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Q: I'd like to order a memorial. What do I do first?
If you are using Companion Star designs as memorials, please forward a portion of cremated remains in an airtight container via certified mail. Airtight containers should be a minimum of 4-mil thick. Please leave some airspace inside prior to sealing the container. You will receive additional details while discussing your choice of memorials with Companion Star.


Q: What is the length of time involved before I receive the memorials I am ordering?
A: Please allow glass artists six to eight weeks from the time they receive the order to produce your memorials. [The artists, however, may produce them in a shorter time period.]


Q: How are the memorials I ordered sent to me?
A: Orders are shipped UPS ground, unless you have a special request.



Q: My husband served in the military and I have his cremated remains in a tall plastic container that I received from the crematory. How can I have a "Parade Rest" memorial made for him?
A: Although we have designs designated for particular branches of the Armed Forces, Companion Star will create any of the Parade Rest designs you choose for your husband's memorial. We will also provide you with the appropriate insignia for the branch in which your husband served. 

The plastic container to which you refer is considered a temporary urn. All Parade Rest designs arrive with a lightstage/pedestal which both underlights your memorial for night viewing, and acts as an urn to contain cremated remains and/or cherished items.



Q: We are grandparents of a child who passed away, and we would like to have memorials for our son and daughter-in-law, one for ourselves, and several to present to our living grandchildren. Can Companion Star create memorials for all of us?
A: Choosing memorials for this profound occasion will assist your entire family as you process your grief and the many other emotions you will be experiencing at this time.

You may all decide to meet, and together choose the colors and designs which best suit each person's memory of your grandchild. Your living grandchildren may wish to keep smaller memorials, such as Star Cluster, as mementos. You may also choose one consistent color for all of the memorials, while choosing a variety of designs and sizes. 



Q: Although I am ashamed to admit this, I have been keeping the cremated remains of my parents in my closet because I don't know what to do with them. I would like to show respect for their memory but don't know how to go about this.

Q: Can I make one memorial for both of my parents? What are my choices?
A: Please allow us to answer these related questions with one reply.

Coming to terms with the passing of our parents is sometimes a long-term process. Companion Star has chosen glass and crystal to celebrate the light of each life, and uses colors which "dance" within the artworks themselves, to celebrate the dynamic of that light.

You may choose a memorial for each of your parents, or you may choose to combine their cremated remains in one memorial. Any Companion Star design, no matter how small, will accommodate one or more individuals.





Q: What are the possibilities for honoring cremated remains which were not used to create our memorials from Companion Star?
A: Cremated remains which are not used to create Companion Star memorials may be kept within the compartment of a lightstage (pedestal), or you might arrange to disperse them in a location of your choice.

If you wish to keep the cremated remains in a public location, contact your funeral director or cemetery to arrange for their placement in a columbarium (above-ground location for urns) or ground burial (below-ground location for urns).

You may also secure a glass-fronted niche in a columbarium, which will allow you to publicly view your memorial. Columbaria house many urns for cremated remains, and are usually located in a cemetery.



Q: Is it possible to request a design I don't see on the website?
A: Companion Star frequently adds new designs by request to its offerings. Our most recent addition is "Stars in The Reflecting Pool" which combines a solid "pool" of glass (shades of amethyst) with a diamond Star Cluster collection.




Q: Can I request a color I don't see on your website?
A: Custom colors are available. You may want to send paint chips or samples of fabric if you are coordinating your memorials with a specific room décor. Glassblowers will make every attempt to match your choices.




Q: My husband liked to fish. How do I arrange for a carved trout or two on the memorial I order?
A: You may choose a specific variety of trout and provide artwork for Companion Star, or you may arrange for Companion Star artwork production. You may also choose placement of the trout on your memorial.



Q: We recently lost our family member, Smudgeour companion dog of twenty-one years. She was with us when we moved from Portland, Oregon to Boston and then when we moved to Tucson. 
We have another elderly companion: our cat, Manfred. Can we have one memorial which will accommodate both of them?

A: Smudge and Manfred can share one memorial. You may incorporate Smudge's cremated remains into any Constellation design—they are blown glass, and hollow—and then you may add Manfred's cremated remains embedded within a Star Cluster collection.

You may also memorialize both Smudge and Manfred as two different colors within either Sanctuary or Constellation designs.


Yet another option allows you to place a pendant containing both Smudge and Manfred over the shoulders of Sanctuary (also named "Aquila, The Eagle" within Faithful Friends Crystal selections).

If you are choosing Sanctuary (Aquila, The Eagle) you may also memorialize Smudge within a pendant, and memorialize Manfred within Star Cluster at the appropriate time.



Q: Several of us would like to have our team mascot carved on one of the designs we saw on the website. We'd like to present it to our coaches. Can we order those without having to add an actual person?
A: You may order any Companion Star design solely as a work of art. Since you already have a specific design in mind, simply forward a copy of the mascot in the size you desire for your presentation pieces.





Q: Several years ago, in 1995, I saw the Crain's Chicago Business article featuring Companion Star, and order memorials for my own companion. Now I would like to honor the life of another partner who has since passed on. How can I do that? Is it possible to add cremated remains of another person to my current memorials?
A: You may add Star Cluster memorials to both Sanctuary and Constellation designs, or add a pendant to Sanctuary. 

You may also add a small amount of cremated remains to a Stargazer pendant (double-sided locket which opens to contain photographs, pressed flowers, etc.).






Q: We are trying to learn about cremation because our Dad has just signed a pre-need contract with a crematory. What happens and how do we plan for a memorial with Companion Star?
A: Those who have the foresight to make their arrangements ahead of time may also wish to enjoy a beautiful work of art which will later serve as their memorial. You may order a Constellation or Sanctuary design and display it as artglass in your home until the appropriate time. A pendant (for Sanctuary) and one or more Star Cluster collections (for Sanctuary and/or Constellation) may also be ordered pre-need.

During the period called "at-need" (the term the funeral industry uses for the activities surrounding death— also known as "transition" or "passing on") you would forward a small portion of your Father's cremated remains to Companion Star .The appropriate glassblowers would then create his additional memorials.




Q: How do I know that my "Nebula," isn't going to look like the "Nebula" my sister ordered when we arranged for our parents' memorials?
A: Because of the glassblowing process, no two Companion Stars can ever look the same. Even though the same colors are used, and even if you both ordered the same shape and size, there will be variations in the memorials you receive.





Q: Why do the memorials look so different at various times during the day and night?


Music of the Spheres in natural light

Music of the Spheres underlit for night viewing

A: One of the most important concepts in Companion Star's use of glass as a medium for memorials is that glass illustrates how the quality of light mirrors our evolving perception of events; of what is happening to us and around us.

It is often difficult for us to "see" the reason or the benefit (what's the good of THIS happening to US?) of someone's death, especially the passing of a close friend, relative, or companion.

As light changes throughout the day, and as we see how that affects the appearance of the things around us, we can begin to understand. And that may help us accept the changes in our own lives.

Glass offers itself, carrying light to the dark times.

Perhaps the last sentences of "About Companion Star" may answer your question more completely:

    "Our transitions are inevitable.

These dignified artifacts promote the recognition of change, and the transformative power of light."


Aurora in natural light

Aurora underlit for night viewing


Send your questions to Lily@CompanionStar.com