I have been making photo pendants since the technology has been available to the jewelry industry but really never understood the significance of them until now.
It was February 6th 2015 in Ocean Grove, New Jersey and my cousin’s apartment building burned down to the ground while she was out to lunch on her day off. Seven apartments were lost and three businesses have been destroyed, lives have been turned upside down. Unfortunately her beloved Buddha “The Dog” was trapped in the apartment. Although a neighbor had a key and called my cousin to make her aware of the situation the flames had already became out of control and there was not much anyone could do at this point to save the dog or anything else for that matter. The fire spread very quickly. My cousin Danielle said “I smelled the fire from 3 miles away and saw the bellowing cloud of smoke in the sky when I was still over a mile away”. When she arrived on the scene this is what happened next as she tried to enter the burning building, “I was pinned on the ground by 3 police officers as I tried to rush into the burning building. As I watched the roof collapse and realized the horrific truth that my best friend would not be coming out of the burning building I left the scene and sat in my parent’s living room with close friends and some family in shock and disbelief. I don’t remember the details of the following three days. I lost a part of my soul.”
I personally have never had the opportunity to meet Buddha, but from what I understood he was a special dog. Not only because he was my cousins dog but because he had a way of bringing people together. From looking at hundreds of pictures and videos she posted on social media sites it’s hard not to think Buddha was special. My cousin told me that “I believe I found an inner strength inspired by Buddha”
“Buddha was not just your average rescue pit bull” says Danielle Brooke (you know those grateful loveable coddlers who make peoples lives a better place just because they are there) he was so much more. As a puppy he literally had one accident in our house and never again. He immediately learned all of his commands and was simply brilliant. Then he grew into a being that represented Buddha himself. "#Buddha “The Dog" would not so much as hurt a fly or a squirrel or a bird. He loved nature and his chair in our backyard and eating figs and finding balls (he could sniff out a ball from 2 floors down).... he was quickly certified as a therapy pet who visited old age homes.
Buddha also helped a dear friend of mine who suffered from manic depression. Buddha broke people out of depression like it was his purpose on this earth, says Danielle Brooke.
When I asked Danielle what was Buddha’s best quality this is what she had to say, “I cant pick just one quality that made Buddha great because there were so many, he loved me unconditionally, he gave nose kisses, he cleaned up garbage on the beach, he only knew love and was beyond gentle, his best days were on the beach running freely with a huge smile on his face. I feel like none of this does justice. Perhaps his presence still after his passing is a true reminder of his strength and purpose. To teach that no matter who you are, you are capable of finding peace in every situation even the most devastating ones. I carry this reminder with me daily and keep it in my heart and soul”
After hearing and being part of this situation I felt as If I had to commemorate Buddha “The Dog” life somehow. Yes, it’s easy to push a button and make a donation (http://de.gofund.me/m0t8j8), but I did not feel that it was enough. Donating money is easy and will never bring back her Buddha but then it hit me: A picture photo charm bracelet! What a beautiful way she can remember her dog and keep him close by all the time. I immediately went on Facebook to find the perfect picture to make the photo pendant. When the photo pendant charm bracelet was finished I shed a few tears and packed it in a pouch and sent it off to New Jersey with another cousin of mine who happened to be visiting me that day. When Danielle received the bracelet she told me that she “was touched” by the gesture. “I have nothing left of Buddha's besides a lacrosse ball gifted to me by my ex. I wore the bracelet at first as a reminder and then I set up a special corner in my home for all things Buddha, the necklace I wore the day I lost him, the keys to my old apartment and the bracelet, they hang next to a picture of Buddha with a quote that says "Upset is Optional." The bracelet is a reminder that we can carry love with us or pain. Anyone in your life that had meaning would prefer you carry love not pain. So know upset is optional, give yourself permission to feel and move through all your feelings but strive for love and peace in the long run”
After hearing this and seeing how she is able to move forward as a result of the bracelet and other memorabilia that she has gathered while Buddha was alive I now see how significant a photo picture pendant can be in the healing process when we lose a loved one. So whether it’s your Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, Dog, Cat, or Fish that passes on you can have them with you forever. See our full line of picture photo pendants and jewelry on our site.