Welcome to the final installment of Bead Week. Sorry it’s late, but WordPress kept spitting me out yesterday, alas! Still, better late than never.
Beads are great of course. We love them. They’re pretty and fun and useful. But many of us also have beads or beaded items that mean a lot to us personally. I happen to have several beaded items that hold personal meaning for me. All the same, there’s one that matters more than the others. That would be my Great-Great Aunt Anna’s jet necklace.
Of course there’s the sentimental value. I inherited the necklace from one of my all-time favorite relatives, and it’s a piece of family history on its own, besides. Still, there’s another layer to my fondness. I have something of a fascination with mourning ritual, and jet jewelry was designed for mourning purposes. When that necklace was first created, the only reason to wear it was because one was in mourning for someone who had died.
Most of us don’t follow a lot of traditions surrounding death, anymore. A few of us might have attended – or held – a wake or sat shiva, but I’m guessing that the most many more of us have done is attend a funeral or memorial service or two. When my Great-Great Aunt Anna was alive, there were rules about how you dressed, what social engagements you were allowed to participate in and which you’d best not join in until the mourning period was completely over, and just about every aspect of how to live life. That necklace, made of the only material deemed appropriate to wear during the mourning period, is a tangible reminder of how differently life was lived not so very long ago.
So what about you? Do you have a bead or beaded item that means a great deal to you? Or one that just makes you happy whenever you wear/look at/fondle it? Tell us all about it!