A Conversation With A Lost Friend, And A Bracelet to Match

Burning Words
3 min readDec 10, 2020


You can hear me…right?

To preface, around 4 years ago I lost a close friend Josh when we were both 16, he had taken his own life. If you want to read more about that story here. Being a Christian I do believe that God speaks to us in many ways, but I never really thought of passed lost loved ones being able to speak to us in the same way. There have been more than enough times where I see things that make me think of Josh, but normally when I talk to him the conversation seems to be very one-sided because I never really hear anything come back in return.

Until recently…

My home state of Oregon is currently on lockdown due to the virus. This means that I am not working, and I am also on winter break. Long story short, I now have a lot of free time on my hands so I decided to take up bracelet making. When looking at the limited colors I had, an idea struck. I will create bracelets with colors that match any photo that have special meaning to me.

The picture to the left is the bracelet I made using the colors black and green from his shirt and then brown for his hair. The picture to the right is a screenshot from a video Josh had sent me of him teaching me how to play and sing “Riptide” by Vance Joy

Now, when I was making this bracelet, I was just sitting on my bed with absolutely no thoughts in my mind…but I was talking. I was just babbling to Josh as if he was sitting right next to me as I tied the knots and fiddled with my fingers. After I while, I kind of came back to reality and said out loud, “I don’t even know if you can hear me right now. I actually never know if you can ever hear me, but that won’t keep me from talking to you. I’m not ever one to ask for signs because I know my brain will interpret the smallest thing into a sign when it’s not, so I won’t ask for you to send me one because I know it won’t help.”

What seemed like 0.3 seconds after I said this, my empty mind was filled with one sentence on repeat: “I can hear you. I can hear you. I can hear you. I can hear you.” I had no control over my thoughts. It felt like a broken record in my head that I couldn’t turn off, and quite frankly I didn’t want to. This meant that all my venting, babbling, talking, and singing to him has been heard this whole time. Just because I don’t get as much back that doesn’t mean that I’m speaking to thin air.

A few seconds into that repetition I started to cry, and after all the years of being someone who is very sensitive with their emotions, I have learned that when I cry out of now where that means that whatever feeling that caused me to cry is real.

4 years. 4 years it has taken me to actually feel a connection to Josh since he died, and now I wear that connection on my wrist so it will follow me wherever I go. The bracelet isn’t perfect, and sometimes it gets caught on things, but whenever my attention is brought to it again for whatever reason I only hear one thing in my head, “I can hear you.”



Burning Words

By: Emma Gomes…all I got to say is I’m excited. Let’s do this!