To the Moon and Back
Liza and Bruce are known by us through Lara, Bruce’s sister. Lara and I have been friends for about 30 years, and it was through a distraught Lara that I heard about 18 year old Cullens’ tragic accident in 2019. We followed every update and with enormous sadness heard about the final heart-rending decision to switch off his life support and donate Cullen’s organs.
As a lung transplant recipient myself, the events as they unfolded impacted me so powerfully and yet nothing can come close to understanding what Liza and Bruce and their extended family were going through. And eventually over time life seems to go on. The multiple transplant recipients to whom Cullen, Liza and Bruce offered new life, got a chance to push the reset button. They got the chance to start their rebooted lives, with their beautiful new organs.
But in contrast, like my donor’s parents (whom I’ve never met), Bruce and Liza must carry on and navigate a completely new life. One without Cullen. I watched over the last year how Liza continuously expressed her undying love for Cullen through blue hearts and the phrase ‘love you to the Moon and Back’. I doubt to the moon and back, nor the entire expanse of the universe, adequately expresses the depth of their love – but it’s a good start!
Virtually at the same time, we’d started working on a Jewellery Collection in the theme of ‘To the Moon and Back’. We can’t quite remember why. Perhaps a passing comment about Liza’s posts sparked an idea in Viv’s head and he’d quietly gone about doing some doodles.
So last year we decided to show the collection to Lara, who loved the idea of gifting one to Liza. We’d done a number of designs, varying in complexity, and this is the one we all agreed upon, creating the feeling of not just ‘to the moon and back’, but there and back over and over.
So we got to work, and with Lara’s help we settled on Blue Chalcedony for the earth, and London Blue Topaz for the moon. And at Lara’s mom’s request the engraving ‘Cullen Forever’ on the underside of the wording. As pleased as we are with the final outcome, we’re really sorry to have done it for such a devastating loss.
To the Keytel and Dugas families, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your story. To Liza and Bruce, may it help in some small way towards your healing.