It's no secret that we live in a society that hates the concept of death. This aversion to mortality makes things a whole lot more difficult when it comes to coping with the loss of our loved ones.
When these people pass on, we're tasked with creating ways to keep their memories alive. While some people pick charities to donate to and others build memorials in their homes, there are a few people out there who want to do something a bit different.
Angela Kirkpatrick is the owner of a company called Wisp Adornments.
This company creates Victorian-inspired tokens called "memento mori."
These keepsakes often incorporate the hair, teeth, or ashes of people who have passed on.
"I think having a visceral reminder of a person or a pet you lost is comforting," says Kirkpatrick. "It's like having a little piece of them that you can carry around."
Kirkpatrick carries a piece of her grandmother with her every day.
The bee-shaped pendant encapsulates a few strands of the woman's hair.
Kirkpatrick doesn't just design keepsakes for the dead. She can also make them to celebrate the living!
She even made herself a ring with one of her son's baby teeth.
In addition to her skills as a metal worker, Kirkpatrick is also a firm advocate of death acceptance.
"I think Western culture is really horrible at acknowledging death," says Kirkpatrick. "Acknowledgment is not happening, and when it does, we don't have a lot of grieving rituals -- so people are expected to go back to work right away, and there are not a lot of places to just talk openly about it."
To combat this aversion to death, Kirkpatrick runs a local chapter of the Death Café in her hometown of Olympia, Washington.
She created this space so that people could come together and openly discuss their thoughts and feelings surrounding death.
(via Thurston Talk)
Those are some stunning piece of jewelry. I honestly can't think of a better, more elegant way to honor a loved one. To see more of Kirkpatrick's work, make sure you check out her store on Etsy.