One of my favorite parts to the day is chatting with our customers… whether they are attending one of our classes, or browsing the gallery, or just stopping in for coffee. It really is wonderful to connect with people, albeit usually only for a short period, and while we certainly don’t usually get “deep” into things, the conversations are authentic and truly a joy.

Not too long ago, I received a call from a woman who was looking to book a class for her and several family members. I asked her if it was a special occasion of some sort and she indicated that it was. While I expected her to say something like “It’s Grandma’s birthday” or “It’s a bridal shower party”, instead she responded by saying that “It’s a celebration of life.” And I thought, “How wonderful.”

She continued by explaining that the “celebration of life” was related to the death of a family member a number of years ago and that several family members gather each year on the anniversary date to celebrate her life. They always do something “artistic” as that was the passion of this person…a mother, sister, daughter, aunt…a beautiful soul.

The women came in several weeks later and created some of the most beautiful pieces of art in our glass fusion class. It was an incredible afternoon…chatting with them, sharing stories with them, and watching them just have an enjoyable experience. But more than that, the time spent was certainly memorable…I’m sure for them…and it certainly was for me as well.

Many of us have been touched by certain people in our lives, be they family, friends, or even people we only know superficially – but who have had an impact on us, and who have since passed away. And with their death, we often feel as if a tremendous hole has been left in the place where those special feelings previously resided. Certainly we get comfort from others just as we would try and do the same for them with words of sympathy, expressions of thoughts, and of course prayers. Yet that hole is big and deep. For me, the comfort came when someone related the following scenario:

Death of a loved one creates a hole…a tremendous hole. And that hole cannot and should not be filled. Don’t even try. There will never be another person like them again and the hole that has been created will not fill in. It will always be there. It won’t get bigger and it certainly won’t get smaller.

 The person explained that even though the hole won’t change or go away, you can do something with it. The hole is something you can visit — that you can go to in your mind. You can go to the edge and look in and ponder what things would have been like; you can plant flowers and trees around the hole and sit on a bench next to it and remember times and events; you can jump in that hole and bawl your eyes out. There are lot’s of choices for that hole…a place to go and laugh, sigh, smile, and certainly tear up and/or full out cry. A hole that is always there. It’s yours. And it is not a bad place, but rather a place of comfort instead of pain…to be sure it is a place that you wish you didn’t have to have…but you do. And because you do, it is special to you. Go there whenever you want. Sit. Talk. Walk by. Jump in. Whatever you need, it’s now a part of you.

While I was making the reservation for the family, and to be sure, when they came in for their celebration, I went to visit my hole where my memories of both my mother (who died when I was young) and especially my father (who in large part raised me) reside. And I sat and smiled. And while I do go there often, this time I took with me a new story — a story about a celebration of life — and how I was able to be a part of it.

It isn’t about the pieces of art in the gallery. It isn’t about seats in a clay, glass, or mosaic class. And it certainly isn’t about the coffee. What it is about are the experiences and the opportunities to not only create new memories, but celebrate old memories as well. And I’m glad that we can offer that at The ClayGround.

Give us a call today or check out our classes and book your experience today.