her as a tree at the Tennessee recovery center. Her Uncle, James, just visited on the anniversary of her death and her tree was in bloom! This tree will live its whole life offering comfort and solace to people who are suffering, which many would say is the highest calling of any life.