Life has a way of propelling you in different directions and sometimes events in your life can set you on a whole new course. Creating jewelry was always a passion of mine in my evening hours, while I spent my days as a social worker, but that all changed on September 19, 2014. My step-father took his life that day and my world was forever altered. To say I was devastated doesn't seem to capture the full emotion of what I was experiencing. Through my grief, I found ways to create remembrances of him and to continue to keep his memory alive. I wanted a way to have a piece of him that I could carry with me. Creating cremation jewelry began by fusing his ashes into glass that I set into various jewelry settings. The first time I put on a necklace I made that had his ashes, I truly felt his spirit. It brought me some peace and I found comfort in this memorial jewelry. Knowing how much it helped me through my grief, I wanted to offer this for others who have experienced the loss of loved ones.
This is me, Amy Richardson. Behind every smile is a story. Some stories are happy while others are painful memories. In the face of sadness, I found comfort carrying a piece of my step-father with me, which led to the creation of 919 Cremation Jewelry.
Losing someone to suicide is so incredibly difficult. I have found that taking part in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Overnight walks to be very cathartic and healing. I walk for Andy. This is my Mom and I in New York City 2016 where we walked 18 miles together from dusk to dawn. I did the Overnight Walk in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
Before I start the process of creating memorial jewelry, I like to burn sage to clear my own energy and read this beautiful smudging prayer. Doing this work is an honor and privilege and I find that burning sage creates a very peaceful environment.
While creating, I enjoy being able to have photos present of the person being honored, as well as play their favorite music. It's one of my ways of showing respect.