• Kate Armon

Memories at the Touch of a Button

We come across some wonderful people in our industry, from beautiful funeral directors

to people changing the way we look at the grieving process. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Sonia Vachalec, the creator and founder of ModUrn.

We come across some wonderful people in our industry, from beautiful funeral directors.

What is a ModUrn I hear you ask? I stumbled across ModUrn whilst browsing Facebook, during my daily Facebook fix. I clicked on the video and was completely drawn in. Using a team of Australia’s leading designers, manufacturers and App developers, Sonia’s team began to create a “World First” memorial solution.

Sonia told me “Our brief was to design a modern cremation Urn that could also store a loved one’s life story. I wanted to create a memorial product that families would want to have out on show like a piece of art or treasure; not hide away under the stairs or in a cupboard”.

After two years in development her team created two remarkable products including the ModUrn Urn and the Memento (pre planning tool or memorial marker and keepsake with the same technology but does not hold any ashes). Both products include the FREE ModUrn App that can store memories, family history, images, tribute and video links, funny stories, health journey, quirky details, words of wisdom and more.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly sentimental, I keep everything, I photograph everything, I video everything! I probably drive my family nuts with my need to memorialise everything in our lives. Having lost many important people in my life, my greatest sadness is that I don’t have more pictures, that I didn't record more memories I could look back on. This clever little ModUrn is brilliant. This gives families the ability to save those precious memories all in one place to keep for future generations.

I wasn’t just touched by the concept of ModUrn itself but by the story behind its creation and creator. Sonia Vachalec tragically lost her father in her early twenty’s. With two younger brothers, the need to keep her father’s memory alive and the sound of his voice clear, became the inspiration for her innovative memorial products. “Creating ModUrn has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have been so fortunate to meet and spend time with some of the families currently using our Memento products in Memorial parks and Cemeteries. We are proud to have created a product that has had such a positive effect on grieving families and that gives them the opportunity to stay connected and remember their loved ones”.

After talking with Sonia I downloaded the app that accompanies the ModUrn. I am always a little wary when I hear the words, "It's really easy to use" because technology I am increasingly finding is anything but easy to use (am I getting old?!) but in actual fact this app is incredibly easy to use. It took me no time at all to load all my personal information and start writing my story and adding my pictures and videos. This easy-to-use ModUrn smartphone and tablet app provides family members and invited friends with the ability to contribute stories, images and messages from anywhere in the world. This is especially valuable today where restrictions to funerals, social distancing and travel have denied families and close friends the ability to attend, commemorate, support or mourn someone they loved.

Both products have a “Bluetooth proximity beacon” installed which allows the life story to be viewed within 5 metres range from the included ModUrn App. This technology is optional for the Urns as they have found that some families love the Urns aesthetic without needing the proximity technology.

In a world where buying Australian is more important than ever, I am pleased to tell you that everything about the The ModUrn Urn and Memento are Australian Made products and offers families something very special to remember and honour a loved one in a unique and ongoing way for generations to come.

The ModUrn honours life by supporting and connecting families and celebrating life stories. I know for me personally, the idea that I can record my families lives now and keep all these precious memories in one place is very important and a great comfort to me. It has so many applications, no matter what age or situation you are in. I will hopefully live a really long life, but knowing I can leave a gift like this for my family is incredibly valuable to me. I love the idea that I can get my Mum to record my children’s favourite stories, so that they will always be able to hear her voice, or my husband telling me he loves me (see I told you I was an old sentimental!).

One of the hardest parts of death is that our loved one’s voices are lost forever except in our memories and those memories fade so much. ModUrn’s can’t bring our loved ones back but they can give us the gift of memories at the touch of a button.

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