This project began for me when I lost my mother. As I dealt with my loss, I was surprised at how limited the options were for honoring her memory. At the funeral home, everything seemed cold, expensive and sterile. Nothing seemed to capture the warmth of who she was. I later knit her an urn cozy. I asked myself - why isn’t there anything out there like this?

As a culture, I believe we’ve lost the ability to grieve in meaningful ways. There’s no need to be morbid. And there’s no need to settle for rituals that feel cold and outdated. Just because someone has passed doesn’t mean that they aren’t still part of our lives. It’s my hope that the Modern Mourner will help provide contemporary ways to honor those we've loved and lost in positive ways.

I’ve divided this site into three sections: Remember, which features ideas for sentimental repurposing. There are many creative artists who can transform clothing into quilts, costume jewelry into something contemporary, and old books into beautiful wreaths. Instead of stowing away the items you've inherited, make them into something that’s part of your life.

The next section is Sympathy. Here you’ll find comforting gifts for those who grieve. The items I’m featuring are handmade, unique and heartfelt. From sympathy cards that bloom into wildflowers, to candles made from vintage teacups, these gifts will convey the sincere sentiments that are so hard to express.


The last section is Farewell. From handmade urns to woven wicker caskets, I hope to provide ways to make saying goodbye meaningful as well as eco-friendly.

I also believe that sentimental repurposing can be part of all stages of life. Instead of hauling that bag of old clothes to the Salvation Army, consider if it's worth upcycling into something new. Transform a father’s stodgy business shirt into a cute little girl’s dress. Create a memory quilt from baby clothes or old t-shirts. Take a maternity dress and have it made into an apron. Clothing can be laden with memories, and it’s a shame to give everything away. Preserve memories and pass them on.

Most of the vendors are people I’ve found on Etsy. They are creative, caring artists who understand the importance of heritage and remembrance. They are also extremely talented.

Thank you for visiting this site. Above all, the Modern Mourner is about joy, humor and happiness. After all, death is just part of life!