Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Art of Healing

by Staci Louise Smith

It has been a sad couple weeks for us in the Smith home.  On the 5th we had to put down our furry companion of 15 years....our black lab Jake.

It was time, his body was failing him, yet it was still the hardest decision I have had to make.

We miss him terribly.  I had two weeks of just terrible sadness.  Weeping at the drop of a hat.  
Jake was my first baby, with my oldest son coming about a year later.  They grew up together, and he too, took this very hard.

So we had him cremated, and decided to make an oak box together for his ashes.  My husband made the box, and the kids helped to sand and stain it. 

It is so healing to do work with your hands.  Whether it is art, or cooking to serve another person, or digging in the soil to plant your own food, its just good for the soul.

Making this box, allowed us to cry and smile at the same time.  It allowed us to do one last thing for Jake as a family.

I finally got around to my part, which was to make the name plate for the box.

I used my jewelry skills and sawed out a heart and a lab silhouette. 
Stamping in a straight line is not really my thing, but I did my best.  
 It is getting backed in felt to soften it up, and will get tack nailed to the box.  

Art therapy really does help.  

Have you ever turned to creating to help you through a tough emotional time?  Share in the comments.....we'd love to hear your story.


Lu Heater said...

I am so sorry for your loss for it is a deep loss....I know. I must find a tissue to blow my nose and wipe the tears. Thank you for sharing. ...Lu

Erin Fish said...

Staci, Doing art has gotten me through some really tough times - this year has been particularly challenging with many family issues and concerns that have been really difficult. I know there are lessons in all of this pain - and need to be open to what those lessons are. The tears are important - they help us heal and are very needed especially when someone has walked across your heart and left their footprints there forever. I feel for you and your family - when we had to make that difficult decision for our shepherd, I cried for three days - straight. I still miss her, even though it has been ten years - but we have many wonderful and crazy memories of the love and loyalty that she provided.

Janet Bocciardi said...

What a beautiful thing to do for Jake and your family. I've got ceramic urns for our pups from a local potter with their names on them. I like having them on the shelf in my living room. They'll always be a part of our family and hearts.

As far as doing art to handle stress, etc... definitely. I've created some political/environmental jewelry out of anger, sadness, and futility I was feeling over the Gulf Oil Spill. It definitely helped by doing something positive - even if it was just a positive healthy thing for me.

JAIME said...


Carol Dekle said...

What a special and meaningful way to have the whole family come together to honor and cherish a long time family pet. So sorry for your loss Staci!

Scarlett Delgado said...

Im so sorry for your loss. He will always be in your heart.

Sarajo Wentling said...

I'm so very sorry for your family's loss! Sending lots of love and hugs your way.

Ann Schroeder said...

Such a lovely thing to do for and with your family.

Carol Briody said...

Oh Staci, I am so sorry about Jake. I typically drop by your blog to see your lovely creations..but this time was different. I know the sadness you are feeling. We lost 3 of our long-time furbaby girls over the course of 3 years a short time ago, then also lost a puppy to what we think was a genetic condition (we will never know for sure). I spent 2 weeks crying like I've never before with the loss of our first one, our Yorkie Molly. She was with me for 16 years, through surgery, cancer, some really tough work situations..she was there always happy. Then, suddenly one day, it was time..just like that. I didn't even get to think about it..until after. Since then, we have a new triple-furbaby gang on-board, because it was too quiet, too sad, to lonely, not right. These three new girls remind me every day how much we love them, to cherish every moment, to have fun, and to keep those who await our reunion in our minds and hearts everyday. Jake is a wonderful spirit awaiting your reunion.

Robin Miller said...

Staci, how sad it is to lose a wonderful pet who was part of your life and your love for so long. All my very best thoughts.

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