I remember the first time I saw Merle Berelowitz's work. One of her collars was featured in the Your Work section of Bead and Button Magazine, and it absolutely knocked my socks off. The design, the colors, the sequins. Oh, the sequins!
(Another one of her collars -- just as stunning.)
Merle shared my love for sequins in bead embroidery, which thrilled me beyond belief. What really impressed me, though, was the way she incorporated them into her pieces. She did it so flawlessly, so elegantly. The sequins stood out without overwhelming the rest of the materials and showed that sequins and beads were meant to be together. I kept meaning to ask Merle to be a featured artist.
Merle passed away a few days ago, and I'm sad for the loss of such an amazing jewelry artist -- the beading world will seem a little darker and duller without her. More than anything, I'm sad for the people who knew her best. I seriously regret not getting to know her better, and I know what it's like to lose someone important.
Merle's passing reminds me of something important. Writing this out, it seems shallow, and it seems like a cliche, but I have to share it anyway. We need to tell the people in our lives how awesome they are and how much they mean to us. And we need to do it RIGHT NOW, because that's the only time we really have.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own worlds, our own lives, our own problems. And of course, these things are important, and sometimes they're pretty darn serious. But as we go about our lives and face down our problems, I'm realizing that we need to take the time to look around and not just see, but acknowledge and appreciate other people.
As I write this, I'm stressed. I'm scared. I have a lot of stuff going on, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it all. But you know what? Right now I'm stopping. And I'm looking. And I see you. I see how awesome you are. I see how freaking lucky I am to have you in my life, whether I've only talked to you once or on a daily basis. I'm really glad you're here.
I'm glad Merle was here, too. I'm going to miss her.
Sarah J. Sequins