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How to choose a Cremation Diamond Provider?

1. Transparency of Production

One of the most important factors is to check if you can visit or personally deliver ashes or hair to the laboratory. Looking at online images and watching videos are definitely not sufficient to guarantee the genuine product or service. Any credible company would be able to explain and provide transparency of their production process to their customers. 

2. Certification of Authenticity

Certain certification e.g. GIA can guarantee and certify the diamond is lab made, however can not guarantee it is made from your loved one’s ashes. Additional certifications from independent bodies e.g. ISO certificate, notarial certification, and national funeral services membership should bring you a peace of mind.

3. Customer Reviews

It is always reassuring to hear what previous customers said about the product and service. It is easy to validate these recommendations via social media platforms.  

4. Understand Creation Process and Product

A genuine memorial diamond should only be created from carbon found in cremation ashes or hair in a high tech lab under an HPHT machine, and it normally takes 4-8 months to grow.  It is important to make sure your diamond is NOT: – 

  • A chemical vapour deposition diamond – hydrocarbon gas such as methane, not carbon from hair or ash. The normal process time only takes several hours. 
  • An existing diamond injected with ashes – Some diamonds are inserted with ashes into an existing diamond.
  • A diamond simulant (ie. Gem, Crystal or Zircons) – They are not real diamonds, a real memorial diamond should be certified with the same characteristics as real diamonds. 

5. Price vs. Service and Product 

The memorial diamond price should reflect its product and service comparable to a standard burial, which could cost around £4,000 to £8,000  (Average funeral in the SE of England).

How does Algordanza Guarantee


  • Memorial Diamond Provider offering production transparency and lab visits.
  • ISO Certificated Memorial Diamond provider maintaining and committed to the professional body standards.
  • Notarial Certificated by a notarial certified partner confirming diamond is made from cremation ashes alone. 
  • A member of the Swiss Association of Funeral Services (SVB – Membership)
  • HPHT (High Pressure High temperature) Algordanza Memorial Diamond machines
  • High quality service and product memorial diamond provider, with true price reflection. 
  • Great traceable customer reviews with global presence in 35 countries.


  • Memorial Diamond provider hiding their production, who can only offer online images and videos. 
  • Unregulated Memorial Diamond producer.
  • Memorial  Diamond company who can only provide GIA certificate(only demonstrate grade and finish of the diamond) , however cannot guarantee the diamond was made from your loved ones’ ashes or hair.
  • Not registered or regulated with any reputable Funeral services.
  • CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) Diamond 
  • Off-the-shelf diamond with ashes injection.
  • Cheaper diamond not made from ashes with no authentic guarantees.
  • With fake customer reviews
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From diamonds to rockets, mourning the dead has gotten high-tech

Throughout history, people have devised elaborate ways to memorialize the dead: the pyramids of Egypt, Europe’s Gothic mausoleums, the Taj Mahal in India. What some mourners consider meaningful, others would call macabre. In 19th-century Europe and America, “death photography” produced portraits of the departed in lifelike poses; in the Tibetan Buddhist rite known as sky burial or bya gtor (alms for the birds), earthly remains are set out to feed vultures.

Notions about honouring the dead are shaped by many factors—culture, tradition, geography, religion. But the notion is one thing, and the execution is another. In every era, it’s the available technology that determines our range of memorial options.

The intersections of death and technology have long been busy crossroads. In these early years of the 21st century, they’re getting really interesting. Because I write about science and technology for a living, I’ve lingered at these intersections, observing the innovations: digital memorials on social media, eco-friendly green burial options, even interactive tombstones.

Among the tech-savvy options for modern decedents, one stands out because it’s so genuinely weird. Thanks to startling advances in industrial engineering, we can now synthetically re-create colossal geological forces to shape our ultimate destiny on this planet. It’s gratuitous and extreme and wonderful: We can turn our mortal remains into diamonds. Real diamonds.

(Image above, Algordanza Swiss Cremation Diamond)

Several companies worldwide now offer services to families that have the notion, and the resources, to memorialize their loved ones in arguably the most permanent way possible. The Swiss company Algordanza is one of them.

Using high-tech heavy-industry machines, engineers can transform the carbon from human ashes into diamond gems that are physically and chemically identical to natural diamonds. The geologic process that otherwise takes hundreds of millions of years can now be managed in weeks.

(Image above, Algordanza HTHP Machines)

It works like this: After the cremation, the bereaved family ships one pound of ashes to Algordanza’s laboratory in Switzerland. Scientists process the ashes to extract the pure carbon elements and remove other impurities. (The remaining ashes are shipped back.) From there, Algordanza uses the same tools Mother Nature uses to make diamonds: heat and pressure.

In the next step, the carbon ashes are converted into graphite, a stable allotrope of carbon in which the atoms are packed into tight, flat sheets. Then the carbon settles down for a long bake inside Algordanza’s high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) machines. Temperatures rise as high as about 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, consider that cast iron melts at about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then there’s the pressure. Within the HPHT machine, a system of cubic presses exerts a force of 870,000 pounds per square inch on the graphite, gradually changing the molecular structure and transforming the carbon into pure diamond.

To be clear, these diamonds aren’t just similar to a natural diamond; they are identical down to the atomic level. The gem that emerges can be kept in its rough state or cut and polished by Algordanza’s specialists.

The entire operation—from initial receipt of ashes to final delivery of the diamond—typically takes five to eight months. The company processes approximately 1,000 memorial diamonds a year and has representatives in 34 countries.

Algordanza offers packages with prices starting at £2,000 for uncut 0.3 ct rough Diamond.

Source – National Geographic

For more information contact UK Algordanza, Managing Director, Kevin Foy.
0800 0646683

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What jewellery setting is appropriate for a memorial diamond?

| Cremation Jewellery For Your Diamond

Jewellery is not compulsory when it comes to a cremation diamond. Many clients actually just get the cremation diamond itself. This option is typically picked by clients who plan on placing the memorial diamond at home.

Many clients do, however, choose to have the diamond with them, therefore, we can recommend our jeweler who will help you design your own cremation ring or a stunning cremation necklace to hold your diamond and loved one close to you at all times.  Here are few examples, hope it will help you make your decsion.

| Cremation Jewellery Ring

Rings have been used to symbolize everything from devotion, fidelity and eternity, also to the representation of a deity. The most common use of rings today is the denotation of love in engagements and weddings.

A cremation jewellery ring is portable and easy to wear, setting a memorial diamond on to a ring or even set on to an existing wedding or engagement ring is one of our most popular choices.

Our recommended jeweller can help you decide on the ring designs and highlights uniqueness of your personal memorial diamond. Your choice of ring settings is very important, it will determine to some extent what kind of diamond finishes you decide on.

To help you figure out what you want, it is useful to take a look at Algordanza customers’s cremation rings, and we list out some very popular ring styles for you.

Read More 

(Images above, cremation rings with Algordanza ashes to Diamonds)

| Cremation Jewellery Pendant

“Pendant”  comes from old french “pendre” and Latin word “pedere” both meaning “to hang down.” Diamond pendant necklaces are often given as a symbol of love, specifically eternal love.

Often our customers choose a cremation jewellery pendant with their memorial diamond because they want to wear their personal memorial diamond close to their heart, and can carry it with them at all times. A diamond pendant makes for a stunning and meaningful gift for any special occasion, and heirloom to pass down through many generations.

Our recommended jeweler can help you decide on your pendant designs, a pendant is an especially great setting for memorial rough diamonds.

To help you decide on what you want, please take a look at Algordanza customer’s pendants, we have listed out some very popular pendant styles for you.

(Images above, cremation pendant with Algordanza ashes into Diamonds)

Read More

| Cremation Jewellery Earrings

Diamond stud earrings are a perfect versatile piece of jewellery. One of our customers who decided on the earrings said she feels like her parents are talking to her when she wears them.  Diamond stud settings tend to be classic, however there are slight variations depending on  the diamond cut/shape.  Here are a few examples:

(Images above, cremation earrings with Algordanza ashes into Diamonds)

Read More

| Other Cremation Jewellery

Apart from pendants and rings, you can also have your memorial diamonds set on to a bracelet, pins, and cufflinks, our recommended jeweler will help you to decide on your jewellery. Take a look at some of the inspirational images from our customers:

(Images above, other cremation jewellery with Algordanza ashes into Diamonds)

Call us on 0800 0646683 or email us to book a free consultation, we will walk you through the process and service. #algordanzauk

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Wearing Cremation Jewellery

How do you feel wearing cremation jewellery? Everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way. If cremation jewellery brings comfort and peace, then why not go with it?

925 Sterling Silver Wing of an Angel Memorial Pendant and screw top

(925 Sterling Silver Angel Wings)

In doing a little research, I bumped into Casey who shared her story after her father had passed away. Casey’s experience is a good illustration. “When my father died, he didn’t have any heirloom necklaces or rings to pass on. Believe it or not, I got the idea for a cremation necklace from a TV show. I thought a necklace for ashes that I could wear every day would be a cool way to remember him. I don’t tell a lot of people about this because it is a touchy subject, but to me, it’s comforting.” Casey realizes that some might find it odd, so opts for discretion, while finding personal meaning wearing the pendant.

Pet owner are often drawn to pet memorial jewellery, which seems less burdened with dogma (no pun intended). It brings a comforting, even playful, presence to the wearer, and people are generally more accepting of it.

Paw Print Cremation Pendant opened
White Paw Print Pendant

In TEDx talk, “Beyond Closure: The Space Between Joy and Grief,” Nancy Berns, Ph.D., posits that “closure” is a fabricated concept. We don’t need closure to heal. Furthermore, closure actually distorts grieving.

“As humans, we have the capacity to carry joy and grief at the same time. So what would happen if, rather than telling people to put a lid on their pain, we open the box and listen to people’s stories,” says Dr Berns.

We don’t aim to leave grief behind by finding closure – instead, we lend a hand in learning to live and move forward with grief. In a poignant example, Dr Berns says that in photography and art, it is the shadows that give depth and meaning. Thus, it is light and shadows, joy and grief, that entwine to enrich the dimensions or our humanity.

So, all in all, it does go down to personal choice. For most, cremation jewellery keeps a connection between their loved ones and keeps memories alive with also wearing a beautiful piece of jewellery.

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Cremation DIAMONDS – Diamonds Made From Hair


Diamonds have long been valued for their beauty, strength and longevity. A diamond engagement ring represents a promise of marriage. A diamond anniversary celebrates 60 years of togetherness.

A Cremation Diamond honours the life of a deceased loved one and provides an everlasting memorial keepsake. While the process to create diamonds from cremated remains has been available to families for over a decade, London based, Algordanza UK, who offers Swiss-based H.Q. Algordanza Memorial Diamonds in the UK, is pleased to announce the launch of a new product offering.

As of July 1, 2018, these beautiful Memorial Diamonds will now be offered made from hair as well, introducing what was previously a cremation-only option to burial families. Swiss-based Algordanza, a worldwide manufacturer of Cremation Diamonds, uses a high-heat, high-pressure process to transform carbon extracted from the hair into a high-grade certified diamond. Once the process is completed – in four to eight months – the diamond can be set in a piece of jewellery or kept in its display box. The options are virtually endless.

In addition to diamonds made from hair Algordanza also offer ‘Origin Diamonds’ In cases where not enough cremated remains or hair of the deceased person are available, a second Carbon source can be added such as personal letters, diaries or pictures.

As hair is almost 50 per cent carbon, it also contains the core material necessary to create a one-of-a-kind diamond keepsake. In addition to allowing burial families to have the option of purchasing a cremation diamond, this new service offering also appeals to families who may have shied away from the procedure due to religious beliefs.

A lot of funeral directors are really excited about the new option. It basically means that every family who walks through the door is a potential client for a Memorial Diamond. Today, Algordanza creates three types of Memorial Diamonds:

The hair can be collected after a viewing or even when the person is still alive. Some people, such as cancer patients, have even pre-planned for the diamond or kept hair collected while going through chemotherapy. Only 5 grams of hair is needed (think a small sandwich bag) which can be head or body hair. It can also be co-mingled with other hair sources such as from a spouse or grandchildren – again not stepping on the toes of beliefs that do not condone the intermingling or dividing of cremated remains.

 Since opening shop in 2004, the popularity of the diamonds offered by Algordanza continues to grow. Some families, concerned about shipping the remains or the diamond, have made the journey directly to Switzerland and are often keen to visit. “Our company is very transparent and if you want to see the process, we are 100 per cent for that,” says Kevin Foy, MD of Algordanza UK. “We’ve had families drop off the ashes and we have had families pick up the diamonds. In fact, the presentation of the diamond in Switzerland is a rather formal white-glove affair. Moreover, Kevin says the family never has to worry about their emotional or financial investment. “When the order is placed, a unique serial number is created that carries through the entire process – basically it is tagged on every beaker and test tube, then it is eventually laser-etched into the girdle of the diamond. Lastly, the finished diamond is fully insured on its journey home.”

Diamonds have long been a valued symbol of love. With the introduction of Algordanza HAIR, what was once only a cremation option is now available to burial families too, making Memorial Diamonds a universal option for all and also for celebrations such as engagements or the birth of a baby.

For more information, please contact Algordanza UK on 0800 064 6683 or email

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Diamonds from Pelé’s Hair

(Source: Royal Society of Chemistry)

Diamonds Made from Hair

We had an unusual request to the Chemistry World office this week. A producer from Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 2 drivetime programme wanted to know if it’s possible to make a diamond from human hair.

Pelé before the final game of his career, Giants Stadium, New Jersey, 1 October 1977. From on a CC-BY-3.0 licence

The query was prompted by the news that Brazilian football legend Pelé had announced a range of diamonds, each made from a strand of his hair, to commemorate each of the 1283 goals he scored in his professional football career.

It seemed a fairly straightforward request – there’s plenty of carbon in hair and it’s certainly possible to make diamond industrially from a carbon source – so I volunteered to take the call.

I read around first, to find some extra facts and figures about diamonds. Most of these come from ‘the internet’, as I didn’t have much time before broadcast, so please forgive any inaccuracies.

Pele’s hair caught on a radio antenna in Hawaiʻi

My search took an immediate, albeit interesting, diversion when I discovered that Pele’s hair is already a known geological phenomenon. Rather than gemstones derived from a footballer’s foliage, Pele’s hair is an extraordinary type of volcanic glass, formed when molten rock is thrown into the air and extruded by the wind into hair-like golden fibres. These fibres travel downwind of the volcano, cool and solidify where they land. These unusual glass structures are named after the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes rather than the Brazilian godfather of football.

After this brief foray into volcanology, a reworded search confirmed that Pelé really is turning his hair into diamonds, using one of the established techniques for manufacturing synthetic diamond – the high temperature, high pressure, or HTHP method. This is the method that most closely mimics a diamond‘s natural geological formation. As its name suggests, pressures in the vicinity of 7GPa at more than 1700°C are used to grow fairly large stones using a diamond grit seed and carbon dissolved in a molten metal solvent. The exact conditions do vary – one company that makes diamonds from cremains(‘dead dog diamonds’, according to Simon Mayo) uses 5-6GPa at 1600-2000°C. The size of the resulting diamond depends on a number of factors, not least the time for which the conditions are maintained: De Beers once made a 25 carat (5g) stone by holding these conditions for six weeks.

Just in case Simon asked me live on air, I thought I should figure out how big a diamond made from a strand of hair could be, which means estimating how much carbon a single strand of the ex-Santos striker’s hair might contain. Hair is made of a number of different proteins, predominantly keratin, but also contains oils, water and a wide variety of other compounds (hair is routinely used for toxicological or narcotic testing, due to its tendency to accumulate drug metabolites, heavy metals and other toxins). We don’t know what Pelé has been exposed to (if he’s a fan of seafood there may be above average mercury concentration, for example) so I took average values for everything.

An average 12cm human hair (at least in one study) weighs 0.62mg. Making the sweeping assumption that hair contains a nice round 50% carbon by weight, that gives us 0.31mg of carbon from a single strand. If we make another assumption and convert all of that into diamond, we get an unimpressive 0.00155 carat gem. Apparently, each of the Pelé hair diamonds on sale (yours for just £4500) weighs 1 carat. If these gems are pure footballer fuzz, and don’t contain any generic carbon, they would need to be made from around 650 12cm hairs. There are around 100,000 hairs on an average human scalp, so to make the full run of 1283 diamonds, Pelé would need to shave his head completely 8.3 times.

If you’re a committed football fan, these diamonds could be a good investment, and at £4500 are a snip compared to one made from a clip of Beethoven’s barnet, which sold on ebay in 2007 for £121,000.


*Algordanza UK will offer diamonds made from the carbon in hair from 1st July 2018


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Algordanza Cremation Diamond Purchase Process

Algordanza Memorial Diamond Order Process

  • Step 1. Find an ALGORDANZA Representative
  • Step 2. Consider Your Memorial Diamond
  • Step 3. Decide on Your Desired Diamond and Price
  • Step 4. Sign the contract and order form
  • Step 5. Collection, Shipment, and Delivery of Ashes or Hair
  • Step 6. From Ashes to a Cremation Diamond
  • Step 7. Delivery of the diamond

| Step 1. Find an ALGORDANZA Representative

Our representatives are presented in over 35 countries worldwide, they are all competent, caring, and pleased to consult you on placing your order for an ALGORDANZA Memorial Diamond. Get in touch with us or find our ALGORDANZA International representations by selecting your country.

For ALGORDANZA UK and Ireland, please contact Kevin Foy via email or phone: 0800 0646683.  We only have one representative in the UK.

| Step 2. Considering Your Memorial Diamond

In order to understand Algordanza Products, Process and Services and importantly the differences Algordanza offers from the other memorial diamond providers. Please read here for more details. 

Or book a free consultation or Switzerland lab visit with our UK Representative.

| Step 3. Decide on Your Desired Diamond and Price

Please see the Memorial Diamond Decision for more details. Once you have looked through our brochure, website and price list please contact us to confirm your selections and we will provide you the price based on your preferences.

| Step 4. Sign the Contract and Order Form

Once you have decided on your algordanza memorial diamond purchase, we will arrange an appointment to visit you to sign the contract and order form.

A unique reference number will be provided to you for your future tracking purposes, and 50% of the payment is required at this stage.

| Step 5. Collection, Shipment, and Delivery of Ashes or Hair

Your funeral home will organise the funeral service and cremation for you. We understand that handling the loved one’s ashes or remains can be overwhelmingly emotional, therefore there are two options that could make this process easier: –

Option 1, we can provide secured shipment of collected ashes or hair to our ALGORDANZA Swiss Lab free of charge.

For Algordanza Pure

  • If you wish to keep some of the ashes, we only require a minimum of 500g of ashes to produce your diamonds. Please ask your funeral home to put aside 500g of ashes, and we will collect the ashes directly from the funeral home. Or, we can collect the 500g ashes from you at home directly.
  • If you wish to use all the ashes, we can transform the entire amount of ashes as a diamond, if there is no additional burial desired.

For Algordanza Hair or Algordanza Origin

  • Please ask your funeral home to keep 5g of hair, we can collect the required hair or objects directly from the funeral home or from you directly.

Option 2, Alternatively, if you would prefer to hand over the ashes/hair yourself, and visit our ALGORDANZA swiss lab, please contact us to arrange this.

| Step 6. From Ashes to a Memorial Diamond

Once our Swiss Lab has received the ashes or hair, it will take from 4 to 8 months for the transformation of hair or ashes into a memorial diamond.  To find out more about the memorial diamond creation process click here.

We will inform you every step of the creation process and status via email.  Each process will be timestamped, they are: –

Step 1 Ashes Reception

Step 2 Approval

Step 3 Carbon

Step 4 Graphite

Step 5 Synthesis

Step 6 Re synthesis

Step 7 Cut/Polish

After Step 7, the diamond is ready for delivery.

| Step 7. Delivery of Your Diamond

Once the memorial diamond is ready from the lab, we will arrange to deliver your diamond to you personally.  The remaining 50% payment is due upon completion.

Alternatively, you can arrange to collect your diamond directly from Algordanza, Switzerland. (subject to 7.7% Swiss Tax)

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Why is Memorial Jewellery so Popular?

gold cross memorial pendant with celtic engraving

Why is Memorial Jewellery so Popular?

The idea of parting with a loved ones ashes is a hard decision and so when it comes to deciding what you would like to, it has become a popular solution to turn to memorial jewellery.

The thought of scattering ashes can take families years, as they feel they cannot separate themselves from their loved ones. Memorial jewellery only requires a minimal amount of ashes to deliver a specialised gem, so you can keep your loved ones close, and still scatter their ashes somewhere special.

The memorial piece doesn’t necessarily require ashes. It can be made with a lock of hair, or even a dried flower from the funeral, set into a pendant. Memorial jewellery isn’t just about what you are sealing inside, but what it represents. It is an over-romantic, personal piece of art that stays close to the heart.

Memorial jewellery enables families to create unique and priceless heirlooms to store the memories of their loved ones. It allows them to hold them near and pass on their memory to family in the future.


Pet Cremation Jewellery

Memorial jewellery is also a way of holding onto family pets in a subtle, sentimental and personalised way, instead of alternative options like keeping their ashes in an urn or taxidermy.

Pet Cat Memorial Locket

The style of memorial jewellery that most fits your needs can range from a cremation diamond to hand-blown glass pendants. They are also available in different styles, colours and can be made to fit any type of jewellery, earrings, rings, necklaces etc.

Each piece is made individually and to your specific needs, so every memorial gem will be unique and will give you the closure you desire for your loved one. The range of options for memorial jewellery means there is a price point for everyone wanting to memorialise their loved one in a beautiful jewel.

Source –

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Natural vs. Synthetic Diamonds

Doing that whole down on one knee thing? If you’re considering buying a rock you should know science has come up with a way to make stones that look exactly like natural diamonds. Sound unromantic? There are some pretty compelling reasons to consider…

Here’s what you need to know.. First of all, when we’re taking synthetic diamonds we’re not talking fakes. These ain’t no cubic zirconia. These stones are virtually identical, right down to having the same optical, physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds.

Natural diamonds are formed when carbon is compressed deep in the Earth’s crust for millions of years under intense heat and pressure. Synthetic diamond producers simulate the same conditions but speed up the process.  So instead of millions of years, we’re talking weeks! Natural diamonds are mined; synthetic diamonds are grown. There are a couple of methods, but both start with a diamond seed – that’s a tiny piece natural of synthetic diamonds. It acts as a template that forces carbon atoms to align in the same lattice crystalline structure that makes diamonds so sparkly. The result? Natural and synthetic stones are chemically identical and you can only tell the difference in a lab. In fact, since a lab-grown diamond is virtually a diamond, one grower’s group is lobbying the US Federal Trade Commission to prohibit the word synthetic when describing them. They prefer the word cultured.

Natural stones can have significant Eco and ethical costs. Mining can have serious environmental effects. Synthetic stones, on the other hand, have a much smaller footprint. There’s also a difference between synthetic and simulated diamonds. If a diamond says it’s synthetic or lab-grown, it’s a diamond – just not one that came from the ground. Stones that are sold as simulated diamonds and diamond substitutes like cubic zirconia, clear quartz and moissanite are sparkly, but they’re not diamonds.

So if you like it and want to put a ring on it, there are options.

Source – CBC Marketplace

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Understanding Grief

Although many of us are able to speak frankly about death, we still have a lot to learn about dealing wisely with its aftermath: grief, the natural reaction to the loss of a loved one and the difficulty to understand grief.

Relatively few of us know what to say or do that can be truly helpful to a relative, friend or acquaintance who is grieving. In fact, relatively few who have suffered a painful loss know how to be most helpful to themselves.

Two new books by psychotherapists who have worked extensively in the field of loss and grief are replete with stories and guidance that can help both those in mourning and the people they encounter avoid many of the common pitfalls and misunderstandings associated with grief. Both books attempt to correct false assumptions about how and how long grief might be experienced.

One book, “It’s OK That You’re Not OK,” by Megan Devine of Portland, Ore., has the telling subtitle “Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand.” It grew out of the tragic loss of her beloved partner, who drowned at age 39 while the couple was on vacation. The other book, especially illuminating in its coverage of how people cope with different kinds of losses, is “Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving,” by Julia Samuel, who works with bereaved families both in private practice and at England’s National Health Service, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

The books share a most telling message: As Ms. Samuel put it, “There is no right or wrong in grief; we need to accept whatever form it takes, both in ourselves and in others.” Recognizing loss as a universal experience, Ms. Devine hopes that “if we can start to understand the true nature of grief, we can have a more helpful, loving, supportive culture.”

Both authors emphasize that grief is not a problem to be solved or resolved. Rather, it’s a process to be tended and lived through in whatever form and however long it may take.

“The process cannot be hurried by friends and family,” however well meaning their desire to relieve the griever’s anguish, Ms. Samuel wrote. “Recovery and adjustment can take much longer than most people realize. We need to accept whatever form it takes, both in ourselves and in others.”

We can all benefit from learning how to respond to grief in ways that don’t prolong, intensify or dismiss the pain. Likewise, those trying to help need to know that grief cannot be fit into a preordained time frame or form of expression. Too often people who experience a loss are disparaged because their mourning persists longer than others think reasonable or because they remain self-contained and seem not to mourn at all.

I imagine, for example, that some adults thought my stoical response to my mother’s premature death when I was 16 was “unnatural.” In truth, after tending to her for a year as she suffered through an unstoppable cancer, her death was a relief. It took a year for me to shed my armor and openly mourn the incalculable loss. But 60 years later, I still treasure her most important legacy: To live each day as if it could be my last but with an eye on the future in case it’s not.

Likewise, I was relieved when my husband’s suffering ended six weeks after diagnosis of an incurable cancer. Though I missed him terribly, I seemed to go on with my life as if little had changed. Few outside of the immediate family knew that I was honouring his dying wish that I continue to live fully for my own sake and that of our children and grandchildren.

Just as we all love others in our own unique ways, so do we mourn their loss in ways that cannot be fit into a single mold or even a dozen different molds. Last month, James G. Robinson, director of global analytics for The New York Times, described a 37-day, 6,150-mile therapeutic road trip he took with his family following the death of his 5-year-old son, collecting commemorative objects along the way and giving each member of the family a chance to express anger and sadness about the untimely loss.

Ms. Devine maintains that most grief support offered by professionals and others takes the wrong approach by encouraging mourners to move through the pain. While family and friends naturally want you to feel better, “pain that is not allowed to be spoken or expressed turns in on itself, and creates more problems,” she wrote. “Unacknowledged and unheard pain doesn’t go away. The way to survive grief is by allowing pain to exist, not in trying to cover it up or rush through it.”

As a bereaved mother told Ms. Samuel, “You never ‘get over it,’ you ‘get on with it,’ and you never ‘move on,’ but you ‘move forward.’”

Ms. Devine agrees that being “encouraged to ‘get over it’ is one of the biggest causes of suffering inside grief.” Rather than trying to “cure” pain, the goal should be to minimize suffering, which she said “comes when we feel dismissed or unsupported in our pain, with being told there is something wrong with what you feel.”

She explains that pain cannot be “fixed,” that companionship, not correction, is the best way to deal with grief. She encourages those who want to be helpful to “bear witness,” to offer friendship without probing questions or unsolicited advice, help if it is needed and wanted, and a listening ear no matter how often mourners wish to tell their story.

To those who grieve, she suggests finding a nondestructive way to express it. “If you can’t tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark storyline. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it.”

She also suggests keeping a journal that records situations that either intensify or relieve suffering. “Are there times you feel more stable, more grounded, more able to breathe inside your loss? Does anything — a person, a place, an activity — add to your energy bank account? Conversely, are there activities or environments that absolutely make things worse?”

Whenever possible, to decrease suffering choose to engage in things that help and avoid those that don’t.