By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver-based company called Living Urn is offering people living memorial of their loved ones.
“It is incredibly beautiful and I cannot wait to see him bloom,” said a dewy eyed Lou Hillier, who is waiting for spring. That’s when a tree planted outside his home will blossom, and he knows his Dad is behind it.
Hillier told CBS4’s Britt Moreno his dad is in the pot the tree was planted in.
“Every day I get to walk by and say hi and he’s a part of my life,” he said.
Hillier’s father died suddenly and he, like many others, was faced with what to do with his father’s remains.
Hillier could not bear the thought of spending thousands of dollars on a burial nor the permanency of scattering his father’s ashes, so he planted them. It’s a new trend for people wanting loved ones who passed to stay in their lives.
Mark Brewer owns Living Urn. He says he’s offering people living memorial of their loved ones.
“A greener, less expensive way to deal with death,” he said. “Trees help the environment. They provide oxygen. If you bury someone in the ground they are just taking up space.”
Brewer sells biodegradable urns. They are a foot tall, and Brewer says you can put “a pinch or an entire person’s ashes” in the urn. His local business is now an international one.
Some critique the new take on a green thumb afterlife, saying it’s unethical.
Brewer realizes it’s not for everyone, and Hillier says what others call “untraditional” doesn’t make sense.
He chose a redwood tree for his Dad.
“That’s him. Absolutely. The roots of that tree are literally growing out of his ashes and that is a powerful concept,” he said.
When the tree grows too big for the pot, Hillier plans on planting it on a nearby golf course. He said he feels comforted knowing his Dad will be there on the fairway with him.
Moreno asked Hillier what his Dad would say about the urn.
“I think he would say that’s pretty cool,” Hillier said.
For every tree you buy from Living Urn, one is donated to the Arbor Day Foundation and gets planted in a forest in the United States. Learn more at thelivingurn.com.