Ways of Memorializing a Loved One

memorial plaque

28 Sep Ways of Memorializing a Loved One

memorial plaque


Designing cremation urns, I’m interested in ways of memorializing a loved one. “The New York Times” has a space below the obituaries for readers who want to express their feelings. One that tickled me was, “I know you’ll see this because you never let a day go by without reading the Times.” For $10,000, you can adopt a bench with a plaque in Central Park. My friend, Steve Gordon, who wrote and directed “Arthur,” the hilarious comedy that starred Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli, died of a heart attack six months after the movie was released. He had no idea that being a regular customer at J.G. Melon’s, the hamburger spot on the Upper East Side, would mean he would get a plaque that says, “Steve’s table.”

In her book, “Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive,” Allison Gilbert calls these actions Forget Me Nots. Synagogues offer opportunities for memorializing a loved one in prayer books, on a wall or with plaques on seats. I’ve spent many hours pretending to pray behind “Lillian Rosenfeld,” thinking more about who she might have been than what was being said. Some plant a memorial garden, but this requires outdoor space, not easy to come by in New York City. Sandra, a close friend who lives in California, placed an urn containing her sister’s ashes in a glass-enclosed space next to her front door, so she sees it and waves each time she goes out or returns.

I like the term, Forget Me Nots, which fits the urns for ashes that I create. They’re personalized with photos and other memories, protected by glass, and set into a mosaic design to celebrate the life of a beloved person or pet. I’m always honored to be commissioned to create an urn on my site, www.personalized-urns.com.