Sometimes It’s Jewelry

Jewelry is kind of generational thing for me. My grandma was in a ’jewelry of the month’ club. I thought that was cool, so a couple of years ago for Christmas, I signed my momma up for a ’bracelet of the month’ club.

Oh my goodness, did my momma love jewelry. She had stands full of gorgeous necklaces and bracelets and jewelry boxes filled to the brim with beautiful pieces.

If you’ve seen my other blog, you know that jewelry is pretty much my thing. Her love of it was for wearing. Mine is of taking it apart and making something unique with it. Though I do love wearing it, too.

When she was in the hospital in Lincoln, we stopped by a shop on our way there. I purchased four green agate bracelets with a star that were titled, ”Unexpected Miracles” and three rose quartz bracelets representing love.

I split them between my momma, me, my sisters, and my nieces. My momma and I got the miracle ones.

We were comforted by the thought of miracles, in a day filled with crappy possible diagnoses and an up in the air future. She put her “Unexpected Miracles” bracelet on and I did, too.

Things did not go as any of us had hoped and prayed for. And, in the days immediately following her passing, that miracles bracelet was practically glued to my wrist. I wouldn’t take it off.

A few days went by and I started looking online to see if there was such a thing as a bracelet for grief. Luckily, something perfect for me showed up. I want to share it with you today in case you or someone you know has grief hanging out by the garden gate.

When I found the shop, I ordered right away. The one I chose is called The Healing Grief Mala bracelet, and I tell you what, it has been a blessing in ways I can’t quite explain.

The colors are very calming and the stones and wood each have specific meaning. I wore it for a solid month, every single day.

The Healing Grief mala from The Meaningful Mala

I ordered one for my sisters. Another loved one was struggling, so I handed her mine. Then, I ordered another one for me.

The grief has eased up a bit most days, they say the shock lessens some, and I’m finding out that is true. I haven’t been wearing my grief bracelet like I did in the beginning.

On the tough days, though, when tears suddenly roll, I reach for it and put it on. I’ve been wearing it a lot this week.

It’s funny, the different things that bring us comfort in the days of loss. Sometimes it’s flowers or seeing an item they loved. Sometimes it’s a song or a picture. Sometimes it’s a card they sent or a message they left. And, sometimes, it’s jewelry.

Her shop is called The Meaningful Mala and the link is:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMeaningfulMala

(There’s no commission for me- I’m just sharing to share.)

Hope your day is lovely,

Jessica

18 Things to Help Someone During Loss

They say time heals. I find myself agreeing with that on some levels. Parts of losing my momma do seem a little better than they were initially.

While I am sure that time itself has had a hand in that, my heart tells me that the kindnesses people have shown have also made a huge impact. I mean, when we feel supported, sometimes we are reminded of our capacity to keep on walking through hard things.

I got to thinking about the ways people have shown their support through my family’s loss and came up with eighteen things that have been monumental.

Because, honestly, loss is hard and sometimes we have no idea what to do for somebody. Before I lost my own mom, I remember trying to put myself in my friends’ shoes when they lost their moms. I tried to support them and be there for them, but never really knew what to do.

Now that I have some insight, I thought I’d share in case you are looking for ways to help someone you know.

  1. Plastic silverware- believe it or not, was such a gift in the days before the services. We had many family members staying in one house and a friend brought a big container of it and oh my gosh, it was fabulous not to have to mess with having to wash silverware
  2. Show up- in whatever capacity you can, whether that is in person, phone calls, email, texts. People reaching out has been extremely helpful.
  3. Take food- the old fashioned thing to do used to be to take meals to the family. I’m not sure that happens a lot anymore, but I can say we were so thankful for the casseroles, cookies, soups, and desserts people brought.
  4. Send flowers to the services- the services are flat out hard. Even the anticipation of having to GO to my momma’s service was unsettling. However, seeing all the flowers there! Oh my!! And, reading the cards accompanying them was so uplifting. Several of my friends sent flowers and I’ll never forget it.
  5. Send a card- my parents were just shy of being married fifty five years and I am telling you what, people sent sympathy cards in the mail. My dad would go to the mailbox every day for weeks and it was full of cards. Super comforting.
  6. Comment- whether on a blog or text or social media, if someone is writing about their loss, showing support through commenting is huge.
  7. Sending thoughts/prayers- sometimes our friends and loved ones live far away. When friends and family couldn’t make it to the services, hearing them say ”thinking of you” was immensely helpful.
  8. Stop by- two days after mon passed, friends and family came to the house. Some brought veggie trays, muffins, brownies, fruit, etc. All sat at the kitchen table and visited a while. That meant a lot to all of us.
  9. Wind chimes- seriously, wind chimes are an amazing gift. My cousins gave dad some and a couple of my friends gave me some. Their songs when the wind blows remind us of the love and care given with them.
  10. Find cards to send for the first holidays after the loss- especially Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. I actually found an amazing seller on Etsy who makes cards for Mother’s Day without your mom. She was soooooo sweet. Those were the hardest cards I have EVER had to buy, but I wanted to send cards to my siblings and dad. She even changed them a bit to fit our situation. When she told me she was going to gift me two cards, I cried for two hours afterwards because I was so touched by her kind gesture. Her shop is http://www.cardandstory.com if you’d like to look.
  11. Suggest books- when I don’t know how to do something, I read about it. I had zero idea how to do mom loss, so in the first two weeks, I found two books that helped me a lot. They are: “Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died: Coping With Loss Every Day” by Ty Alexander and “Healing After the Loss of Your Mother: A Grief & Comfort Manual” by Elaine Mallon. When someone is ready, books can help a lot.
  12. Ask what they need- granted, most won’t know what they need. However, when a friend asked me, I told her a meal would be great. She came with grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and cookies.
  13. Ask something specific about what they might need- before I went through mom loss, I always asked more generally, ’Is there anything you need?’ Now though, I’m going to change that to ’please tell me two things (or three or ten) you need.’ ’Anything’ means having to come up with well, anything. Two things is doable.
  14. Support the kids- when my friend asked what she could do, I asked if her kids could make my son some cards. He lost his grandma. She brought him the sweetest homemade cards.
  15. Support the spouses- my husband knew mom for 27 years. His loss was huge, too. When he shared mom’s service information on his social media page, condolences specifically for him poured in. His work sent a plant which also showed their support for him.
  16. Keep checking in- things get quiet as weeks pass by. The world is busy and it can feel like people forget, so checking in is especially nice. I have a friend that texts me a hug type gif about once a week. A couple other friends text me to see how I’m doing. My cousins check in, too.
  17. Support the best friend- my mom’s best friend lost my momma, too. It’s important to remember the family AND the best friends.
  18. Attend the services- we had two services for my momma. A visitation five days after she passed and a life celebration a few weeks later. Total, about 450 people came. I cannot tell you how much it meant to see all those people. Even members of my high school class came. Plus, some people even drove over three hours one way to see us for an hour! That will never be forgotten.

Wow!! That’s quite a list. No wonder we have felt so loved and supported during this.

If you have ideas or suggestions on how you support someone during loss, please feel free to comment.

Thanks for much for reading. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Jessica

flowers a friend sent for mom’s life celebration