Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Diamonds Are Forever

You have no idea.

Some of you carbon-based lifeforms might have thought that when a loved one dies, all you'll have left are photographs and memories. Of the clothes in the closet, you'll either give them to Goodwill or hold a garage sale, depending on the size of the loved one's estate and your place in his or her affections. On the assumption that the loved one really was, there will come a time when you must "let go." Grief must have an end and life must "go on."

Or so you thought. For those who have trouble letting go, who think that, so long as you live, memory will keep the dearly departed as close as every beat of your heart, think again. The best is yet to come, and there is a company just for you. (And a website, of course.) Life Gem. And what do they do? How can they enhance that sense of 'closeness'? Let them speak for themselves:

The LifeGem ® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their (sic) unique life.

You read it right. Yes, you too, or a loved one - or what's left of you or a loved one - can be...transfigured. Or should that be transubtantiated? In any case, you, like certain biblical characters, can be turned into stone. But a shiny stone. A precious stone. A gemstone. You, or that loved one, will reflect all the facets of the sun's rays, and be a prism to the nations. The only difficulty is that you have to die first, but if people didn't do that the company would go out of business.

And why would anyone want to do this to a loved one? The answer is universal: Love:

Life’s single greatest risk. Life’s single greatest reward. Love captures your heart in a second and holds it for eternity.

They're assuming a best-case scenario. Can't blame them for that.

Love is more than a memory.

See? I told you.

Love knows no boundaries. Love knows no end.

But that's just the company talking and they're trying to sell something. Does anyone else agree? I'm afraid so. There's a whole page of testimonials. One of them tears at the heart:

It was Mum who wanted to be made into a diamond. We had both watched about it on television, mum was very taken with the idea... When Mum came back, I was staggered at just how beautiful my ¼ carat was...I’m having it made into a ring so that Mum is always with me.

I mean, what can you say? Mum's the word.

The process involves four steps: Carbon Capture (usually from a lock of hair or cremated remains), Purification, Creation, and Certification. Read for yourself.

A couple of questions did occur. If my ring-mounted diamond is made from cremated remains, do I have more of you in my ring than if it were made from a lock of hair? I realize this is a species problem, and I'd feel too irreverent drawing the obvious comparison. Still, I want as much of you as I can cram in there, so I'd kind of like an answer. I'm thinking carbon derived from the ashes of your heart, brain, visceral organs, etc. would be better than...well, you get the idea. And, for example, a man might have thought his wife had a hard enough edge in life without being reminded of it by wearing something on his finger that can cut glass.

It's all moot, I suppose. Prices start at between 33 and 3500 bucks, and I'd feel kind of bad about reducing someone I cared for to a half-carat, sort of like burying him or her in a pine box I hammered together in the garage. But the whole carat loved one costs 20 grand. It's a good thing I have memories. Just hope I don't go senile till after I'm dead. I'm also afraid that if I were wearing you on my finger, I wouldn't make as many visits to the cemetery. Anyway, God rest you all, but not anytime soon.


brandon field said...

I want to be buried in one of these.

William Luse said...

You're only saying that because you saw the price of getting turned into a diamond.

Erik Keilholtz said...

I am making my own pine box. They charge way too much for official pine boxes. I also want to be buried in my own craftsmanship. Don't want any Mohammedans or Protties building my coffin.

William Luse said...

Follow Brandon's link above. If a Trappist casket won't suit you, then you're too Catholic for California. If you build your own, I hope you paint it first. Your final masterpiece.