When my mom died last March, my head became full of thoughts in the way that it does when nothing makes sense any more. Everything was ramming around, clamoring for airtime and getting blurred in the jumble. However, in the midst of this confusion, there was a singular thought that managed to surface and kept rising above the rest.
My mother loved jewelry. She often bought my sister and I jewelry. Now that she was gone, there would be no more jewelry given to us. We didn’t need more bracelets or earrings; this wasn’t the point. The realization just carried a prevailing sadness that this tangible reminder of her love would be gone. Somehow in the midst of all the noise, I found my way to an Etsy shop that sold jewelry made from vintage silver spoons. They had ones with daffodils on them (daffodils were very important to my mother) and would etch words, dates, etc. on the inside. I didn’t know much in the early days after my mother’s death, but I knew I had to order these bracelets for my sister and I.
For about 16 months now, I have worn my silver daffodil cuff bracelet almost every day. They talk about children needing transitional objects as they move through different life stages or find themselves in unique situations. With my kids we call them their “loveys”. This is what my bracelet has become to me. I have found the death of a loved one is not only a “unique situation”, but introduces a whole host of weird phases I find I must move through. I cling to my lovey as I meet each new phase.
The bracelet has also come to embody my mother in some way. This may sound morbid or crazy or both, but I often think of it as “taking my mom with me”. For example, when my cousin got married, when my son had his last day of preschool and they did some special songs and dances, and when my sister delivers her first baby, my mom can still “go with me”.
It works the other way too. If I am really ticked at her one day because she died and left me, I can refuse to take her along. “Sorry, Mom, but I’m mad at you, so today you’re just going to have to stay home.” There is a healing power in this, in being able to feel angry and make one small tangible step to acknowledge my pain.
The other day I told my sister I was going to write about The Bracelets, and she asked, “Do you still wear yours every day?”. I said, “Yeah. You?”. She exhaled, “Yeah.” We talked about how so few people know what is under the banner of love we wear on wrists. Some do. Often though, people will compliment the bracelet, and we just say, “Thanks”, because it’s easier that way.
And I think for today, this is all. I’m wearing my bracelet and I’m loving my mom.
This post goes out with love and prayers to a friend who very recently lost her own mother. In the moments when the pain is too real and the loss too encompassing, please know that they are people with you, squeezing your hand. xo.