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Cremation Jewellery - the origins!

Mourning Jewelry as it was once called (in some parts of the world, still is) is a general term for jewelry that people have used over centuries as a way of honoring and remembering deceased loved ones. It has been around since the 1600’s and the earliest known pieces were hand rings. Pearls were particularly favored as they were thought to represent tears and sadness.

Cremation jewelry began to gain momentum during the Victorian Age - named after Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901. Victoria’s husband Prince Albert died of typhoid in 1861. The Queen went into full mourning for 3 years along with her court and remained in mourning for the rest of her life. The Victorians were extremely superstitious, especially where death was concerned and hung black drapes over all the mirrors in the house when in mourning. It was said that if you looked into a mirror when a body was in the house, you would be the next person to die. Cremation Jewelry was popular in England during this era and in the United States during the Civil War hair work was a symbolic art that often served as a keepsake or a "love token" to show affection, commemorate the loss of a loved one or to keep a loved one close during times of physical separation. 

The first style of cremation jewelry involved intricately woven hair. Today, most people use a piece of hair or some cremains or ashes as they are more commonly known. Historically hair ‘art’ often served as a love token or keepsake to show affection or commemorate loss or during times of physical separations like war. When people died, hair was often clipped from the head of a deceased person and then woven into a bonnet that would be given to the next of kin.

Nowadays hair is still used in keepsakes and remembrance jewelry but it is more common to use ashes or cremains. The type of jewelry we (www.celtic-ashes.com) offer is bespoke and entirely unique to the wearer and the deceased because it fuses the ash (which for every single person is different) with glass and this fusion creates not a mold but a unique shape, texture and color.

We LOVE Pete the Vet!

Product review from Pete the Vet : looking after your pet’s remains after their death in a novel way – “cremation jewellery”

We all dread that day when we finally need to say goodbye to our pets. It’s always a difficult time, and on top of the emotional distress, there’s that difficult decision to make: what to do with your pet’s remains? It’s a difficult subject, and it probably makes sense to consider it in advance, so that when that moment comes, you have already given serious consideration to the various options. Your decision on the day will then be clearer and easier.

Generally, there are three main choices:

Burial at home - this suits some people, perhaps with smaller pets and with bigger gardens, but for many of us, it’s just not practical

Cremation – with ashes being returned. This option is the most popular for many people with a deep attachment to their pet.

Cremation – with ashes not being returned. Many people feel that they would not know what to do with their pet’s ashes, and they don’t feel the need to have them returned to them. And of course, there’s an extra cost to have pets’ ashes returned, and people may not be in a position to afford to do it.

At the time of your pet’s death, your vet will usually discuss each of these three options with you, and they will help you make the necessary arrangements in place.

If you do decide to ask for your pet’s ashes to be returned to you, what will you do with them? Some people scatter the ashes in a favourite place, while others keep the ashes at home, perhaps with a sample of their pet’s fur and some of their possessions, such as a collar or a toy.

Today’s product review is about a novel alternative for what to do with your pet’s ashes: you can have some of them incorporated into jewellery.  Have you ever heard the Rainbow Bridge story? Well if you haven’t and have suffered pet loss then you should visit www.rainbowbridge-memorials.com: you’ll be able to read all about the Rainbow Bridge, as well as learning about Jennifer’s novel way of remembering your pet.

Dubliner Jennifer Muldowney created Rainbow Bridge Memorials when her pet dog of 16 years, Roxy died in 2009. A friend shared the story of Rainbow Bridge with Jennifer and it helped her to heal and continues to inspire her collection of pet memorials.

Jennifer’s collection includes a number of colourful jewellery pieces, from pendants to charms made from the cremated ashes of pets fused with glass. The fusion of ash with the glass creates a cloud like effect, ensuring that each piece is unique and individual to you and your pet. You can add different colours or charms to make it even more personal: just ask Jennifer and she’ll explain how this can be done.

When you make a purchase on the website – www.rainbowbridge-memorials.com you are sent a Rainbow Pack so that you can send Jennifer and her team a small amount of your pet’s ashes. All postage is included in the price of €160 (or €240 for 9ct gold) and each order is handmade separately.

Cremation Jewellery isn't for everyone, but if you are looking for a different way to remember your pet, it’s certainly worth considering.

Funerals for Pets

Should we or should we not have funerals or ceremonies for our pets? Pet owners would probably argue yes and non pet owners would probably argue that it's ridiculous and a waste of time and money.

I can understand both sides of the story. It's been interesting for me on this journey. I have lost a pet, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Each one costs time and money but both these shrink into the background as the emotion takes over.

I wrote a book on Funeral Planning in Ireland. It was published two years ago. It was for humans. Of course it was. When humans die we have a funeral. That's why when we lost Roxy 6 years ago and we came home from the vets, I was at a loss - in every meaning of the word! I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. My friends didn't know what to do. There was no blueprint, no schedule of events to help us to figure out what was next. 

I was talking about my business to a lady today and explaining this to her and it's interesting - there has been two funerals I have missed out on or have not happened to loved ones in my life - my grandmother (I was in America) and my pet Roxy (we didn't have one) and whether it is because of the strong bond I had with them or the fact that I didn't attend a funeral for them, I still get massively emotional when I talk about either. Is this because of the strong bond with them or because I didn't 'go through the motions' a funeral brings? Does a funeral help to move you through the stages of grief or is it just a 'thing you do' when someone dies?

I'm in NYC currently and I know pet funerals are a huge thing here and will probably at some point make an impact overseas but is it necessary or just another way for people to make money from emotional life events?