In February I received an email with the subject "Urn for my son's remains". I opened that email which was from a lovely lady named Melody who had lost her son on January 1st, 2016. Her son Jordan was only 26 years old. Melody had included in her email a beautiful photo of Jordan playing his Mandolin.
She wrote ; "My son, Jordan was a street artist, musician and a traveler who traveled the United States by hoping on trains and sharing rides with other travelers. He lived a very free spirited life. He took his own life on January 1st and I need to bring him home. I would like to talk to you about creating an urn for my son."
Melody had found the image of the Memorial Box I created for my girlfriend's dog Brody, which I wrote about here on my blog.
I called Phoenix Arizona, where Melody and her family live.
We spoke on the phone for at least 2 hours. With pen and paper in hand, I wrote down everything she shared with me about Jordan and the incredible life he lived!
When we hung up, I shared Jordan's story with my husband and son. Crying while trying to get the words out. They both looked at me and said "you have to make this piece for them."
So the journey began. I immediately knew the metal container to use, which was a vintage lunch box I had in my studio. I'm always on the look out for metal pieces I can rust and create art with.
Part of the story Melody shared with me was about Jordan's dog Bronson, which they are now taking care of and treasure him dearly. Jordan loved Bronson and took him on his travels. So one day, when the time comes and Bronson leaves this earth, his ashes will be with Jordan's. This is why I knew the lunch box was the perfect place to start.
My son and I made the following video journal to share the making of Jordan's Memorial Box. You can watch it below! Watch it in full screen if you can, so you can see all the details.
For reasons beyond our comprehension, suicide is sometimes a choice young people make. The loved ones left behind then struggle with the excruciating loss and daily pain of asking why? During the creation of the memorial box, I was constantly trying to put myself in Jordan's family's shoes. What were they going through. What would we do if anything ever happened to my son, who is now 16. How do you move forward with such a painful loss. At times, this thought process completely engulfed me. I would burst into tears on many occasions trying to reconcile how people move beyond such tragedy.
I have experienced what a tragedy is like, with the sudden death of my Dad when I was 17 years old, I quickly realized through compassion and understanding of this pain, comes hope and faith.
Dwelling on the "why" doesn't heal. Focusing on the time you shared with the loved one while they were on this earth begins the healing process. Talk about loved ones you've lost. Share the wonderful and funny stories. Keep his memory alive by honouring the life he lived...and boy, did Jordan LIVE! He did what he wanted, he explored the country and hung out with friends that became his travelling family! Jordan lived larger in his 26 short years than some will live in 80!
That's what we must remember, Jordan is showing us all to LIVE each day the way your heart guides you!
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone that is. There are many support systems out there. Here are a few websites with information.
The Canadian Mental Health Association
Love always Robin
Love always Robin