Best Way to Keep Dead Loved Ones Close

Best: Bury them in the backyard
(N.B.: Check local code first)
2nd Best: Phoenix Memorial Art
5809 Nicholson Lane, Ste. 701, North Bethesda, (301) 468-7778
Art made from cremated remains could be the freshest alternative to a stuffy old urn. It could also seriously creep out your house guests. Either way, Marjorie Hoachlander, an 88-year-old widow from North Bethesda, is bringing a mortal touch to art by matching bereaved clients with about 30 artists—including a Corcoran instructor—who meld cremains with clay, glass, metal, wood, or paint. Hoachlander says it’s therapeutic for mourning survivors and provides “presence of absence that no mausoleum, no cemetery could give.” Her own apartment decorations include a multicolored oil lamp and earth-toned vase made using her dead husband’s ashes. Pieces run from $350 to $5,000.