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Good morning, my friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. It's been awhile since we've spoken, so I think I'm going to just jump right in!
I moved here to Austin about a week ago, and since the 4th of July was this weekend, my parents came up to spend the holiday with me. This morning, my dad was watching the news as I got ready, and I heard about the collapse of the condo building in Surfside.
It's been two weeks since the collapse, and they're still searching for survivors.
Even though I don't know anyone (as far as I know) in the collapse, it felt as if I did the moment I heard the news. My heart goes out to all of those affected, grieving, and hurting.
Grief is internal. It's a personal process that occurs through feelings, thoughts, and the inward experience of pain. When you lose someone, you're going to go through a tidal wave of emotions that will feel like you're drowning, rising above the water, and then diving back beneath in a series of ups and downs.
When you lose someone, it's easy to feel as if you're losing yourself – succombing to the pain of it all. It happens to everyone. And though you feel alone, I promise you're not.
Mourning loss is hard. It hurts. It's outward. When we cry, scream, tell stories, talk about our feelings with friends and family, we're mourning. "At times, we must grieve alone, but mourning is also necessary so that you are not alone."
There's no timeline for when you should "get over" a loss. It's not easy, and that's okay. Everything happens on our own time, and grieving a loved one is something that only you can determine how long it takes.
Our hearts are oxymorons. They're fragile things, yet they're so strong. They can experience pain from heartbreak, but stay beating to keep us standing. Recovery will happen, but it won't be instaneous. Your heart will keep beating, but it's going to be painful for awhile.
Experts say it can take up to 18 months for the grieving process to end.
The pain of loss kind of buries itself deep within us. 18 months will pass, and we'll hurt a little less. However, our hurt over the loss may never go away, but the pain will lessen.
The mourning, the grief, the pain, though, serve as a constant reminder that our lives are short. That the time with our loved ones is special and often taken for granted. The fear of losing someone will force us to determine what is actually important for each of us in our lives.
What's vital to you?
That's why this strap that I'm about to show you is so intriguing to me. It's beautiful, it's contemplative, and it's deeper than you may realize upon first glance. As I mentioned before, our hearts are tricky things. BUT – they're what keep us alive. We're tasked with protecting them throughout our lives, yes, but they're also tasked with protecting us.
Our hearts are vital to us, but so are memories. And time. And people.
Here's a note from the artist, the incredible Danielle Taylor, about the strap and its true meaning:
"The text I wrote for the OG Vital strap was "Find what's vital to you; it's more than blood". I guess I was aiming for something that would get people thinking. Heart straps mean so much to so many for various reasons, from a physical ailment, a medical passion, family, or something/someone else that goes beyond themselves.
Shortly after receiving straps of my original Vital design, a family friend, who was one of the longest surviving people to have had a heart transplant as a baby, passed away. We knew he was no longer in pain, and was in a better place. All of a sudden that strap meant so much more. The physical heart that was given to him was vital for his physical health, but then the heart that he gave to his faith was all that much more vital.
Now I know the connection to faith isn't something that everyone will see in this strap. So I'd love to keep it along the lines of the original text. Something simple for people to interpret their own ways, but also to get them thinking on a deeper level.
My intentions with this design were the same as the first. I just wanted to create a new opportunity for more people to have a little reminder with them to ponder on what it is that is truly vital to them."
As Danielle said, this strap is going to mean something different for each person. But I hope it serves as a reminder of the question of what's important to you. Perhaps it will give you a new perspective of the way you spend your time. Either way, I hope it comforts you through anything that is trying you right now. You have the strength to overcome it.
I believe in you.
Every wristband made is a limited edition work of art for your wrists. ZOX are reversible with a design on one side and a positive message on the inside. Every ZOX is individually laser cut with a serial number to ensure authenticity.