Dying to be a Diamond

No wonder I was courted so diligently by the Probus Club.

Contemplating the agelessness of diamonds.

The local version of this world-wide organization for retired PROfessional BUSiness people had been without a secretary for some time.

I learned that Probus Clubs provide a great network of expertise.  They organize activities to suit a variety of tastes, find fascinating guest speakers who keep us current and participate in NO fund raising activities or community affiliations.

“I’ll do the minutes until you find a Secretary,” I said, knowing it was the door to a long term attachment.  My heart had been touched. Minute taking is no mystery after years of administering Boards. Besides, my other community commitments are not continuously demanding.  They won’t all call me at once.  The emergency response people will have to keep earthquakes and forest fires to a reasonable schedule.  (Tsk!)

You guessed the end of the story.  Yes, I’m now on the Executive.  So this month, I took notes as the speaker, a scientist, explained how we could live into our 120th year and beyond.  He reminded us that we are made of the same material as the stars.  Therefore, he claims we have the power to manage our health and live many more years.  We are a bundle of CHON – carbon 18.5%, hydrogen 10%, oxygen 65% and nitrogen 3%.  (The remaining 3.5% are a smattering of other goodies.)  He then went on to explain the steps we must take to give our bodies the care needed for this longer life span.

I could hear echoes of my deceased mother’s lament,  “What on earth would possess me to want to live longer as an old person?”  I am coming to understand her rationale.

What does old age have to do with diamonds?

The day after the Probus presentation, my walking buddy arrived for our daily stomp.  After she pulled in, she sat in her car for a few minutes, listening to the radio with a strange expression on her face.  It wasn’t until the end of our walk that I learned what had held her attention.

Marion and I met a neighbour who we both knew.  In the throes of the conversation, Marion said, “Apparently we can now have our loved one’s ashes made into a diamond.  Imagine!  For $4,800, we can be wearing our loved ones.  After all, we are partially made of carbon!”

“Yike, would I want that?”  I tried to imagine someone wearing me on their finger.

Photo from Cremation Solutions.com

“You can choose the colour you want for the diamond, too!  I think blue was $4,800.”

We had fun with the concept for a while, but I detected a light in Marion’s eyes when she patted her chest.  She appeared to be considering how she could wear a diamond, made from her daughter’s ashes, around her neck.

We confirmed plans for the next day and said our goodbyes.  Throughout the rest of the day, I thought about wearing my mother.  I’d be petrified of losing her. What about my very masculine father?  Would he mind being a stud earring?  He’d prefer being part of a belt buckle, I suspect.  Or, he may accept being embedded in the band of his dress hat.  However that could be lost easily.

The next day, as I waited for one of my favourite radio programs to come on, I found myself listening to the very same interview Marion had heard on her car radio.  The owner of the diamond-producing business confessed he had his grandfather in his pocket.

“Can I see him…or the diamond?” the interviewer asked.

“Sure, here,” he said.  There was a silent pause. Then when he next spoke, his voice was choked with emotion as he explained that his grandfather was an extraordinary man who he loved deeply.

That simple show of emotion produced a change of heart.  I began to realize that the idea may hold value. Marion could wear her daughter close to her heart.  Cemeteries would stop being overcrowded.  I would have a third alternative…I cannot bear the thought of being buried and cremation is not much more attractive.

Now I could consider becoming a diamond.

What if I changed my Will so I could become this gem?  The colour would be based on who I wanted to keep me.  If I dangled from a dainty nose ring destined for that man who lied to me, red would be an appropriate colour.  If I wanted to be part of a family crest, I’d choose green.  I would stipulate that the only bodily locations for the diamond would be the nose or the ear.  Surely I don’t need to elaborate.

I could start a tradition by passing myself from my oldest great-grand-niece to her oldest grandchild and on that basis thereafter.  What if they would want to add themselves to make a bigger diamond?  Or a more elaborate cluster.

I’d ask to be worn forever and not be stuck in a safe deposit box.

What about pets?  Here’s an answer to what I can do with the ashes of my cat, MacArthur.  For 11 years, he’s been on the kitchen window sill.  We were gypsies while together so I’ve not known where to spread his ashes.  He’d make a fabulous babble for my computer.  He would be close and he’d be my 9 – in honour of his 9 lives and superior to the IPhone’s new 5.  He always knew what I was going to do before I even decided.

Black Alaskan Diamond?

So, beloved readers…  If you wanted to become a diamond, what setting would you choose?  What colour?  Who would you want to wear you?  What boundaries would you want?

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36 thoughts on “Dying to be a Diamond

  1. I cannot imagine wearing a ring that was my Mom, or to make my daughter wear a bracelet made of me. Call me old fashioned but I’d still prefer to plant my loved one’s ashes under a big old tree, or to sprinkle them way out in the ocean.

    But if I had to chose what color the diamond should be, I’d like it to be blue. Blue for infinity like the sea and the sky.

    • I keep “re-hearing” that man so choked up about his grandfather and it softens me to the idea. I must admit, however, to wondering what Grandfather would have said about the idea.

      I also realize this may be a terrible consideration or suggestion in some cultures. That becomes a no-decision.

  2. We’ve actually joked about this in my family because I’m terrible when it comes to losing jewelry. Chances are, I’d accidently get dropped down the drain or come loose from my setting to never be found again. Even if that did happen, the memories are what’s most important. How our remains are preserved won’t matter in the long run.
    Diana http://dianadouglas.wordpress.com

    • Oh boy, Diana, scenarios bubble like champagne with this concept. If 5-carat-diamond-you disappeared and someone was suspected of stealing you, would there be DNA in the diamond to prove that the diamond is you? Can there be any guarantee that the ashes were only yours?

  3. I would take being a diamond over living until I was 125, anyday. ..and I would have to be made into two diamond chips because I just don’t think I’d be shared equally and might become a source of arguing as I have two children. I would not choose a color but just that “sparkly” white of a diamond. If I am going to be worn, I must be sparkly and go with everything. I have a gold necklace around my neck because my Mother took me to jewelry store, knowing she was dying, and bought it for me. She remembered I had cried when I lost the one she had given me years before. She told me to wear this new one all the time like I had the old one and not to worry if I wore it till this one fell off, too. She said in this tiny voice, “Remember me.” She’d never asked something so precious of me before, or so I thought. I touch that necklace right now as I write this and , you know what? If she had asked me to wear her, I would, every day and every second of any life I had to live.

    • What a sweet story, Leslie. We long to sense our loved one in articles. Your mom has been in that necklace since the day she bought it for you. To actually touch a necklace knowing it was their ashes would certainly put a whole new depth to it. The more I think about this, the more appealing it feels.

      I have a necklace of gold, amethyst and pearls that belonged to mom’s mother. I keep it safely tucked away. How silly – I’m going to wear it. It holds two great women in it’s goldy essence. Why keep it in a cupboard so I can give it to a niece who can keep it in her cupboard?!

  4. What an interesting concept, and certainly a great option for folk who have an aversion to being ashes or worm food. I do like the idea of being a family heirloom, but I have never liked diamonds as jewellery. I prefer to use them energetically to cut through illusion in rough or elixir form. Perhaps in the aspect you describe, the chosen diamond would become a powerful talisman. At the end of it all tho’, I would still prefer to sky buried on top of a mountain, and for my loved ones to plant a tree somewhere beautiful, to thrive, protect and ground for generations, perhaps becoming a windfall at some point, or a piece of functional furniture. Who knows! Since I don’t have any generations coming after me, I do not feel the call to be a family heirloom. 😉

    • A couple of months ago, I told a friend that I prefer cremation over burial, but can’t think where I would want my ashes. Oh I know it won’t matter a tinkle since I’ll be dead, but it’s what the plan does for me while I’m alive.

      As an aunt, I try to imagine possessing an aunt who had become a diamond. Having had no deep relationship with any of my aunts, it would be a responsibility of love and respect to look after it. Would a niece of mine feel any different? Well…I spent some quality time with a couple of them as we grew up together.

      A Friend Tree? I have friends who, like you and me, are childless and are not especially into generational thinking. Could we hang out with each other on a gold tree? Or be embedded in a stained glass window somewhere?

      We’ll have to keep this away from the government. Otherwise, there will be a whole new Division built around keeping track of diamonds.

      We had a dear old soul on the island whose house overlooked the harbour. She told me she wanted to be shot out of a canon off her deck. She said her son was having fits because she usually got what she wanted. 😀

  5. The future is now! It’s a neat concept, really and doesn’t cost much more than a traditional funeral. I think I would choose to be a yellow diamond, and as I have only one child I’d leave it up to him what to do with me.

  6. I guess this is a form of recycling, eh? I’m going one step further and having my body donated to science after any usable parts are donated to anyone willing to use them. What’s left gets cremated. I suppose there would be enough for a small diamond, but I think the whole idea is kind of silly. My spirit is the thing that shines and I will be long gone, sparking elsewhere–not one someones earlobe, lapel, or, Heaven help me, nose-piercing!

  7. Ah…since they can produce artificial diamonds as thin as glass and stronger than most other materials…I think I’d like to become a glass window on a space craft…just flowing in the cosmos. 🙂

  8. Hi Amy. What a great post! I dont think I’d like to become a diamond, or wear any of my loved ones. Memories are just as good as anything else…probably better. Otherwise, it will get a little too weird for me. Oh, BTW…congrats on becoming the excutive at the Probus club! 🙂

    • Well, Carol, your feelings about it would likely keep life more simple! The more I think about it, the more I can see the government getting its fingers into the carbon of it all! 🙂

  9. Fascinating concept. But honestly, I often think it’s good that the past (and the bodies) fade away, giving us room to make our own mistakes. I was hiking the other day and thought…Lewis or Clarke could’ve sat on this rock. Then I pushed it out of my mind…there’s something special about thinking I’m the only one who’d ever stepped foot on that rock.

    • When I was working in the North, near Yukon, I’d be in the bush, up a mountain or on a river and I’d think, ‘It’s totally possible that no one has ever seen this from this point before.’ We would be on an ATV on exploration trails so I knew I wasn’t the first and only, but I “climbed” a mountain once where my friend and I may have been the first and only to ever have been up there. The cariboo we encountered in a mountaintop valley (sounds strange doesn’t it?) looked at us like we were from Mars.

  10. In the words of Joni Mitchell “We are stardust. We are golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”

    If I’m ever to become a diamond, I’d like it to be the old fashioned way, time/pressure/heat….and not dug up by an enslaved child…diamonds are a bloody ‘jewel’.

    It will likely never happen because where I live my desire to rest in peace in the compost heap is not wholly on the menu of options. Really getting back to the garden. Just imagine the feeling of billions of particles of moi, sleeping peacefully all winter to awaken and burst forth as a pea shoot!! whooweee, alchemical JOY.

  11. I am not sure LOLs
    I think blue, but then what if’s pop …
    this is a great post, one has a look at something different
    though I think I just want my ashes scattered on the wind
    then I will be the whispers I send!
    I always enjoy wandering in here
    Thank you for being you and sharing
    Take Care..
    )0(
    ladyblue

    • It IS fun to think about it, Ladybluerose! Marion, my walk buddy, confirmed today that she would have no qualms about her daughter’s ashes being on a chain near her heart, but not as earrings. I find it really interesting to learn what’s important for different people. Imagine my silliness – fussing over who would be wearing me!

      Thank you for your very kind comment. I am so grateful for the incredible souls who come for a visit. Like you.

  12. I’m with Lorna on this one. The whole after death business seems rather silly to me. I don’t think anyone needs any tangible reminder of me after I’m gone. If my spirit doesn’t rattle their chimes, then I didn’t really mean anything to them anyway. And i wonder what the environmental costs of turning a body into a diamond might be. Surely it would require some pretty outrageous heat processes…?

    • My practical side understands, Linda. However, since no one will be willing to shoot me out of a canon, it’s mighty good to have another choice to consider. This has stimulated some fun conversations. Some friends have emailed some good laughs.

  13. Well very different. The mind spins. I can’t see myself doing it (I’d have to know someone would actually want to wear me – how bazaar!), but I wonder what kind of a story I could write from this concept.

    I’ve missed you, Amy. 😉 Nice to read a post by you again!

    Happy days …

    • I’m not surprised to see you here because I’ve had the nag to go and check on you!

      There you are, Jamie, right on target with the writer’s mind. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing…playing out various scenarios. A fiction writer could certainly put together an original story! A humorist could have a heyday.

      I’ve missed you as well. I have been depending upon the Reader to guide me to my subscribed blogs. I have been taking a page out of your approach by visiting subscribed blogs occasionally and checking posts within those blogs. However, the Reader occasionally glitches and I have to re-subscribe. Thus, I do go after connections when certain blogs have not come to my attention for a while. Rest assured…I see you on Face Book so you wouldn’t easily slip out of my radar! 😀

  14. For me this comes down to how to deal with losses. Some need a grave to go to, some need pictures to mourn their loved ones, and then some might want to have a diamond as an earthly representation of their loved one as comfort. I actually like the fact that a diamond would help against overcrowded cemeteries. Good point! But I am not sure I would impose myself on my next generations. If they would want to make me into a diamond, I would let them decide. By then I am gone anyway. Would I want to keep a diamond of my love ones myself? No, I don’t think so. Not because I see anything wrong with that, but it’s just not me. It’s still an interesting, thought.

    • I wonder, Otto, if the pharaohs had known this was possible, would there have been a contest to see who could be the biggest diamond? Yikes maybe that will happen now. A bigger playground for the ego. 🙂

  15. What a novel idea, making diamonds out of us. I am still pondering this one but initially I don’t think so, not for me anyway. I do not know how I would feel wearing Rob or my Mom or Dad on me, I think it would definitely be strange. It gave me a chuckle though

    • The idea just keeps wafting around… Your response is so interesting, Dee. You were one of the people who I thought may really like one. One close to your heart! The topic certainly brings out different reactions to it. 😀

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