04.20.2017
MelissaRose x Nashelle, In Honor of My Late Sister

Because I created a rose ring in my sister Melissa’s memory…

It’s insane to think about the fact that one year ago today, my little sister died.  

To be honest, I still don’t feel like I’m in a place where I’m able to write something really meaningful about her death; my pain, and the sadness I feel every day (alluded to here) is palpable to anyone who knows me, or perhaps even to people who have suffered a similar loss…but the thing is this: I had to do something to feel like I’m bringing even a small bit of honor to her memory.

A few months back I reached out to Nashelle, a jewelry brand I’ve liked for years, because I knew they would do a good job in helping me figure out exactly how to honor my sister via a piece of jewelry I know she would’ve loved.  Since Melissa’s middle name was Rose, I decided I wanted to design a laser cut rose ring and, after a few design iterations, we came up with this gorgeous ring…and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The MelissaRose x Nashelle Rose Ring is available in 14K gold fill (or sterling silver!) and, best of all, Nashelle will donate 75% of net proceeds from the sale of each Rose Ring to Advocates For Opioid Recovery, an organization that works to help the nearly 80% of opioid addicts (1.9 million people) who want help for their addiction through medication, but can’t receive it.

My hope for designing this ring was obviously to honor my sister’s memory, but even if you don’t buy the ring, I take solace in knowing that you are at least reading this. Reading and learning about the opioid epidemic that this country is having. As cheesy as it always sounds, I really do believe that knowledge is power.

Here are a few facts about opioid addiction that you may not know:

  • Every 19 minutes, one person dies from the cycle of opioid addiction in the U.S.
  • Opioid addiction is now the #1 cause of accidental death in the U.S. (more common than death by car crash or gun violence)
  • Currently, less than 3 percent of America’s physicians can prescribe recovery medications, and most of them have long waiting lists
  • In some states, doctors have filled out more painkiller prescriptions than there are people in their state
  • Opioids now kill more Americans than HIV/AIDS did at its peak in 1995

You can read more scary stats here. Thank you to Vox for such an important story.

This tray shows my sister in three phases of her life…all different, but similar.  When I was six and Melissa was two, my parents took us to Disney World for the first time. Melissa wouldn’t stop talking about how much she wanted to meet “Googy” (i.e. Goofy), but when she actually came face-to-face with him she started crying hysterically and wouldn’t look at him directly (hence my mom holding her in the first photo).  That story, along with many, many other stories, still live in my heart today because we always laughed so hard at how excited she was to meet him and then she totally freaked out.  After that we went to Disney World again when we were teenagers (the middle picture), and then, in 2013, she came out to LA to visit me and we went to Disneyland.  That trip to LA, a trip I will always cherish, was the last good memory I have of my sister. Things got bad shortly after that with her addiction. Sometimes I think back on that week and I wish I could’ve predicted what was going to happen, how prescription pain medication would eventually take her life and hurt so many people who loved her…but she would’ve loved that I created this jewelry tray and the ring I now rest on it.

This was one of the last photos we took together. I used to live close to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood and Melissa insisted on buying one of those cheesy tourist photos for like $30. I teased her at the time but I’m so glad she bought this now. Life lesson: take more cheesy tourist photos!

A gigantic thank you to Rapparound PR and the wonderful team at Nashelle for creating this special ring with me, in honor of my sister. <3

And thanks to all of you for reading and taking all of this in.

If someone you know has a problem (and statistically speaking, you know MANY who do), please reach out to them today and let them know you are there to help them if/when they decide they want it.

And you can buy the ring here. Please share the link with your friends!

#MelissaRosexNashelle

8 thoughts on “MelissaRose x Nashelle, In Honor of My Late Sister

  1. Hi Jamie,
    What a most wonderful and joyful tribute to your sister! What a blessing it is that you are in a position to bring awareness to the disease of addiction; and that you have the courage to share your pain and such personal information with us. As an opiod addict who has benefitted greatly from medication assisted treatment (Suboxone), I THANK YOU…..thank you for all that you’re doing to help so many who suffer from this chronic, relapsing and often fatal disease. I am so sorry for your loss. I too have a sister with whom I share an incredible closeness. She has been my greatest cheerleader in my journey of recovery and I know that her support was, and is, vital in my recovery. I’m sure Melissa Rose took much comfort in knowing you were there for her and that your love was unconditional. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to us, this world was too uncomfortable for her and so (I choose to believe) she was called to service in another, more kind and gentle world. I wish for you a lifetime of peace, joy and love, of warm memories and comforting dreams. I hope that you’ll one-day catch a brief whiff of her scent carried on the warm, gentle wind or have the experience of feeling her by your side at just that perfect time when you are in need of her support fore in those moments you’ll know for sure that while you can’t see her she is still there…by your side, supporting you and cheering you on because that’s what good sisters do!
    Please know that it is through efforts like yours that others may come to know and understand the disease of addiction a bit more; coming to realize that drug addicts aren’t bad, immoral and selfish people who intend to hurt others but rather, we are sensitive, gentle and loving people with a disease that is cunning, baffling and powerful. A disease that thrives on misunderstanding, ignorance and hate.
    For today, I will rejoice in my recovery and smile, thinking of you and your sister. I will look forward to being able to wear that beautiful, rose ring, knowing how much love resulted in it’s “bloom”! It may be awhile before that can happen as I’m currently caring for my sister who’s been quite ill but she will, one day, be better able to care for herself and then I’ll be able to return to work and order my own rose ring…and one for my sister as well and I thank you again, from one sister to another!
    With Great Respect,
    Lisa

    • Lisa,

      Thank you SO, so much for this amazing note. I want you to know how much it means to me to hear about the epidemic from your perspective as an addict in recovery and I wish you all the best in what, I’m sure, is a struggle. You are amazing for being able to fight the addiction and I really appreciate your kind words about my sister being in a better place- I feel the same way. <3

      Jamie

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