When I was a child in arms, I recall my grandfather holding me up to a tree trunk next to his garage. He “helped” me carve my initial into the bark of the tree—basically he did the carving as I was just too young. But I vividly remember this. My mother and grandmother were horrified I would cut myself. As the years went by we watched my initial grow higher and slightly larger as the tree, and I, grew up.
In 1976, my grandmother sold their cute little house on Montgomery Street in Prichard, Alabama, and moved into an apartment for a couple of years before moving in with my parents. She died, in care for about 10 years, in 1995. Over those years their old homestead area slid from a middle class neighborhood to an impoverished one. I had last visited the old tree in 1976 as she was moving out. I returned in 2003.
With an amazing, new, 8 megapixel digital camera in hand, I stopped by the house to see if the current owners would let me take pictures of the place that held so many precious memories. I was a complete stranger, but they welcomed me inside. (I had only asked to shoot a few pictures outside!) Other than being terribly run down, most things were the exact same as I remembered them. I shot numerous pictures, including the place where the old tree had once been. It was blown down by hurricane Frederic in 1979. And the massive chinaberry tree, also in the back yard, had been severely damaged—now a shadow of its former self.
I was disappointed. I actually specifically wanted to take a picture of my initial. Somehow that initial meant something, a lot to me. It had become a dear connection to a wonderful time past. But it was gone.
The Bios Urn
Maybe that’s why this project jumped out at me. I’ve always been disgusted with the funeral industry preying on the grief of others. My father felt the same way. He would occasionally say, and he wasn’t kidding, “When I die, just dig a hole in the backyard and dump my body in it.” He was always incredibly pragmatic!
But, to me anyway, the Bios Urn seems like a wonderful way to address death—a way of sustaining new life and the beauty it brings into the world.
Urna Bios is a biodegradable urn, designed to turn the ashes of a person or pet into a tree. Thanks to its design and manufacture, the urn provides proper germination and later growth of the tree, based on a person or pet’s ashes. In this way, death becomes a transformation and return to life by means of nature.
The intent of Urna Bios is to offer users an alternative for remembering deceased persons in a natural, sustainable fashion, thereby turning the “death” process into regeneration and return to life by means of nature. Our company objective is none other than to offer a economic, ecological and sustainable product that falls in line with our group’s philosophy.”
My father raised me to be a tree hugger anyway. This seems ideal for a pet, too. For more information about the Bios Urn, check out their site at this link.
- Bios Urn uses your ashes to grow a tree (treehugger.com)
- The Bios Urn Turns Your Ashes into a Tree When You Die (complex.com)