BOZEMAN - There are a lot of decisions to be made when a loved one dies, honoring their wishes and some of how you want to remember them.
Now, a company called Parting Stones offers healing and remembrance with a tangible connection.
“You've got an urn that's sitting on the counter. Yes, you can look at it and perhaps talk to your loved one,” said Chris Remely, owner and funeral director at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. “Here, you've got a stone. You can hold it in your hand, you can carry it in your pocket. If you're going fishing—you know, ‘Hey, I'm gonna take dad fishing with me today.’”
How we grieve the loss or passing on of a loved one and celebrate their life is very personal.
Parting Stones offers another way to feel close to them: ashes themselves are made into stones.
You have some flexibility — you can have all the cremated ashes made into stones, or part.
“If you send them the full complement of the cremated remains, they figure between 40 and 60 stones will be returned to the family. Or if a family chooses to perhaps bury a small portion, that they want a half or a portion of the cremated remains, they can certainly do that as well,” Remely said.
Remely has been in the business 27 years, and he wants people to have options.
Different sizes of stones comes back, but Remely says you do not get to say you want all large or all small stones.
“You can't—so that's one thing they're very clear about with their information. What you get is how they come back,” he said. “So they will vary in size. They'll also vary in color. Of course, this sample they have is all white, but some of the stones will come back green, some will come back more of an opal color.”
Several families are in the process right now. The appeal clicked right away.
“Their mom always collected rocks, and secondly, their dad always used to make a rock wall wherever they lived,” Remely said.
The mother had recently passed away, but the family had an urn of the father's ashes sitting at home, which is another interesting point: you can use ashes that have been around for a long time.
Remely wants people to do what helps them get through as life changes, after a loved one passes away.
“If you really wanted to be at Lava Lake, you could put those rocks out there and no one would know any different,” he said.
“It's something tangible, it's something you can hold onto, it’s something you can feel and something you can relate to. I guess we all relate to rocks, skipping rocks as a kid or holding them in your hand,” added Remely.
Always holding a loved one in your heart and now, holding on to part of them in your hand or your pocket, or off on the next adventure, free to head off on to the next destination.
“I would be fine if someone wanted to skip me across Swan Lake, that would be fine,” said Remely.
The cost: is $895. It's a flat fee whether you do all the cremated remains or partial.
The process takes six-to-eight weeks. The company has a strong chain of custody and a tracking system to know exactly where in the process you are.
Dokken-Nelson can help coordinate the parting stones for pets as well.