Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

Cremation Jewelry and the Lee Alexander & Co. Difference

20 Days of Lee: The Note

20 Days of Lee: The Note

Lee died in February of 2006. In May of the same year, our community endured the tragic loss of local Cornell student Ian Alberta, who died in a house fire in Collegetown. We didn’t know Ian nor any of his family members. But we immediately learned that we share a friend in common, the most awesome Leni Hochman.

While I felt deeply that no one should have to go through this at the same time with 2 close friends who’d lost their sons, if there’s anyone who’s got the “right stuff” for this it’s Leni. Maybe it’s because Leni lost her brother to a drunk driver years prior and knew what grieving a sudden loss of a young man was, first hand.

Ian’s Mom, Sherry, worked at Ithaca High. While she knew of Lee’s death in that very building, she didn’t know Lee. He’d only been there a few short months, and Sherry taught special ed. She, of course, took a good deal of time off from school after the fire. Leni and I often discussed Leni’s role as she supported 2 devastated families close to her.

Sometime after Sherry returned to the classroom (I’d say this happened 2 years after we’d lost Lee), Leni handed me an envelope over lunch. It contained one of the greatest gifts, and one of the most striking signs of Lee’s spirit. This time he was aided and abetted by Ian.

It was a note in Lee’s handwriting. Can you imagine the joy of seeing your loved one’s handwriting anew, years after we’d gone through every item we had available to us? Sherry found this inside a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on the shelf in her classroom. A photo of the note accompanies this post. Lee wrote his name on the top right corner. We have no idea how it got there. We kept pretty good tabs on what the kids were up to in school. Being in Sherry Alberta’s classroom and/or reading this classic was never mentioned.

Lee had a notoriously bad handwriting. This was actually neat, for him. We could read every word. In case you can’t, here’s what it says:

If I had three wishes they would be one that I would be successful in what I want to do. For my family I would wish for them to have good Health and a happy life. for the earth I would wish for either no pollution or no war so the air would be clean and no war because its just plain stupid.

There’s a hundred ways that this note could’ve been discarded or stuck inside that old book, undiscovered, forever. How miraculous that it came to us. And that’s our boy for you, full of love and concern for others, with us in spirit to this day.

Continue reading

The 20 Days of Lee: A Miraculous Sighting

The 20 Days of Lee: A Miraculous Sighting

The journey back from California took a long time. Lee died around 2pm eastern time on Friday, and I arrived home at 4am Saturday. Friends and family were at the house with Paul. We sent them home and had our first of many cries together. I couldn’t believe Paul had to be on the scene without me. While my grief and shock were deep, I knew he’d experienced a trauma by being on the scene that I’d never know. Part of me was grateful for that. I held him while he slept for a while, and got out of bed at 7. I knew there would be a lot of people around and spent a bit of time staring out the window as I went from thinking of what all needed to be done, what had happened to Lee and our family and the grief that would be with us for the rest of our days.

That Saturday morning brought the start of the food drop offs at 8AM with lasagna from a police officer who’d heard the news. The blessings of having many friends and family showed itself early with the beginning of a stream of them that lasted for weeks. So many lasagnas found their way to our house on day one that we briefly considered writing “in lieu of lasagna” rather than “in lieu of flowers” in the obituary. Lee’s love of lasagna was legendary although many of those who brought it didn’t know that. The second I heard the devastating news, I knew we’d be surrounded and supported by our communities. I felt deep in my heart we’d be OK. I had no idea how, or when.

I’ve had backyard bird feeders for most of my adult life. I loved sharing my bird watching activities with the kids. Often this brought about eye rolls but Lee was diligent about bringing my attention to the presence of birds. He knew the Blue Jay was my favorite. A lot of people don’t like this bird, it can be a bit of a bully towards others at the feeders, often mimicking the call of a hawk to scare them off. While they have a wide variety of vocalizations, the ones they use most frequently are similar to the caw-caw of the crow which isn’t considered particularly beautiful. But they were, and remain my favorite. Maybe one of the reasons is that they’re so prolific. If you love the Blue Jay and keep your feeders full, you can be happy many times a day because they’ll always be around.

I was looking out the back window once again later that day and witnessed something I’ve not seen before or since. 8 Jays, all in a row on the tree branch just outside the kitchen door, were feeding one another assembly line style. I stood, frozen, watching them. I wondered if this was normal, or was Lee (or some other angelic being) sending me a message? This was before cell phones had cameras and I don’t know if I would have moved to grab it anyway. I’d have considered it a miraculous sighting even if Lee was sitting right next to me.

Almost 40 years of feeding birds, and that was the one and only day I’ve seen this. I’ve looked it up and can’t find anything that refers to this behavior in Blue Jays although they’re known to be very family oriented. The research does show that multiple generations often remain in the same area and return to the same feeders. Now when I see my beloved Jays, I wonder if any of them are the same ones or the descendants of the ones that came that day (the longest living one was over 17 years of age). Most importantly, I remember that I was given a gift from spirit right off the bat to help heal my broken heart.

Continue reading

The 20 Days of Lee

The 20 Days of Lee

Our beloved son Lee was born on January 28, 1991 so would be 28 years old today, He died on February 17, 2006 and this period has been known in our family as the 20 days of Lee. We’ve done various things during this time, such as sponsoring fundraisers and connecting friends and family to keep Lee’s memory alive. Of course, we honor his life everyday by bringing some comfort to others who’ve suffered losses here at LA and Co.

This year, we’ll be sharing stories of Lee’s spirit communicating with us around the time of his departure and in the days, weeks, months and years that followed. We’ve been incredibly fortunate in experiencing a wide variety of signs. None of us considered ourselves believers prior to these occurrences, but we’re believers now. We hope these will bring comfort that your loved one sees, feels and hears you, and we’d love to hear about signs your beloveds have provided you.

Continue reading

Founding a Cremation Jewelry Company

Founding a Cremation Jewelry Company

We’re often asked how a family, with no background in jewelry, came to launch a company specializing in the design and manufacturing of rings and pendants specifically to protect ashes

First, we found ourselves in the devastating position many of you are, unfortunately, more than familiar with. We lost our precious Lee. In attempts to find closure we stumbled upon memorial jewelry and loved the idea of keeping Lee’s ashes in jewelry. So, there we were, ready and willing to invest in pieces that were beautiful and high quality, the variety was bleak, the material was soft, and the precious and irreplaceable cremains were sure to be damaged or lost.

Frustrated by the severe lack of cremation jewelry for men, as well as the absence of rings, our search was frustrating at best. Wanting to commemorate our loved one with only the best in quality and craftsmanship, the options were slim to none.

We settled on a few pendants and as anticipated were disappointed in the quality but happy to feel comfort when comfort was hard to find. Each of us were happy to have a tangible symbol of Lee to keep close.

sterling silver cremation jewelry pendants with screw and glue to hold ashes
          Pictured: Standard sterling silver cremation pendants with screw for ashes
silver cremation jewelry screw glue heart infinity symbol

          Pictured: Standard sterling silver cremation pendants with screw for ashes

Despite our frustration with the quality, and each having to replace our pieces within a year, when they became damaged and discolored, we were completely in love with the idea of gorgeous jewelry acting as our personal, unique urns. It became clear that if we wanted high quality pieces, we’d have to commission a jeweler custom design them.

With the freedom of customization, we worked one-on-one with award winning jewelers to meet our very specific wish-list: beautiful, unique, subtle, high-quality, luxurious durable enough for every day wear, and heirloom-quality so they can be passed down, along with stories of Lee, for generations. Additionally, we wanted rings instead of pendants, and the materials to be sourced responsibly. Our pieces were to rival the best in quality and design, while subtly protecting the ashes of our loved one.

After a long and intense design period, and bit of trial and error, the Signature Lee Alexander & Co. Platinum Remembrance Pod was created, and our pieces were finalized. We each had our own unique cremation ring, which were (and still are) stunning. More importantly, their quality is (still) unmatched. We successfully found a way to meet every criterion. We were thrilled, but sad for struggling to find a similar solution of the same caliber. Wanting to provide this comfort to others, we commissioned our jeweler to create several additional rings and pendants, and launched Lee Alexander & Co. Cremation Jewelry.

So here we are after six years of research, designing and building, able to provide the highest quality cremation jewelry on the market. Our pieces include rings and pendants created with multiple design aesthetics to meet the needs of men, women and children. Each is built specifically to house and protect ashes (or other meaningful material) in our permanently sealed platinum urn.

While memorial jewelry, no matter how beautiful, cannot replace a lost loved one, it will help to remain connected, and provide a tangible treasure to honor their memory for generations.

Continue reading