It was serendipitous that when DH's remains were finally found after 9/11, the Unitarian church at which we were married was already in the process of developing and landscaping a memorial garden with an open columbarium to hold cremated remains yet allow them to degrade naturally over time. Originally I had been planning to scatter his remains, but his family had objections.DH loved water, and the original landscape design for the garden had included a fountain, but it had not been installed due to the expense (they were very sparsely funded). Working directly with the landscape designer and a local supplier, I helped choose a large raw stone which was drilled, piped, and fitted with a pump, and the supplier assisted us in finding an electrician who ran a buried line from the pump to the exterior of the church, where a switch was installed; the electrician performed this work at cost.I endowed the entire cost, which ended up being just over $3000 -- fairly reasonable for a permanent memorial, I felt. Another of my husband's relatives has contributed annually for ongoing maintenance, about $250/year.The members and pastor of the church have been very gracious in their thanks, and everyone seems to feel that the fountain is a final finishing touch to the garden. DH's ashes were interred in the columbarium there, and I cannot think of a better spot for them.I feel sure that if you choose to make a similar endowment to your church, both you and your church will derive great satisfaction from the serene beauty it will lend to its surroundings.
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