Don't feel alone if your first thought when you read this is: oh my goodness, what?! It's extremely difficult to imagine how anyone would handle the death of their child, and I find it nearly impossible to judge a parent's choices if he or she is in this horrible situation. One father from Italy did something unusual -- but incredibly touching -- after his 20-year-old son died in a car accident earlier this year: he had his remains turned into a diamond that will endure and be passed down to family members for generations to come.
The young man had already been buried when his father decided he wanted to do something quite different to help others and himself honor and remember his child. The funeral parlor had to exhume his son's body and then cremate it in order to obtain his ashes. Dad then sent the ashes to a firm in Switzerland that specializes in turning them into something they call "remembrance diamonds." The whole process took about eight months.
I admit I was shocked at first to hear that someone would do this with their son's remains. As an Italian with Catholic roots, I can only imagine how much criticism this man has received in a nation that still regards cremation as taboo. But why should this dad's actions be any less endearing than burying the body of someone we love and visiting him or her every week?
I adore the idea of creating something precious, indestructible, and beautiful out of such a tragic and terrible accident. If I were this young man's mother, I would wear his remembrance diamond over my heart at all times. I would never remove it. I would then pass it on to my children and hope they pass it on to their children.
Or maybe it should be kept in a safe somewhere. Or incorporated into a plaque that is displayed prominently in the house. Whatever the family decides to do with the diamond, I admire the bold and heartbreaking way they've chosen to celebrate their son.
What do you think of this dad's decision to turn his deceased son into a diamond?
Image via jurvetson/Flickr