Candi K. Cann (Candi_Cann@baylor.edu)
Baylor University (USA)
Examining the importance of cremation as a disposal choice in Europe, the article traces a possible connection between the initial emergence of lab-grown memorial diamonds and the popularity of cremation. It then turns to the United States, surveying 81 Eterneva clients from an American cremation diamond company located in Austin, examining the grief journey process from turning cremains and hair from humans and pets into lab-grown diamonds. The study concludes that the process of transforming cremains into wearable diamonds may correspond to the grief journey moving from acute grief to integrated grief, though timeline expectations sometimes interfered with grief outcomes. Because of timeline variability, it is difficult to make definitive conclusions whether the diamond-making process simply coincided with, or actually contributed to, the grief journey process. Various other outcomes—such as the importance of diamond placement, the portability and palatability of diamonds, and the role played by imagined views of the dead—also were found to impact the process. As the solidified remains market continues to grow, more studies are needed to examine the ways in which these new disposal offerings may impact the grieving process, and the ways in which cultural context and disposal methods may impact new practices.
2022-01-26 — Updated on 2022-01-26