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10 great memorials to follow a funeral

An amazing memorial is the perfect finale to funeral arrangements

A memorial is a lasting way to be remembered long after our funeral. Today, funerals are becoming more personal and it seems there’s no end of ways to and be remembered or transported wherever you’d like to go. That is as long as you’re not too worried about funeral costs. So why not include an amazing memorial in your funeral arrangements? Here’s our choice of the most unusual and fantastical ways to be remembered so you can see which one best reflects your style.

1. Blast off in to space

They say holidays to space are just around the corner, but if you don’t make it while you’re here, how about a trip as the ultimate send off after your funeral? For a few thousand pounds your ashes go into a canister the size of a lipstick. The canister’s then put in a rocket and… blast off! So far most takers have been scientists. Bit of a busman’s holiday really.

Ashes canister shoots into space trailing long smoke plume

Source: themarysue.com

2. Go and live on a coral reef

If you’d like to help save our dwindling coral reefs, why not make having a reef ball created from your ashes one of your funeral wishes? The reef ball is placed in the ocean, and eventually becomes part of a living reef. A great way to live on for ever still doing your bit for the environment.

Reef ball on sea bed with coral growing

Source: reefbuilders.com

3. Sparkle for all eternity

Diamonds are forever after all. So if you’d like to sparkle for all eternity, ask to have a diamond created from the carbon in your ashes after the funeral. The carbon’s placed under high heat and pressure, mimicking conditions deep within the Earth, to compress them into diamonds. You’ll be a family heirloom!

Large brilliant cut cremation diamond on cushion

Source: cremationsolutions.com

4. Go out with a bang and a phhtizzz

If you’re not looking for something quite so long lasting but want to go out with a bang, your ashes could be added to fireworks. You could have a few made just for family and friends to set off in your memory following the funeral, or have them form part of a spectacular memorial service. Magical.

Multi coloured fireworks exploding against night sky

Source: littleproud-funerals.co.uk

5. Be pencil thin forever

If you love to write or sketch, you could let loved ones know you’d like the carbon in your ashes turned into a 240-pencil set, when you record your funeral wishes. Like the HBs of old, each pencil is foil stamped with your name. But it gets better. The special box only lets one pencil be removed at a time, each of which is sharpened back into the box, eventually turning it into a kind of memorial urn. Green, touching and useful too.

Wooden pencil box and pencil with foil stamped with name and date of birth and death

Source: mentalfloss.com

6. Hang your portrait in their downstairs loo

It’s never too late to have your portrait painted… although you won’t actually get to see it of course. There are companies out there who can combine your ashes with oil paint and then arrange for a portrait or something abstract reflecting your life to be painted. It’s a beautiful way to be remembered long after the funeral and something the family will treasure. Opt for a portrait and you can keep an eye on them too.

Vibrant abstract artwork painted using cremation ash oils

Source: memorials.com

7. Float off on the breeze

If you’d like to just drift off, you could have your ashes placed in a concertina container and carried off by a weather balloon, released as a memorial to you at the end of the funeral. The balloon travels miles up to the edge of space before scattering your ashes into the atmosphere. They can even capture the event on camera. Very cool…

Ashes falling from a concertina balloon high above the earth

Source: dailymail.co.uk © Caters News Agency

8. Become a centerpiece

If you love the simple beauty of glass, why not ask for your ashes to be mixed with glass and hand blown into a form you like, when you record any personal wishes you have for your funeral. Anything from a paperweight, a piece of decorative art or a vase can be engraved and even coloured to create stained glass. If your family tends towards clumsy though, you may want to think again.

5 pretty stained glass hearts laid out like a flower

Source: agoodgoodbye.com

9. Stay in a freezer just in case…

If you hope that one day science, not science fiction, will be able to reanimate dead people, then cryogenic freezing is for you. Immediately after you die, your body can be frozen using liquid nitrogen, without damaging tissue. Taking this route is undoubtedly a gamble that will certainly send your funeral costs through the roof, but in a thousand years' time, you could be having the last laugh. Or still just be really, really cold.

Ice cubes piled up on a cool blue background

Source: ivitalearning.co.uk (jpeg 946 x 750)

10. And finally, go round and round

If you love a bit of vintage vinyl, how about celebrating a life well lived? by having your ashes pressed into a record? You get to choose the artwork and what goes on it. And it doesn’t have to be music. You could leave a final message or just leave it silent. The best bit? The British company making this unique memorial is called And Vinyly…

Clear 12” vinyl record with ashes visible insides

Source: coloredvinylrecords.com

If you fancy going out in style make sure you don’t keep it to yourself! When it comes to arranging someone’s funeral not knowing what they would’ve wanted can leave us guessing, even feeling guilty that we’ve let them down. Taking a few minutes to document your thoughts on your funeral arrangements with our My Perfect Send-Off planner could make such a difference. As can helping out with your own funeral costs. To see how much a funeral costs in your area today, take a look at the findings from our latest research into the average cost of a funeral across the UK.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.