Some will find this idea “out there”, but we’re rolling it out anyway to test the waters. With the cremation rates rising, we get a lot of requests for garden memorial ideas. We are partnering with Grotto to bring cremation memorials to families that desire a unique lasting tribute.
Grotto provides a way to memorialize loved ones by blending some or all of their ashes with a mixture of white cement, river stone and light sand, making stone statues, planters or other items for the home and garden. The process also can be done with pets.
Helen Tribby had no choice about whether to cremate in July 2001 when her 37-year-old son, Thomas Tribby, died in the fire that destroyed her house.
But when her daughter, Lesa Tribby Barbrey, was ill, she made her preference known. Barbrey died March 24 at age 38.
She didn’t know anything about Grotto before her death, but when her mother, her daughter, Jackie Tribby, and her friend Jolene Doman visited Found and Sons last month, they learned about the option of creating a lasting and portable memorial.
“I thought that would be great,” Helen Tribby said. “We could have her home with us like always.”
With Grotto’s process, Tribby was able to create a memorial that included ashes from her son, her daughter and her infant granddaughter, Samantha Lee Tribby.
Family and friends gathered March 29 to take part in creating a planter–the item the family chose from among dozens of Grotto offerings. They added the remains to the mixture and then saw it all poured into a mold.
It takes three to four weeks to produce each item. Statues generally cost $400 to $1,600.
In addition to having a constant reminder of her loved ones, Helen Tribby liked knowing she could take them with her if she ever decided to move.
“This way, if you have to leave, you don’t have to worry about leaving them behind in a cemetery,” she said. “So many people get left behind.”