Mother & Child Cremation Jewelry
by Jerri Haaven, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant
Angela Miller, who lost her son seven years ago, writes, “If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy.”
It is said that love is the most powerful force on earth. And the love between parent and child holds a transformative power unlike any other. When a child has died, it often feels that life’s meaning has vanished. The heart longs for one more moment with your child, and the heartache is as deep as the Grand Canyon and doesn’t soften.
If you’re visiting this site, perhaps you’ve lost a child or know someone who has. While we understand that the immense grief of losing a child is known only by those who’ve experienced it, we offer below a few valuable resources for grieving moms, parents, and family members, along with a concrete way to memorialize a child.
Support for a newly bereaved mom or parent
When Angela Miller lost her son, she found a way to cope by helping other bereaved parents. Angela founded A Bed for My Heart, a compassionate online community dedicated to providing a safe space for grieving parents. Angela writes candidly about child loss and grief. Her writing and her book have been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, CBS News, among other publications.
Along with the intense pain of loss, many parents also feel isolated when their child dies. Compassionate Friends was founded 40 years ago. Their mission is to provide comfort, hope, and support to families who lost a child. They have 700 chapters serving the 50 states, and a presence in 30 countries. They also have “virtual chapters” that provide a convenient online community offering a forum for compassion and sharing.
Memorializing a child with cremation jewelry
Symbolism by its very nature can be a mechanism to move within – and possibly through - grief. Merriam Webster (online) defines symbolism as “the practice or art of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible, intangible, or spiritual, by means of visible or sensuous representation.”
Jewelry provides some people an easy and accessible way to express the intangible and unique bond with a child. When a child is cremated, we have found a number of bereaved moms finding comfort by wearing something called "mother and child" cremation jewelry that holds a small bit of ashes. "Mother and Child" jewelry has become popular enough that there are several models that can be found on this site and others. The heart-shaped Sterling Silver Parent and Child Cremation Pendant is one example of this style.
Another style that has appealed to parents are themed around Teddy Bears. The Teddy Bear Heart Cremation Pendant is an example of this. The design is quite simple but the symbolism can be meaningful and poignant.
Is giving jewelry for ashes to a grieving parent appropriate?
The question often arises as to what meaningful gift to give a grieving mom or parent.
Is it overstepping to give a piece of jewelry? Perhaps your spouse, friend or sister enjoys wearing jewelry, but you are sensitive to their immense loss and way of grieving. If the child has been cremated, a thoughtful gift of a cremation pendant that holds a small portion of ashes could be meaningful. Some people are disturbed over the idea of wearing a pendant with ashes, so if you follow through with this idea keep that in mind. For those open to the idea find it comforting to have that small portion of ash with them at all times.
If you are newly bereaved, we hope that the support offered by family and friends might provide solace. And perhaps you’ll find a supportive community on the Compassionate Friends and the A Bed For My Heart websites.
Jerri Haaven is a freelance writer. While caring for her dad, who suffered from dementia and COPD, Jerri struggled with the negative side effects of his illness. She developed positive outlets to express herself and recover from her loss. Today Jerri sits on the Board of Directors for Opus Peace and provides communications consulting. Opus Peace helps people reconcile their Soul Injury, caused by unmourned loss and unforgiven guilt.