Back in January, a lady in my Grief Works group showed me one she had made, and I fell in love with it. I wrote down the name of the shop, with all the best intentions to go there and have one made too, but kept forgetting about it. Occasionally I would happen upon the paper that had the shop name on it, but then it would slip my mind again, and I'd go about my life forgetting about it.
This week, all four children have had half day camp at our local children's museum, which is downtown in our city. Monday morning after I had a coffee date with one of my twitter friends, I decided to explore for the last hour that I had before having to pick up the children. I wandered down the street, and saw this cute shop I wanted to look in. I fell in love with the items in there, and picked out a few things to purchase for Christmas gifts. Then out of the corner of my eye, I happened to see a pendant.
I gasped, and asked the owner if this was the store I thought it was. He replied yes, and I started to cry a little as I explained to him what had happened. It was fate that I walked into that store on Monday, and I was just so happy that I had finally found it and could get my pendant made.
I picked it up yesterday morning after the kids were done camp. I opened the box slowly, peeled back the tissue paper, and gasped as I saw the pendant laying there on the cotton padding.
Isn't it just gorgeous?
I remarked to the owner that it was just beautiful. I absolutely LOVE it. The inside circle is about the size of a quarter. The color is cobalt blue, and its made out of hand blown Pyrex glass. Its shaped like a bowl, so it's not flat on the bottom. The back has a star burst design of white, blue and red colors, so the pendant is versatile and can be worn both ways.
The reason I wanted to write about the pendant is because it is very special to me. Do you see those silver swirls inside? Do you know what those are?
They are a small portion of Barry's ashes.
What makes these pendants so special is that the artist (coincidentally he is also the owner) has developed a special technique for being able to put these in the pendant as he blows the glass and shapes it. It is not advertised, only done by word of mouth, and he makes them a priority, which is how I had it back within one day.
Monday night, I had the very humbling task of putting some of Barry's ashes into a little vial that was provided by the artist. I was somewhat scared to do that, but it turned out to be OK. I opened up the bag of extra ashes I had, shook it around a bit to separate the bits of bones and ash, and scooped them into the vial as best as I could. My finger tips were covered in ash, as I held Barry in my hands again. The first time I touched him since I said goodbye to his dead body in the hospital.
I cried a little as I put the ashes into the vial. And then glanced at my finger tips and wondered to myself , "I have Barry's ashes on my hands, what do I do now? Do I wash my hands, do I rub them off on my clothes, what do I do? But I did wash them. I washed his ashes off my hands, and down the drain they went amidst a cascade of soap and water.
Just the act of touching the ashes was extremely humbling. But the reality is, those ashes aren't him. They are his physical body, but not his essence. It represents him, but it is not how we remember him. Our memories are how we keep him close to us, and not by keeping the ashes around. However, I can always hold him close to my heart now as I wear this pendant.
I love it.