It's time to put your affairs in order. And yet—you're still not ready to let go. Totally understandable! And fortunately for you, you don't have to. It's all thanks to the alarming number of services just waiting to turn your dearly departed remains into the latest accessory, utensil, or pastime. May you rest in peace—on your loved ones' desks forever.
Here are just seven of the many ways you can turn your human vessel into something your friends and family can actually have and hold for all eternity. Or at least until they're turned into one themselves.
As carbon based lifeforms, we are made of just the right stuff when it comes to making up pencils. After all, graphite is almost entirely carbon, so it only makes sense to turn the deceased into 240 pencils, each stamped with the name and date of death. Added bonus: The box is its own sharpener, so once you go through the whole set, you're left with a more traditional ash receptacle in the form of a box of shavings.
After being cremated, bodies might leave behind all sorts of harvestable metal goods: hip joints, plates, screws, fillings—whatever you got, they want. Because several crematoriums in England will actually melt down the metal and turn it into a variety of public fixtures, with road signs, lamppost poles, and safety barriers being just a few. The families, of course, have to agree to turn the deceased into public property, and any proceeds the crematorium makes are generally donated to a charity of their choice. Everyone wins.
Artificial diamonds have been a viable option for a while now, so it was (probably) only a matter of time before we started harvesting carbon from our own corporeal forms. Swiss company Algordanza is leading the pack in this particular method of mourning, using enough heat and pressure to mimic that which you'd find deep within the Earth's crust. The end result is a shiny, (usually) blue-tinted stone to remind your loved one of you forever. Of course, each human produces a slightly different looking diamond in one way or another—which is as beautiful a sentiment as it is creepy.
A 21-gun salute is a nice sentiment, but all that deadly force would be even more meaningful if it was actually your own remains exploding out of the end of that rifle. Fortunately for you, Holy Smoke is happy to stuff human remains into either 250 shotgun shells, 100 rifle cartridges, or 250 pistol cartridges for a one-time payment of $1,250 (£779).
Looks like we may actually have a use for printers after all. Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgle rigged up a printer to accept a friend's dearly departed dog's ashes as ink. After messing around with various combinations of (unspecified) powders, they managed to print the dog's likeness in ash on a dark background. And looking at the level of detail on that thing, it's actually a pretty impressive result. Creepy, sure—but impressive.
If anything is destined to take the place of more unsightly urns, it's the hourglass. For a cool $33 (£206), In the Light Urns will put you in a glass vial that will forever remind your loved ones how quickly their own time is running out. And if the full thing is a little too pricey, they can pick up the silver pendant option for a mere $80 (£50). Because there is no ice breaker quite like a necklace full of... you.
Vinyl isn't dead—unless, of course, it's actually made from the dead. And if your vinyl record came from online store Vinyly, then it very likely is. What's more, you can even record any song or sound of your liking onto the musical resting place, the catch being that it can't be longer than 24 minutes—12 minutes per side. So choose wisely, because that tune has to last you an eternity.