“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
Loss, sickness, a difficult life transition – how do you talk about these experiences with your children? How did your parents talk about them with you?
In my own family growing up, our reality of mental illness, addiction, and grief were never acknowledged. Both inside and outside of the house, it was as if these traumatic events didn’t happen, despite the lingering effects on all of us.
The problem with this collective silence is that every experience is part of our story, and every story, no matter how difficult, deserves to see the light of day. It is through this acknowledgment that both we as adults and our children are emboldened and empowered. Storytelling better ensures trauma is not inherited through the generations.
What if all of our stories were revered as badges of courage? What if we had ways to mark these events much like we do the joy filled ones?
I bring this idea to life through the medium of jewelry. Much like a ring to commemorate a wedding day, my Memoir and wax seal jewelry commemorate the more complex stories of our lives. These pieces can help parents and children alike give voice to their experiences and find solace and connection.
The idea itself is certainly not new. The Victorians did it best with their mourning jewelry, but the idea dates back to ancient times. From jewelry that held braided hair from a beloved, to mourning rings that were commissioned in the wills of the dead, it was commonplace to not only talk about difficult life experiences, but to adorn ourselves with them.
In my Memoir jewelry line, I take real life stories and translate them into a piece of jewelry that gives meaning to that person’s experience, and offers it up for others who resonate with it. It all started with a divorce ring, inspired by Cynthia’s story of a harrowing divorce and single motherhood. It then grew with a remembrance ring, based on my own story of losing my sister Donna. A third piece based around baby loss and miscarriage completes the line.
The wax seal collection, made from antique stamps, offers a less expensive but equally meaningful set of talismans for both adults and children. From charms based on love and remembrance, to those that speak to mantras and beliefs, each piece can be worn alone as a dainty necklace or added to other charms on a chain or bracelet. Custom orders for children have included baptism bracelets with spiritual charms, necklaces around pet loss, and a flower necklace to celebrate a first menstruation, to name a few.
Last but certainly not least is the array of vintage and antique jewelry in the shop, which carries on stories of the past and brings to life your own. Everything from engagement rings and wedding bands, to antique lockets and brooches, provide beautiful and meaningful jewelry for yourself or others.