Friday, June 6, 2014

Close to My Heart

Today I got something I really needed. 

Over a week ago, I decided I wanted to have a pendant made out of Rick's ashes. Not all of his ashes, of course - just a piece of him that I could carry with me and wear. I wanted something I could touch or hold to feel brave and loved and not far from the person I loved. I researched and looked and used my heart to lead me to the right person to craft this for me. After I placed my request, I received this in the mail:

I used the tiny spoon to put some of Rick's ashes into the small canister that Paula sent me. And I sent the ashes to her with this letter and the photo/poem card from Rick's Celebration of Life service.

I asked her to create for me a glass pendant with Rick's ashes that was reminiscent of the beach and the sea, because that was his favorite place to be.

At Rick's Celebration of Life service, I asked Pastor Ginny to read something I wrote because I wasn't able to speak myself that day. What I asked her to read was this:

"Memorial Day Weekend of 2011, Arielle and Rick had a picnic together, just the two of them. That day, they dreamed of a different future for themselves, and as usual, Arielle used her writing to hold her thoughts close. She found this piece of writing from 2011 after Rick’s death, and she took it as a personal reminder from Rick that the end is not necessarily the end. This is what Arielle read when she found her own words from 3 years ago:

Regular couples may plan decades and decades into a vast future. Age-gap couples dream.

On Sunday afternoon, Rick and I went on a romantic little picnic, just the two of us. We spread out four towels to make a big square and got away for a few hours.

While we lay on the grass in the hot sun, Rick said softly and seriously:

"I was thinking that when I die, I'll wait for you. And that way when you die, we can come back together and be born at the same time... and know each other in our childhoods... and grow up together... and be high school sweethearts... and get married... and have a whole family. And then we'll get a whole lifetime together."

I teared up.

He kept talking. "And I wouldn't get the pain, and be in pain all the time. And we could do everything we wanted."

I started playing into the fantasy.

Rick reiterated, "We'll have a whole lifetime instead of just a few years."

I said, "You'll have a long time to wait for me again," referring to his years of solitude before I was old enough to come along. "And I'll have to wait a long time without you." I might live 30, 40, even 50 years without him in the later part of my life.

Rick said with a smile, "That's okay - I'll enjoy being in bliss," which is what he calls life after death, "so I won't mind."

We decided that he'd wait for me 'til I died, then we'd come back together and share and learn everything together from the start, get married, have a family, have grandchildren, and grow old together - without the unfortunate circumstances of this life.

Most people would find this silly or morbid or both. We just feel like the stars didn't align quite right and my soul mate turned out to be twice my age. We're grateful and happy - what we call "a few" years could be as much as 20 or 30, but somehow, when you want to grow old with someone, it doesn't seem like enough.

It wasn’t enough. But perhaps I will see him again."

Well, my pendant came today. It was waiting for me when I got home from work.

It's exactly what I wanted and I couldn't be happier.

I asked Paula, the artist, to use the words "Until we meet again, my love," because of that day Rick and I had our picnic together.

I was already emotional as I opened the pendant and held it in my hand, but then I noticed there was a second item in the parcel as well as a card from the artist. I opened the card before I opened the second item. This is what it said:

Dearest Arielle,

Thank you again for the honor of creating this most special piece for you, memorializing your dear husband. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope this pendant captures the sea and his eyes. I have also included a second pendant for his mom because, as a mother myself, I just know somehow that she needs it. May this necklace bring you some comfort and healing. 

Take care,

I was floored and sobbing. I don't know Paula. I don't know how she knew Rick's mom would love this and need this. I don't even know how she knew Rick had a mom still alive. All I know is that I'm stunned, grateful, and I believe in magic.

Now I can hold Rick close to my heart any day I wish...and give his mom a piece of her son.


  1. <3 this just warms the heart dear. Thank you for sharing with your readers

  2. I believe you just encountered an angel among us my love. What a beautiful art, what a wonderful gift. Whoever she is wherever she is Im sending her warm thoughts. What a heart swelling happening xxx

  3. Your blogs make me tear up every time I read them. At first I felt sad for how little time you two had together and a life cut short, but the more I read, I feel the tears are turning to joy when I realize how deep your love is and for how fortunate you two were to have had any time at all. A love like yours is special, whether it lasted a day, a month, 7.5 years, or decades. I hope one day when you are ready you will be shedding tears of joy for all the time you got and not tears of sorrow for all the time you won't have. Thinking of you daily and hoping you find peace. The necklace is beautiful.

  4. That is just achingly beautiful.

  5. Arielle, this is beautiful! I love the story and the sentiment and your love for each other. Could you please post Paula's contact information or website so that I could have a pendant made from my Grandmother's cremains? Thank you. I pray for you and Rick all the time!

  6. This is so beautiful. And Paula sounds like a wonderful, magical person. It was a really nice thing she did.
    I know it's not easy for you, but hang in there.

    ~ Meg


Help me feel less alone.