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Vancouver business owner creates toolkit to help navigate grief and losing loved ones

"It doesn't get easier, but as an individual you get stronger."

Losing a sibling is like losing a limb, describes Celeena Sayani. 

The Vancouverite lost her brother 11 years ago when he was just 19 years old. Only several years after his passing did Sayani begin the process of grieving. 

Along her journey, she picked up a set of rituals to help her process the loss of her brother. 

"I realized what helped me the most was finding ways to remember him and his spirit," Sayani tells V.I.A.

Eventually, what started as writing notes on her phone about memories together turned into journalling, and what began as seeking words of affirmation and support online turned into grief affirmation cards, and the candles she would light to remember him turned into her own grieving candles. 

Thus, around a decade since her brother's passing, Glimmer Collective was born, launching in mid-October this year. 

The name consists of two meanings; to shed light on lost loved ones through remembering and to share one's grief with others going through the same experience.

'Once I picked up grief journalling, I started to feel so much better'

Sayani founded Glimmer Collective to provide those experiencing grief with a supportive toolkit and a community. The Guided Grief Journal, Affirmation Card Set, and scented candles are all elements that have helped Sayani through her own grieving process.

While the journal is a safe and private space to help process emotions related to each person's grief, it also provides a space for remembrance, which Sayani notes is key in processing grief. The Guided Grieving Journal offers prompts to help shed light on the most cherished memories of a lost loved one.

"I started forgetting my memories," Sayani recalls of the years she spent avoiding her grief. "Once I picked up grief journalling, I started to feel so much better because I'm able to bring those memories to life again. In the journal I remember his voice, his smile, his laugh, and I would describe in detail the way I felt when he was around me and all the things that I missed about him ... it allowed me to reconnect with him." 

When the world starts to feel lonely, the affirmation cards offer daily support and quotes on grief that "validate feelings and validate the dark thoughts and let you know that it's okay to feel that way," says Sayani, noting that you're never alone when grieving. 

Candles are a big part of grieving rituals, she adds, "whether you're lighting them for hope or for courage or for remembrance," which is why Glimmer Collective has four scented candles -- Dear Angel (vanilla and amber), Afterglow (jasmine and magnolia), Peace (lavender and chamomile), and To Honor (eucalyptus and mint).

'I never want to stop grieving'

The Vancouver business owner hopes to help normalize the process of grieving.

"People don't talk about grief. It's ignored. It's crushed down and set aside," she says, remembering how some of her friends would avoid or distract her from the topic because they didn't know how to support her. 

She encourages those who are grieving to make time to remember the person they've lost and to remember every single detail.

Sayani also urges anyone grieving to talk about the person by their name and to acknowledge their birthday, the anniversary of their passing, and other significant dates as a way of remembering them. 

"I never want to stop grieving. It connects me back to the person that I've lost, my brother," she says. "It doesn't get easier, but as an individual, you get stronger."

What's next for Glimmer Collective?

Support is at the forefront of Glimmer Collective and the Vancouver founder tells V.I.A. that her next goal is to make solace more accessible. 

She plans on creating a new product -- something small and affordable that can be kept close for "people who are grieving but don't have the means or the ability to purchase something like a candle or a guided grief journal," she says. 

Another aspiration for Sayani is to create a local grief support group, whether that's an in-person journalling session or grief meditation and wellness therapy. 

"I definitely want to make sure that we're reaching people and supporting people in other ways without them having to spend money," says Sayani. 

Glimmer Collective can be found online, on Instagram, and on TikTok