Sam died aged 5. He had a rare degenerative disease that took his life earlier than we anticipated. We bought him to Australia from Sri Lanka when he was just two years old and after a year of medical assessments, hospital stays and at times a lot of angst he was diagnosed with a condition so rare that only 20 cases are known in the world.
Keith and I were in our late 30's and it was the first time that we experienced the pain of grief. It was a deep gut wrenching physical pain that came from the depths of your inner being.
I didn't even know about the world of quilting then.
I wish I had.
I wish I had a 'Little Quilt of Love' to enfold our child when he passed.
Last night at our Guild meeting a very eloquent woman (a nurse) shared her experience of supporting her daughter whose baby died in the womb at 23 weeks. You could have heard a pin drop as she related the story. At times she was close to tears, but she stoically unfolded the story and she made us aware of the trauma realized by her daughter and indeed their entire extended family.
The little baby was wrapped in a 'Little Quilt of Love' a quilt soft and tender that enfolded his tiny body as she held him for the first and last time.
A few years have passed and that little quilt has given the Mother so much comfort. She often takes it out and just holds it reminding her of her little boy.
Someone in a Guild somewhere made it. Maybe it was from our group… I don't know.
Someone gave that Mother a wonderful gift of comfort. The quilts are a silent thread of support from one woman to another.
A 'Quilter' is often dismissed as an elderly woman indulging in the mindless task of cutting up fabric and stitching it back together again to pass the time.
My take on the Quilter who made this quilt is a healer of hearts.
Liseby, aged 24 died of Melanoma some 15 years ago. Her anniversary was this week so I'm a little fragile about the memories right now.
My first award winning quilt was the quilt I made when Liseby was in hospital, its called Liseby's Hope. No one knew the story behind it when it was exhibited, but I figured Liseby was there in spirit in the quilt and look at the journey she's taken me on.
Five years after Liseby died, our son Darrin, aged 24 passed away two years after an horrific car accident that rendered him totally incapacitated. The quilt I made during those years was draped over his coffin and will always be a reminder of his being, his smile and his love for us.
Quilts are made for many reasons… but you can never put a value on a memory and our quilts have helped to heal our grief.
Little and Big Quilts of Love.
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I think there is a strong tradition of making quilts for remembrance and as a way of working through grief. I made one after our daughter’s baby was diagnosed with a condition that would not allow him to live outside the womb. You can see that quilt, called “Surrender,” at http://mariaelkins.com/Amalya
Beautiful post Pammy xoxoxoxo
Pam, may God bless you and your family. Your memories are more precious than gold.