Column Date 2005-12-14

That yellow diamond is Harry, my late husband.

When they dig up our civilization a couple of thousand years from now, I wonder how they’ll explain our latest adventure in trying to become immortal.

A company near Chicago says they will take the cremated remains of your loved one and turn them into a diamond. And, as you know, diamonds are forever.

That’s right: you just pack up your late husband Harry’s ashes and send them off to Chicago. Tell them what size stone you’d prefer (up to 1 full carat), and whether you’d like a round cut, princess cut or radiant cut.

Then, in about two months (you can’t rush these things, you know), Harry will reappear in your mail box as a beautiful diamond.

Using a top secret, patented process, they figure they can create a diamond in six to eight weeks, where nature normally takes several million years. The diamonds, by the way, usually come out light blue, but you can also arrange to get red or yellow ones.

And you can have as many diamonds as you’d like, so that many of your friends and family can wear part of Harry on their fingers, or perhaps as part of a necklace or bracelet. "Each person has enough carbon (in his ashes) to make 50 to 100 diamonds," a spokesperson said, "we'll store the remaining carbon just in case."

This exciting breakthrough opens up a brave new world of how to remember your loved one.

After all, if they can make diamonds from your loved one’s ashes, it can’t be very hard to make plastic, say, or stainless steel, or leather.

It’s clear that we can look forward to an influx of new “remembrance” products in the coming years:

Turn your loved one into a low interest credit card! If shopping was a major part of your loved one’s life, this is the perfect way to remember her. Every time you use this personalized credit card, which can also include your loved one’s photo on it, you’ll remember those joyful shopping trips together, and those outrageous interest rates you had to pay.

Turn your loved one into a simulated leather football!
Why should death interfere with the whole family watching the Super Bowl together? Ashes from your loved one are easily incorporated into the simulated leather of this official NFL football. Keep it on the mantle, or put the ball on the easy chair in front of your TV so you can all cheer your team on together. During intermission, you can even go outside and toss Dad around.

Turn your loved one into part of a Mercedes-Benz! It’s what Grandpa Jake always wanted, isn’t it? Now his ashes can be boldly yet tastefully incorporated into the silver metal of the famous Mercedes tri-star insignia. Imagine how proud he would be, out there in front as part of the hood ornament, for you and the whole neighborhood to admire.

The possibilities, you have to admit, are endless.

I must warn you, however, that the cost of making a large diamond out of Harry costs about $14,000.

Nobody said immortality would be cheap.

©2004 Peter Tannen