MemryStone – Giving More Meaning to Cremation
A funeral director in Massachusetts now offers a unique product to help survivors feel more connected and confident in the act of cremation. William “BT” Hathaway of Hathaway Family Funeral Homes has developed a ceramic “token” which he calls MemryStone.
Survivors inscribe each MemryStone with a personal message, they then place the ceramic with the deceased and it travels through the entire cremation process. The MemryStones change appearance, yet return intact with the final remains. In this way MemryStones meet three important needs.
First, they create a sense of connection and guardianship at the very beginning of cremation. Second, the handwritten inscription offers a much more personal form of identity assurance as opposed to an institutional serial number. And third, the finished stones serve as a uniquely personal link to the love and memories one must now carry in the heart.
“Modern cremation is disconnected and impersonal,” says Hathaway. “Survivors sign paperwork and the body disappears behind closed doors, replaced several days later by a nondescript plastic box and a serial number.” Hathaway went on to say that he spent a number of years thinking about these challenges and then finally stumbled on the concept of a ceramic “guardian” last year.
“It has taken a great deal of intensive research to make this idea work,” he said in our interview. “I first went to see a ceramics expert in the area, but couldn’t seem to get what was needed. So I studied a number of ceramic techniques and figured out how to combine them properly to make MemryStone complete. As a result, we make these by hand in our own workshop. It’s not another trinket farmed out to a factory overseas. We take care of every detail right here.”
Currently Hathaway provides MemryStones to the families served at his Massachusetts funeral homes, and many families choose to use them as part of their cremation arrangements. According to Hathaway, “Each family incorporates them a bit differently. Some will write them during arrangements, while others will take them home to think about what they want to say. Some groups will want to fit all their expressions together on one stone, while others will use individual ceramics so that each survivor will have a more distinct sense of participation.”
The MemryStone can be ordered online and overnight delivery is available.
Though all of the activity has happened at his funeral homes so far, Hathaway does want to extend the reach of these ceramics to people across the country. The MemryStone website has online ordering capabilities, with regular ground and overnight shipping options available. Each stone costs $89.00, which includes the ceramic itself, a designer box, and a complete welcome packet with instructions, practice sheets and the specialized transfer paper needed to make MemryStones work.
They do not yet handle international orders but Hathaway said he would seek to add this option as quickly as possible.
“It turns out that the more I ask, the more I realize how many survivors harbor concerns about the identity of cremated remains. And the more heartfelt messages I see written down on these ceramics, the more I appreciate how much meaning a simple inscription can bring,” said Hathaway in closing. “People yearn for cremation to feel more complete and personal. They just don’t know how to do that. MemryStones fill that gap. Now anyone can bring a MemryStone to their cremation or funeral provider and transform the experience of cremation for themselves.”
This article was originally posted on: mysendoff.com