There are moments in life that are significant, moments that shape us and change the course of things. For me, one of those moments was the departure of my grandfather. It was a huge loss, but it also allowed me to take the time to reflect on life, death, and realize how important it is to recognize the positive imprint of someone on our existence. I had the privilege, throughout my life, of sharing a strong bond with this remarkable human, so it was natural for me to craft his funeral urn for his celebrations. As a wood artisan, I had several years of experience in arts and crafts, but not in funeral art. It became a personal step and a tribute I wanted to pay to this exceptional man.
I wanted to take the time to experience this moment and appreciate, despite the grief, the opportunity I had to offer him a last gift made by my hands and from the heart. I took the time to select wood species that represented his life and the person he was. I chose elm, this majestic specimen that touches the sky and borders the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, a place Jean-Paul visited almost daily. This tree with its golden and luminous grain also represents the link between the earthly and the celestial. I found so much poetry in this, as if something always connected us. I also added a little black walnut, a symbol of wisdom and longevity that represents him perfectly. Finally, I integrated a reworked splint from a leg of his piano that I had repaired in the past and kept. This little personal touch would have had an important meaning for him.
The experience was really positive for me, and I realized how important it could be for others to carefully choose the last resting place of a loved one. I found that there was room in the world of funeral urns for something different, natural, luminous, and unique, and I decided that creating funeral urns would become my main practice. This new path in my life as an artisan also allowed me to find what was missing in my daily life in the studio, to give deeper meaning to my work, and also a more human contact with my clients in these pivotal moments of their lives.