Grief is an emotional reaction to loss; mourning is an active response to grief. Bead Blessings© are a powerful and beautiful tool for grieving actively.
Bead Blessings are designed to be a beautiful mourning aid. The beads are surprisingly soft and fit easily into your hand. Use these beads to focus your attention while saying a prayer, blessing, or mantra. Or, use them as “worry beads” when the anxieties of grief are strong.
Symbols of Hope
Each Bead Blessing is completed with a symbol of hope:
- Butterfly (Symbolizing rebirth) – Order
- Dragonfly (Symbolizing afterlife) – Order
- Tree of Life (Symbolizing immortality) – Order
- Elephant (Symbolizing always remembering the deceased) – Adult | Child
- Sankofa (Ghanian symbol for taking from the past what is necessary for the future) – Order
Beth likes to tell children that when they miss their loved ones, they can hold their elephant beads for comfort. An elephant never forgets, and you don’t have to either!
Why use beads?
Beads have been used for thousands of years across all faith and belief systems to help people calm themselves, ponder life, pray, meditate, honor, and bless. People of all ethnic backgrounds, races, religions, and creeds can use beads to help connect with their feelings about their loved ones, their belief in a higher power, and to heal within.
What do beads have to do with grief?
Grief is a powerful emotion that comes on us when we are bereaved from the loss of a loved one. Being bereaved actually means to be robbed of or deprived of someone or something. In the case of grief, usually we have lost a beloved person, but it can be a home, a job, or another kind of relationship. If we only feel grief and do nothing with it, the grief can make us sick or keep us stuck in pain. Mourning is the process of doing something active with grief.
Using beads as mourning practice can be one of many powerful ways to work actively with your grief. With the beads to focus attention, the mourner can hold them all or touch each bead—one at a time—saying a prayer, blessing, or mantra while doing so.
What is your favorite mantra? Here are some sample blessings:
- Yours [God’s], not mine.
- You’re always here with me.
- I love you always.
- Peace to you and to me.
- Whisper in my heart; I will listen.
- Departed but not gone from my heart.
- [breathe out] I release pain. [breathe in] I take in peace.
Bead Blessings Artist:
Dawn Hammerbacher, Artist for Bead Blessings, is a jewelry and beading crafter with additional talents in the needle arts, photography, ceramics, and painting. She loves to create items that people can cherish and use for their personal growth, relaxation, and search for hope and peace. Dawn holds a B.A. in Studio Arts and Psychology from Hood College in Maryland. Her unique background in art and psychology, as well as her joy in being a wife and mother, lead her to give of herself to those who are grieving.
Custom Orders: Dawn is happy to design a Bead Blessing to your personal preference for an additional $10.00 plus the costs of any special-order stones or charms.
Dr. Beth L. Hewett is an experienced grief coach, bereavement facilitator and facilitator trainer, author, public speaker, and writing instructor. Her specialty is mindful mourning with Bead Blessings, writing, and other purposeful activities.
Dr. Hewett is a Certified Compassionate Bereavement Care™ Provider and grief coach. Her philosophy is that we deserve support in the sadness of death. She will listen to your story and walk the grief journey with you.
- Good Words: Memorializing Through a Eulogy
- More Good Words: Practical Activities for Mourning
- More Good Words: Grief in the Workplace
- Good Words Booklets