Memorial beads came about as a series of tragedies touched our family’s life. Charlene writes:
“In the summer of 2007 I met a woman at an art show. She came into my bead booth and showed me the bracelet she was wearing. She said it had dried flower petals in it, and the flowers came from her father’s funeral. I was impressed both with the sentiment and with the joy this woman had in wearing the bracelet. It was this chance, few minutes of meeting that would significantly change my life.
Within hours, I learned that a dear friend was going through the tragic loss of her daughter. My heart was just broken for her. I wished there was something I could do. And then I remembered the bracelet. I wanted to offer something personal like that to my friend, to express to her both my condolence and my love. But the family was very busy and I wasn’t able to connect with them to take some of the funeral flowers.
The idea of making memorial beads didn’t have long on the back burner, though. An extended family member lost her dear partner, and once again I offered to make some bracelets for the family. This time things connected, and they thought it was a good idea. I was given some of the flower petals, dried them, crushed them, and created beads for their bracelets.
I created Memorial-Beads.com as a way to show people what I was doing. The website helps to explain what the purpose is in making these beads, and to give a few visual references so that people know what I’m talking about.
My desire to create these pieces stems in part from my own grief journey. In 2001 our youngest son passed away in a sudden accident. He was 7 years old when he died. It was a very difficult thing to go through, but the love and support of those around us helped us on the mourning process. We attended GriefShare, a grief recovery program. I’m a strong believer in the program.
Whenever we are confronted with death, it begs the question of afterlife. I think this is a healthy thing, to want to know if this short time on Earth is all there is. I believe it isn’t. I’m a Christian who ascribes to the traditional beliefs of the Bible. For me personally, the afterlife is a settled issue, and it gives me a sense of joy to look forward to Heaven, because I’ve put my trust in Jesus Christ. It is this hope of reunion with loved ones who have passed on in faith, of knowing we will see one another again, that takes a big part of the sting out of death.
But while we’re here and they have gone on to eternity, we grieve for ourselves, for the loss of their companionship. Our friends love us and they want to encourage us, to support us while we walk this valley. So that’s the mission of Memorial Beads. It’s a tangible way for those who love us to show their compassion. Long after the services are over, and the bouquets have wilted, and the meals have stopped coming — Memorial Beads are a constant reminder of the support and heartfelt love of the one who gave them. We now have an online catalog of our Memorial Bead Products.”