I can clearly see the shapes and shades of the back of my father’s hands, the bruised copper bracelet he wore on his wrist to help with his arthritis: and he died in 1977. I vividly remember my mother’s lovely rings. They were part of her.

Amongst the 90 decisions families need to make following a death is: ‘what to do with the jewellery he/she wore’? Keep them on the body if you plan to visit, certainly. But after that do they ‘go with her’? Or what?If buried they’ll stay in the earth for millennia. In a cremator most materials simply vaporise. If you keep them, do you wear them yourself ………. pass them on to a family member …… get them valued for probate and sell them?

Either way, having the jewellery of someone you love returned to you by the undertaker is one of the parts of the farewell whose impact it would be easy to under-estimate; be warned, it could also be treated as a mere formality by funeral professionals.

But these rings, watches, bracelets, pearls hold deep memories; they will have been have been part of a parent that grown children have imprinted on and in them. Jewellery has often been given as a very special and treasured gift, loaded with love and hope and emotion.

Do not expect their return to be any small thing!

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