A smooth pebble, baked in an oven from the ashes of a loved one, is the last way Americans can choose to carry the memory of a loved one.
Farewell stone is a startup that seeks to provide people with a personal and portable way to remember someone they have lost, with the ashes of a person capable of producing a collection of stones.
What GNN reported before, Americans as a whole do not have the best relationship with death. While the cost of traditional casket funerals is reaching unsustainable levels, a sea of startups are rushing to help people find better and cheaper solutions.
Some have leaned toward the green funeral movement, with composting coffins made of mushrooms, or forest conservation financed by scattering ashes at the base of a tree. Others have moved into custom crafting of ashes, such as like pressing a loved one on a vinyl record, a beautiful glass sculpture, or even an artificial diamond.
Parting Stone is a blend of the two, preserving soils from near-ammonia pH levels found in human ashes, while allowing people to quite discreetly carry a small keepsake of the deceased.
A parting gift
“It is a canvas for the experience, not the experience itself,” explains founder Justin Crowe to Fast company.
The ashes are ground into a very fine powder and mixed with water to create a clay-like base. This is placed in an oven and baked on the stone which is then polished. Without knowing exactly why, the stones tend to vary in color, which Crowe hypothesizes could be due to physiological differences between the deceased, such as the composition of diet or medications.
Regardless, they may appear white, brown, slightly gray-blue or green, lavender, or with a variety of speckled patterns. Weighing 4-8 pounds, a family will typically get 40-60 stones at a cost of $ 675 for a human and $ 300 for a pet.
Crowe explains that he came up with the idea after losing his grandfather in 2014, and wanted a better experience with his remains, which felt empty of spirit, even in a decorative urn.
Of course, as Crowe points out, the ashes usually come in a plastic bag before choosing an urn. “We do not accept this experience in any other part of modern life. Why do we accept it for the people we love? ” he said.
Remember how people felt around the stones at a business conference, when more than 200 people asked to hold them. Collecting small, beautiful or fascinating stones is something that many of us do, especially in natural places like a waterfall or in a desert where interesting geological processes occur.
Holding a smooth stone that fits nicely in the palm of your hand, knowing that it contains a piece of something you love, speaks to that primal desire.
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