People have cuddled stuffed animals and pillows for years, whether to hold on to something or to feel like they're in the presence of another person. Now, there's a blanket that can fulfill that need and then some.
Artist Mia Cinelli designed a heavy-weight blanket to help substitute the comfort otherwise found in the embrace of a loved one. But Cinelli's creation, symbolically called The Weight, isn't just any blanket; it also has two clasp-able "hands."
She came up with the concept shortly after her fiancé's father passed away, when she yearned for his physical form. "I knew I needed to make something to talk about this experience or make myself feel better," she told A+ in an email.
And so The Weight was born.
Though other weighted grief blankets have been around for some time, Cinelli's "limbs" on the blanket take the comforting feeling of closeness to the next level.
These sort of blankets are not only helpful to those in mourning. The non-profit Autism Speaks recommends weighted blankets to help calm children on the spectrum.
Cinelli told A+ that she's looking into ways to mass produce her product so she can help others. But for now, it's only on display.
While The Weight has garnered some positive media attention, others have called it "creepy." Cinelli says she isn't paying attention to those voices.
"I laugh because the hands are a bit odd — anytime an object becomes a person there's the danger of it becoming off-putting," she says.
Still, she hopes others can see the good that can come from her invention.
"I think a lot of people need it," she says. "I've spoken to friends who are occupational therapists and social workers about their experience about dealing with grief and using weighted blankets in their practices."