Urns come in many different shapes and sizes. Whether you’re choosing an urn for a mom, dad, partner, or any other lost loved one, you don’t have to do much searching to discover the basic jar or vase shape is by no means the only option out there.
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There’s of course nothing wrong with those shapes. However, if they don’t strike you, knowing other shapes are available gives you the freedom to choose an urn that you believe is appropriate for your loved one’s ashes.
A lighthouse urn is an option worth considering. Keep reading if the idea interests you. This blog will explain the significance of lighthouse imagery in the context of an urn, as well as what types of lighthouse urns you might choose from.
Tip: If you're looking for something very unique, you can custom order an urn from a store like Foreverence. You submit a design idea or sketch, then the company designs and 3D prints your urn, so you get a 100% unique container.
What’s a Lighthouse Urn?
The examples provided later in this blog will illustrate how lighthouse urns can come in many different shapes and sizes.
In general, however, such an urn clearly displays (or at least suggests) the image of a lighthouse. The following are a few key reasons you might consider using this type of urn for the ashes of a loved one.
You may decide a lighthouse urn is right for your loved one’s cremains if you know they would agree with your choice for personal reasons. Maybe they admired lighthouses. Perhaps they spent a lot of time boating.
Perhaps they used to live near a lighthouse or had a major life experience near one, such as a wedding. Maybe they were even an artist who often chose lighthouses as subjects for paintings or pictures.
Regardless, it’s not uncommon for people to choose urns they believe symbolize the spirit and character of someone who’s passed on. Thus, a lighthouse urn could be a perfect choice if your lost loved one had some sort of personal interest in or connection to lighthouses.
Lighthouses can also have more universal symbolic value, beyond any personal symbolism or significance your loved one may have attached to them.
Lighthouses often signaled to sailors that they’d reached the end of long, sometimes treacherous, journeys. This symbolically connects them with the idea of overcoming adversity. Because of this, a lighthouse urn might be right for someone who overcame significant challenges in life.
As one of the examples below will touch on in greater detail, lighthouses can also symbolize hope in difficult times, which is certainly something mourners need when struggling to cope with someone’s passing.
7 Lighthouse Urn Types
There isn’t just one standard type of lighthouse urn. On the contrary, as these examples prove, lighthouse urn designs can vary greatly. Hopefully, one of them will be the perfect option for your lost loved one.
1. Bronze lighthouse urns
A quintessential style of lighthouse urn is one in which the urn itself is the shape of a lighthouse.
You can find such urns in a wide variety of materials. However, bronze is among the more popular, as it’s both visually-impressive and durable.
2. Coastal scene lighthouse urns
The types of urns described above only consist of a lighthouse shape, and no other elements. If you’d prefer, you can instead opt for an urn that sets the scene to a greater degree by including other elements, such as sculptures of the surrounding coast.
These sculptures often sit atop bases of wood, metal, or various other materials. The base is usually where you would actually store the cremains. The base might also feature space on the front for text, like the type you would include on a headstone.
In many cases, this type of lighthouse urn is also more compact than the type mentioned above. This can make it attractive to someone who might, for instance, want to keep a loved one’s urn on their nightstand or desk.
3. Ceramic lighthouse urns
Although bronze is a durable material for a lighthouse urn, it’s not a colorful one. That’s why some people choose ceramic urns instead. With a ceramic urn, it’s possible to actually include the color schemes we typically associate with lighthouses.
This is merely an issue of personal taste. A colorful ceramic lighthouse urn may be more appealing than a bronze urn depending on where you intend to keep the urn. For instance, given that lighthouses are on coasts, you might want to place your loved one’s urn beside a water feature on your lawn. If so, it would look more like an actual lighthouse if the colors were right.
4. Lighthouse painting urns
Some lighthouse urns boast the actual shape of a lighthouse. Others consist of traditional urn shapes, such as jars or boxes, but feature paintings of lighthouses.
This is another option to consider. For instance, maybe you’d prefer a traditional urn shape if you’re thinking of keeping cremated remains at home in a spot where they’ll be clearly on display. You might decide a basic urn shape is ideal because it will be more likely to look natural and appropriate in most spots of your home, while a lighthouse-shaped urn could stand out more than necessary.
Along with urns featuring paintings of lighthouses, there are also urns featuring other such images, such as engravings or etchings.
5. Lighthouse keepsake urns or cremation jewelry
Many people who have such interest also have an interest in travel, as we naturally associate lighthouses with sea voyages.
Maybe you share their love of travel. If so, keeping an urn on display in your home might not be ideal, as you may not be home often enough to feel close to your loved one after their passing. You may prefer an urn that lets you take your loved one with you on your travels in some capacity.
Consider keepsake urns or cremation jewelry if that sounds appealing. Like larger urns, these can either be lighthouse-shaped or simply feature an engraving or painting of a lighthouse on another shape.
The key difference here is size. Both keepsake urns and cremation jewelry urns are small. This gives you the option of keeping at least some of a person’s ashes with you at all times.
Tip: Memorial diamonds are created from the ashes of loved ones, and are another beautiful option for keeping someone's memory alive. Some companies, like Eterneva, create lab-grown diamonds and allow you to pick from several cuts and colors for your gemstone.
6. Candle cremation urns
Some types of urns serve multiple purposes. They store the cremains of someone who’s passed on, while also functioning on another level.
For example, certain cremation urns also have spaces for candles on top. Sometimes these urns feature images of lighthouses, or may even be lighthouse-shaped. This makes sense, given the nature of a lighthouse. Such a design choice adds to the symbolic weight of a lighthouse urn by firmly suggesting that the light of a person’s soul remains alive in some way.
This type of urn may also provide comfort to loved ones whenever they particularly missed someone they’ve lost. Just as lighthouses sometimes provided hope to sailors caught in storms, telling them they were close to the safety of land, when you feel lost without the presence of your loved one, you can light the candle on top of their urn and perhaps find some reassurance.
7. Scattering lighthouse urns
What you do with a loved one’s ashes after cremating them may depend on any instructions they gave before they passed. For instance, some people request that loved ones scatter their ashes in spots that had personal significance.
Perhaps your loved one made such a request. Or, maybe, they never got a chance to, but you have good reason to believe they would have. Whether they specified they wanted you to scatter their ashes at or near a lighthouse, or you simply think that’s the type of spot they’d approve of, you can add another layer of meaning to the experience by using a lighthouse urn during the scattering ceremony.
Scattering urns are often relatively lightweight cylinders you can easily hold in your hands for scattering. It’s not difficult to find many lighthouse urns that are similar in nature. After all, lighthouses are essentially conical, making them almost cylindrical.
Because scattering urns don’t need to necessarily be durable enough to safely remain on display in any particular spot for years on end, they’re also often not as costly as some other types. Keep this in mind if you’re trying to come up with things to do with ashes that aren’t expensive.
Lighthouse Urns: A Symbol of Hope
A cremation urn can have both personal significance and general symbolic value. These examples of lighthouse urns illustrate how.