As a comedy writer, it’s a kick to make people laugh. How did I go from that to designing personalized urns and memorial vases? They’re certainly not entertainment, but my approach to them is personal and upbeat. I hope the light touch is therapeutic.
Perhaps the most unusual urn I have done is one that stands on our dining room hutch and awaits my husband and me. The idea came to me one evening. I ran into the kitchen, where my husband and son were preparing dinner, and blurted out, “Would you prefer we be buried or cremated?” There was a stunned silence before our son, then in his late 20’s, looked up and said, “Uh, any reason you’re asking?”
“I’m working on a pet urn, and it occurred to me that I could do a larger one for us!” Silence. “It will be beautiful.” More silence. “I’ll use pictures of us having fun – at Disney World, on trips, at parties. You’ll remember that we had good time so it will be uplifting,” I said to my son, hoping to persuade him, knowing my husband would go along with his wishes. I added, “I’ll use our own plates to make it look like the dinner table.”
After a few moments, our son said, “Sure.”
There was some initial awkwardness handling what would be my own final resting place, but the urn sits next to an ice bucket and pitcher, and it has desensitized me. Ending up with my husband in our son’s home is better than any other exit strategy I can think of.
My daughter was bereft when she unexpectedly lost her beloved cat, who was being
transported in an airplane. She was inconsolable but perked up when I suggested we commission
Sybil to design an urn with pictures of Lady
Belle.The wonderful urn that came sooner than we
expected captured the cat’s personality. It has a special place in my daughter’s home.
Sandra Slater, Palo Alto consultant