People constantly ask me questions about what we went through when my husband died, or how we did this or that and why. One of the questions I get are about the gift items I had done… either gifts for us or for others to commemorate Eric.
If you’re new to me, my husband died after he died of a massive ruptured brain aneurysm in February of 2017. We had him cremated after he donated his organs, eyes, and tissue. Yes, I mention the donation piece because it’s just important that you’re a registered donor, but I won’t go on a tangent about that. We’ll save that for another post. (Not registered to be a donor? Get it done here: REGISTER TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR)
Anyway, when he died, I really wanted to get and have some special items… for me, for our young daughters (12 and 9) and for the family. There’s lots of things out there to commemorate your loved one, but these are what we chose for us. Errr, this is what I chose for us.
I found all these companies from Etsy, but not all of them are Etsy links. And, no, these are NOT affiliate links.
First of all, I wanted something special for our daughters on special occasions when they felt like they wanted their father physically present. Like their weddings. If they chose to get married. If they want something special… there’s so many what if’s. Something blue… I found this company on Etsy that does beautiful stone work incorporating cremation ashes, but Etsy has a strict cremation policy and only works with pet remains. A lot of companies will post a link to their website (off Etsy) when working with human remains.
A blue stone necklace with some of Eric’s remains worked into it… they could wear it as a necklace, they could attach it to a bracelet or to their flowers if they’d like. Ann Nicole Preservations has lots of beautiful choices. The “STARDUST” STONE NECKLACE just happens to be what I chose.
I also got what’s known as a “SCATTERING URN.” We knew we were headed to our first vacation without Eric over the summer and we’d be visiting the ocean. I wanted to take some of Eric with me and wanted an option that seemed nicer than a Ziplock baggie or a small Tupperware container. (No offense at all to Ziplock or Tupperware, I’m just saying… a portion of Eric deserved something nicer to travel in.)
I scoured Etsy and found this company. I ordered a small walnut scattering urn and then later came back and ordered 2 large walnut scattering urns and had them engraved in case 10-20-30 years down the road the girls decided that they’d want some of their daddy’s remains. You just never know… like I said, there’s so many what if’s.
For Christmas I got the girls these SPECIAL BAR NECKLACES. This company was able to take a photo of Eric’s handwriting and engrave a bar necklace on both sides. There’s lots of other companies that offer this service, but this is who I went with.
On one side I had “I love you” engraved :: I found that handwriting in a love letter I found that Eric wrote me. On the other side, I had a quick little note that Eric had written to each of the girls. See, he died near Valentine’s Day and we were writing what we loved about the girls on little cut out hearts and taping it to their bedroom doors. Eric wrote “You are so creative” to Laurel and “You inspire me” to Rachel. The last note he ever wrote each of them individually. Just two days before he died.
As to be expected, the girls love their necklaces.
And lastly, for Christmas I had LEATHER KEYFOBS created from Etsy for many of the family. I absolutely love these. I got like 17 of these… and even tucked away two for the girls later when they start to drive.
I dove through Eric’s football journals and looked over his written word. When I found a phrase or word that was tugging at me, I snapped a picture. Life lessons. Thoughts left from Eric. Things he’d say or I heard him repeat… he loved learning.
Every keyfob had a different phrase. Everyone got something different. And I swear to God, every phrase was perfect for the recipient. I didn’t pick a single one. I looked at them all, then closed the individual box they came in. If I had to select it (so it could be mailed out), I’d say the name of the one receiving it and I asked God and Eric to guide my hand to the one he or she needed to receive. Every single one was perfect.
Again, this company has many options to chose from, but this is the exact keychain I purchased many of and I was incredibly happy with the quality.