Local Funeral Home Offers First Alternative To Ashes

Stone-Like Remains Help Bereaved Families Heal Through Connection

  • Thursday, August 18, 2022

Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory has partnered with Parting Stone–a Santa Fe, N.M.-based start-up pioneering a technology that offers a clean alternative to cremated remains following cremation. Chattanooga and North Georgia families choosing cremation can now receive stone-like solidified remains that can be touched, held and shared. 

Solidified remains are now available as an option at Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.

“There’s something very special about being able to hold your loved one in the palm of your hand as a smooth stone," said Ben Friberg, Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory manager. "We’ve heard the experience described as healing, inspiring, calming, and a host of other positive feelings. Perhaps a stone is tossed into a moving river, the ocean, or placed in a forest beneath a favorite tree. There are so many meaningful ways in which a family may decide to return their loved one back to nature. 

"Some families choose to incorporate the stones into their daily lives by placing them on bookshelves or in vases. Some families paint the stones and place them in planters or gardens. The ideas are endless.  Imagine a husband and wife’s ashes solidified together to become a single stone."

The solidification process returns the full amount of cremation remains in a solid and clean form that resembles a collection of polished stones. The average person results in about 40-60 solids ranging in size from thumb-nail up to palm-size. The color of each person’s solidified remains is 100 percent natural and many result in white stones, but some are a hue of blue, green, or another radical variation.

“It is a profound opportunity to live with the remains of our loved ones, but conventional cremated remains make that experience uncomfortable,” says Parting Stone founder and CEO Justin Crowe. “We developed an alternative to conventional cremated remains to help families feel a meaningful connection with their departed. When you choose cremation you no longer have to take home ashes.”

Following the death of his grandfather, Mr. Crowe realized that living with conventional cremated remains can feel uncomfortable, so in many households they often end up hidden in a closet for decades. Parting Stone worked with material scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop solidified remains to empower families in their grief with a form of remains that can be touched and held. 

Parting Stone empowers families in their grief by returning a stone-like form of remains that can be touched and held. Solidified remains are an alternative to ashes.

Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory on Battlefield Parkway offers funeral, cremation, and end of life planning.  Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory in Fort Oglethorpe was founded by the Friberg family and is operated by Russell Friberg’s son, Ben Friberg.

"We’re always looking for meaningful ideas to help families through the grieving process and the element of 'touch' is going to be sacred to so many families who choose stone as an alternative to ashes," said Mr. Friberg. "We’re also proud to own and operate our own crematory on-site. Whether families in the Chattanooga/North Georgia area choose ashes or stones, when they choose our Battlefield Parkway facility, they know that their loved one will never leave the care of our staff, nor will they ever be transferred to a different facility for the cremation process. We believe that every family considering cremation should ask questions regarding a facility’s cremation process, and we are grateful to be able to say, 'your loved one will never leave our facility nor the care of our staff.'”

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