Diamonds (and you) can be forever.
By George M. Fox, Attorney
Who owns what’s left of you after you’re dead? And what can they (or you) do with you that’s just a little bit different?
Let’s take the second question first. Your ashes can be pressed into a vinyl record. The record will really play: 12 minutes each side. You can record your voice, your favorite songs, your will, or just opt for the quiet. For a little extra, www.andvinyly.com will commission a band to compose an original piece. It would be your Farewell Tour.
The records come in album covers that are customized to your liking (or if you wait too long, with your likeness). The record labels give your name, date of birth and date of death.
The company advertises that its basic package will give you up to 30 discs. I guess that depends on your heft; otherwise they may spread you too thin. (That last comment is the only thing I’ve made up about this.)
And yes, turntables are still available; they plug into a USB port on your computer.
Want something more permanent? Consider that diamonds are really carbon that’s been subjected to great pressures.
You’re carbon, too. So a company called “LifeGem” (website: www.lifegem.com; motto: “Ashes to diamonds.”) will take your remains and make you into a diamond. As they put it, “diamonds from ashes are created from a very specific source of carbon – your loved one.”
You can get your loved one, uh, your diamond, in your choice of colors, or colorless (which I guess you’d order if your loved one was colorless).
You can have your choice of carat sizes (.25ct. to over 1.5ct) and choose the cut you like, from round to princess.
The company warns, however, that the diamond they produce isn’t necessarily flawless. But neither was your loved one, right?
Want to comparison shop? Try www.cremationsolutions.com.
A question comes to mind: down the road, if you were remarrying, would you give the diamond to your intended?
Not content with the choices so far? The inventor of Pringles asked for part of his remains to be put into a Pringles cylinder. It was buried with the rest of his body.
Napoleon asked that his hair be shared with his friends. But these sound quirky (bizarre, maybe?) when compared to something as novel as becoming your own Greatest Hit or a diamond ring.
There are even companies that will mix your ashes with seeds and pot you in a biodegradable urn that gets planted, so that eventually, you’ll be a tree.
Lately, “green” funerals are coming into vogue. (Google “green burial” and you’ll see how widespread this idea has become.) People are asking for natural burials, with no embalming, no caskets, no cement vaults. It’s economy and simplicity.
(You might find this especially tasteless, but one person, quoted in “The Washington Post,” said, “I want to be wrapped in a shroud like a little burrito . . . They can call it a Chipotle funeral. They can wrap me up and throw me there and cover me up with some grass and soil.”
Presuming you now know much more than you thought you did about your remains, let’s go back to the first question: who gets to decide what happens to your remains?
Well, you get first choice . . . if you remember to let somebody know. Not everybody does, on the theory that the line from the song “Fame” is accurate: “I’m gonna live forever.”
If not, then in Georgia, your spouse gets first pick. If no spouse, then your heirs. So chances are you won’t end up in a tug-of-war like James Brown or Casey Kasem.
Okay, let’s end on something lighter, an old joke. A woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the painter, “Paint me wearing diamond rings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby brooch and a gold Rolex.” The painter said “But you aren’t wearing any of those things.” “I know, the woman replied, “but if I die before my husband, I know he’ll remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for the jewelry.”