Amanda Kloots made a vase using late husband Nick Cordero’s ashes

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Amanda Kloots used her late-husband Nick Cordero’s ashes to make a beautiful vase.

On Instagram, the fitness trainer shared that she and her son collaborated with an artist to create the vessel.

“I cannot believe how it turned out…” Kloots wrote. “Elvis and I put our handprints into the clay before it was fired and then [the artist] glazed the vase and added the heart design. I intend to always keep flowers in this vase, reminding me of Nick every time I look at it.”

Cordero died in July at 41 after checking into the hospital on March 31 with COVID-19. During his months-long treatment, he faced complications including the amputation of his leg.

Using the cremated ashes of a loved one in this way might not be something you’ve heard of before, but Kloots is hardly alone. In fact, cremation pottery has become a bit of a trend over the last few years, with people making all sorts of ceramics including vases, bowls plates, and whatever object their heart desires.

And it’s not just pottery. People have also begun making jewelry with cremated ashes, including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Everlasting Memories is a store that exists specifically for the purpose of helping people make cremation jewelry so that “by carrying their memory with you throughout your day-to-day life, the connection you share with them will always be present wherever you go.”

Grief is a complex and unpredictable experience and for many, the idea of a burial often may not feel like the only way to express their love for someone they have lost. And so alternative methods like cremation pottery or jewelry provide people different ways to process grief and celebrate life, even in the face of tragedy.

Kloots spoke in September about her decision to make the vase, sharing that she had a friend in Los Angeles, Calif., who owned a pottery business and introduced her to the idea of making something out of Nick’s ashes. Kloots said the experience was overwhelmingly positive and that it helped keep Cordero’s spirit alive.

"I have recently learned how many ways you can repurpose ashes and make new things with them,” Kloots wrote. “I think it is beyond beautiful, a way to keep him living!"

Beyond transforming his ashes into art, Kloots spoke with People magazine earlier this month about how she and her 16-month-old son Elvis keep Nick living in their hearts, including listening to his music every day and looking at photos of him before they go to bed every night.

"We say goodnight to Dad and give Nick a kiss," Kloots said.

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