Kestrel Crew

My Journey Into Silversmithing

Many of you are familiar with my journey into silversmithing, a journey born out of my love for jewelry, art, and a means to cope with the PTSD that followed a traumatic event in my life. Today, I want to share more about that event, in the hopes that it might resonate with some of you who have experienced similar grief, and the ability to overcome it.  But first, a trigger warning: I’ll be discussing death in the following paragraphs.

I once worked on a 105 ft Fish & Game research vessel, where I formed close bonds with my two crewmates. We lived together on that boat for seven months a year, and those two men became my second family. The engineer felt like a brother, and the captain, a father figure. I spent more time with them than my own husband; they were my boat family.

One fateful day at sea, I discovered my friend and captain, lifeless on the treadmill in one of the staterooms. We tried to perform CPR, but it was clear he was already beyond help. We continued our efforts to revive him in vain.

In our state of shock, we awaited the coast guard, not realizing they wouldn’t come because he was already gone. Eventually, we understood that we had to make the painful six-hour journey back to town with our friend’s body in the stateroom below us. We sobbed and held onto the wheel, arm in arm, until we reached shore, where his body was taken away. The most heart-wrenching part was returning to our home port the next day, only to find his three nearly adult  children walking arm in arm towards the vessel, stricken with grief and in disbelief.💔

I had to continue living and working on that boat for years afterward. Cleaning the room where I found him broke my heart every time, and I couldn’t escape the vivid memory of that day.

Working with my hands became my therapy, a way to heal from the trauma and the scars it left behind. That’s why I continue to create every day of my life.

RIP Kev. May your soul rest easy for eternity on the sea.

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