Tybee's Memorial Ring
I wanted a way to keep a part of Tybee close with me after she passed away. A memento of her. Something distinctive, beautiful, and well-crafted using her ashes.
Nothing can take Tybee’s place or bring her back. I miss and think of her every day. I see her by my side wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. Her ears flapping as she happily trots towards me, she’s splashing through creeks in the woods we walk through, and curled up asleep at the foot of the bed while I brush my teeth. She’s always with me and nothing will change that. But I need something physically to hold in my hand. Something I can touch.
I didn’t have any luck finding a jeweler that could make a ring using ashes in an elegant way. But then Lily emailed me two links. Lily and I met through an Aluminarium blog post and we’ve been friends after over a year of emails and bonding over our fierce love for our dogs. One of the links in her email was for Jewelry by Johan. Looking through his website I decided that he was the jeweler I wanted. He makes high-quality, attractive pieces of jewelry. On top of being able to customize my ring, I love his style - clean and simple lines, yet simultaneously eye-catching.
I admit, the ring hasn’t magically become this special keepsake for me. It doesn’t hold as much significance as Tybee’s necklace – the one she always wore made by me with the glass pendant that Sarah had especially blown for Tybs. Or Tybee’s ashes, even though the oddness of holding a wooden box in my lap and realizing she’s in there is disconcerting. I go through a rolodex of emotions while cradling her: grief as I cry my eyes out; fascination at how heavy her ashes are; disbelief this is all that’s physically left of her; and discomfort by the slight acrid smell of the ashes. Yet, holding it comforts me.
But, there are only so many places I can bring her necklace and box of ashes before it gets awkward, socially and physically. This ring lets me inconspicuously have her with me, she’s with me when I go to the places we love or places she would’ve enjoyed.
This ring isn’t a stand-in for her, it’s a memento. And mementos and memories are all I have.