When a loved one leaves your life, either due to death or separation, the hole left in your existence can be massive. It can feel like you are carrying a huge weight on your shoulders that won’t let you move on.
Ironically, a physical weight can actually help to comfort those who are grieving. Weighted blankets are used extensively to help people with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder because they simulate the feeling of being hugged.
After losing a loved one, designer Mia Cinelli was overcome with a grief that she carried around with her everywhere. As an answer to this grief, she designed The Weight: a six-pound weighted blanket that replicates the feeling of being held and comforted by another human.
The Weight includes two hand-shaped appendages that you can hold. This nice addition lets you feel like you are holding the hand of the one you miss, gently leading you through the transition to acceptance of your loved one’s absence.
“When my fiancé’s father passed away in the summer of 2014, I was left with a void of where his large personality had been. I carried my grief around with me; my heart was heavy for months. I wanted to feel his presence, so I made a hand to hold. I welcomed this weight, this semblance of company, and consequently made another, and another. I researched weighted blankets used in occupational therapy practices to relieve the stress, anxiety, and inability to focus typically associated with ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Sensory Processing Disorder. A question arose: could a comparable weighted object dispel similar feelings caused by losing a loved one?”
“In moments of feeling the anxiety that accompanies grief, the weight provides a proprioceptive deep pressure, creating a feeling of presence and calm. Its use imitates an intimate gesture, reminiscent of a hug from behind. When I feel relaxed and take the weight off, I feel lighter— both physically and in spirit. (P.S. Please hug someone you love today, before you cannot anymore.)”