Pat Barden Jewelry

by Pat Barden.
(Spencertown, New York USA)

handmade necklace by patricia barden

Long story short – which I just deleted, cuz I was rambling – two years after my son died, I realized I couldn’t stand the set allotment of time working around people.

I held it together – like no one could believe, back to work within ten days – I had no choice.

I held it together, but man, after a while, listening to people and what they were “going” through – I just found meself wanting to say – “I’ve got a dead kid, are you kidding me with this dumb story?” I bartend, cannot be a doin’ that, eh?

I’m 44, been seemingly making the jewelry and bartending for forever, but I guess, I’ve been making the jewelry since I was 19, and the bartending came in when I was about maybe 25.

I’d wear the jewelry, people loved it, I’d replicate for them what I was wearing, they’d buy it. Occasionally so – it was extra cash, and I love doing it. But that set time, when people knew where I was, bartending, and they were used to a good listener – and I’m fun, funny, I say wicked things and people are amazed, and shocked, and love it.

But it wasn’t in me anymore to care iffing anyone else was having a bad day. I wanted to make drinks, and be left alone.

So, the jewelry had to be it. No grand realization of tossing meself into creativity to eaze the pain. It’s financial – I can at least attempt to make a living, without having to be in a set place, at a set time, having to deal with others.

I make pretty things, I always have. I used to do it as a hobby, cuz it made me happy.

Now I have to do it to try to make a living, but I still love it. And that is what saves me.

I struggle, it isn’t easy, hours of posting, listing, researching – and making the jewelry. But, I have me own thoughts as I do it all, no one else’s stories of what they “suffer” through each day, just my mind, my thoughts, and my daughter’s thoughts.

I miss my son. The beads and the chain and the pliers and the jump rings don’t take up space in me head – I do it without having to think of anything but what I want.

And when I’m making something, and my Emily has a story to tell, I can drop what I’m doing – and she has my full attention – cuz making it through another day and making certain she makes it past the age twenty-two is all that I want to think about.

Pat Barden
Pat Barden Jewelry


Your beautiful son
by: Rena

Dear Pat,

I can’t imagine anything more devastating than losing a child. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son.

It would be impossible to listen to other people’s problems and issues in the face of that.

I’m glad you have your jewelry as an alternate way to make a living. It can fit in so well around needs for time, space, and solitude.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Emily.

Pat Barden Jewelry
by: Pam G.

Hi Pat,

Thank You so much for sharing your story. I too know what you are going through with the loss of your beautiful son, because I lost my brother just under one year ago. We were very close from the time that we were children and the loss for me was devastating. Losing a precious family member is the most unreal experience that anyone can imagine.
Over the years my brother was always available when I needed help with exhibiting my art or my jewelry, and eventhough he was not really into the creative arts, he was there to help me when I needed him with with a funny sense of humor or a warm and kind heart.
Over the years Pat, I have learned more and more to appreciate the creative gifts that we are blessed to have. These gifts can offer us comfort in a time of sadness and extreme joy.
Your jewelry is sooo beautiful and I can see that there is a lot of love that you put into your work. Please continue to bless the world with your talent! I am sure that your son is smiling down on you and your jewelry and saying “I am proud of my creative mom!”

by: Michelle

My heart goes out to you as you grieve for your son. I’m not sure I could handle losing my son. He’s our only child and my entire world and I cannot even attempt to imagine what you are going through.

I am glad you have turned to jewelry and creating to help you cope with things as I believe it would be too much to listen to others and their “problems” day in and day out, as well.

Your jewelry on Etsy is beautiful – the pearls especially (love pearls!!) and I believe that creating and selling your jewelry will help you begin to heal and be able to lovingly remember your son as well as to fill the financial aspect in your life.

Thank you for being brave enough to share such an experience with all of us. My sincere thoughts and prayers are going out to you.


Michelle Buettner

thank you
by: pat barden

thank you all so much for the kindness–ireally, truly appreciate it

So sorry about the loss of your son…
by: Sue

Dear Pat,
I read your story, and really can sympathize with you on dealing with the public and their “problems” when you are dealing with such personal devastation. I have about 4 friends that lost their precious sons in horrible ways, one friend lost 2 sons within 2 years. My knees go weak just thinking about what you and my dear friends have gone through. As bad as life gets at times, nothing is as bad as losing your child.

They have all dealt with it in various ways, and like you, very creatively. One friend,with the grace of God, has made a blog, inviting people to share memories, and her own personal reflections of her sons life. Rather than being morbid, it’s inspiring as you experience with her beauty coming from the ashes.

Ps 56:8 says He(God)collects our tears in His bottle, and writes about them in His book. Your grief is important to Him, and He is grieving with you. God knows what its like to lose a Son. But He promises, “sorrow may last for a night, but joy will come in the morning”(Ps 30:5). I pray that your night ends soon; your jewelry is beautiful, and is an expression of your desire to have beauty once more in your world. May it give you wings to fly above this dark cloud.

You’re in my prayers
love and blessings
Sue Ubertini

Sending Love Your Way
by: Paula Yusem

Dearest Pat,

I stumbled upon this site and read your story; I don’t see a date so, I’m not sure how recent it is. The only people who have helped me in times of profound loss are those who have not felt compelled to give advice, say some meaningless thing just to say “something” and so forth. The people who made a difference where those who didn’t try to say something to (in their mind) “fix the problem”; they just wrapped their arms around me and said they loved me.

So, I say to you, “you are loved”.


Your Story
by: Ricki

Dear Pat,
Your story has touched my heart. I have no children and cannot even begin to imagine what you have gone through. I truly believe that your son is looking down on you and is very proud of his beautiful and talented Mom. Your jewelry is beautiful and a wonderful testament to your talent and your strength. I wish you every success with your jewelry business and peace and happiness in your life. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. Know that I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care,

Ayer Baubles

by: Pamela

Pat ~

My heart aches for you. The loss must be overwhelming always, but at times unbearable.

I’m so glad that you have found creating beautiful jewelry as a diversion to your sad thoughts. I said diversion, because it’s impossible to forget.

I would like you to entertain the idea of keeping your sons memory alive by starting a foundation. Please go to read my daughter’s story and what is helping her heal from the loss of Ty.

I’m so hopeful you find peace in your heart.
Much love to you my dear ~ Pam

Lost a Child
by: Patricia of

I lost my baby son in 1995 he was only 1yr.&1month
Jewelry saved me I didn’t have to think just make jewelry.Beads don’t tell you its time to stop crying
I am lucky in that I have 4 other kids who needed me. So when the kids did not need me I could go to the beads.

healing and art
by: Patricia C Vener

Your loss is tremendous. That you can write about it now speaks highly of your recovery through your art. I am very glad you could find solace and healing through your work.

I, too, have found that creating art is well linked to healing from some devastation.

your story
by: jen w

Pat I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine that kind of pain. I started making jewelry after an illness in the family. It is my escape from all the stress. Good Luck

thank ye all
by: pat barden

thank you–all so very much for your kind words and thoughts

Your my greatest hero!!!
by: Diane

I have known you most of my life and I am amazed at how you have continued on day after day! I love you and your loss was and is a continuing battle but you are winning that battle. MJ will never be lost….his memory will stay with us all. You have 2 beautiful children and I am honored to call you my friend and my #1 jewelry maker. I love it all and wear at least on piece almost daily….never too much….never too little…ALWAYS JUST RIGHT!

by: pat barden

diane–you are the best

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  1. Kathie L says:

    Dear Pat: Your story touched my heart big time (like all of the others who responded). I’m sitting here at my corporate job, and the waterworks are on! I too have lost a son – but he is still alive. My son’s wife & him hate me. We are not allowed to see his child and found out about his new to-be baby from a family member. I cry daily. I now hate the holidays and my jewelry making momentum is gone! I used to be so motivated and now I am not. I die a little more each day. I can’t seem to go a day without crying. No one wants to talk about it. I am going to strive to remotivate myself to copy your momentum with my jewelry. May I just say, your jewelry is spectacular! I’ve put you and Emily on my prayer list. P.S.: I am sure that your son is watching over you with pride….

  2. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Though I know these words don’t mean much right know and I hate to say it but your PAIN will NEVER go away. I am 11 years out from my sons death and it hurts as bad now as the day it happen. But we just learn to live with it. You will too. I just won’t lie, like others did to me and say “Time Heals all” It don’t…. But you will learn to live with it…
    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. If I knew his name I would say it. I miss hearing my son’s name. After a while other no longer say Marks name. So when I know someone who has loss a child I love to call them by name.
    Jewelry making is what has saved me from my pain. Because of the mental trauma from his accident, I have pain all over my body and am sick all the time. When I make jewelry I can get out of my head and not think …
    Not think… I am trying to start a website but I have been at it for a year trying. It is slow go cause I have to learn everything.. I didn’t know anything about websites or even computers, so it is slow.
    I have been making my jewelry for years now. But just giving it away and selling some here and there. Everyone one has told me to start a website so I hope to get it open soon.
    My prayers are with you and I love your necklace.

  3. Oh, Sweetie. There are no words. I watched a 27 yr old daughter lose her sweet husband. There is nothing more precious than life and nothing hurts worse than losing one you love. I am so sorry.

  4. Michaelhoover says:

    Hi pat think what your doing is great. Found some kind of happiness .good luck!

  5. Pat your story made me cry, I thank you so for sharing. I have 4 beautiful sons, grown now, but I do recognize how much I need them. The value of a child has no limits. How can one love go any deeper than that of your own child. You are strong and you will keep it going. God bless you and yours.

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