The world just doesn’t seem the same after one’s mom passes…especially days like Mother’s Day.
I hope your Mother’s Day was a joyous day filled with lots of love and laughter. But, if it wasn’t for any reason, I hold you in my heart. Mother’s Day can be a tough day for a lot of us.
My mom passed away eleven years ago and though I am a mom of two wonderful boys, Mother’s Day is always a hard one for me. Really, all holidays and milestones have a little tender spot as I will always miss her and mourn for my kids who never got to know her. My son Teddy was only six months old when she died unexpectantly.
Most people tend not to understand that it really is okay for me to miss her, to cry about her, and even to have sad days eleven years later. It really is okay. I don’t dwell on it. But, I will also never be over her death as some persuade me to do as a person of faith who believes I will see her again.
In more ways than I can count or even realize, I am who I am because of my mom. I look like her. I talk like her. I have her crazy work ethic, her oversensitive heart, and her desire to make life special, and memorable for those around me. My boys will grow up knowing her because they know her through me. All that makes me just as happy as it does sad because of my love for her, my appreciation for all she was, and all she will always be for me.
All that to say, I get it. I get it if you’re missing someone who has passed on. It is okay to be sad even if it was a while ago. It’s okay to be teary eyed on Mother’s Day all these years later. No one said we have to be happy all the time…not even scripture. In fact, the Psalms give us a whole handbook for the full array of human emotions. We’re sad because we loved them, and we miss them. It’s also okay if our kids see us sad as we are teaching them how to grieve in a healthy way.
My husband’s grandmother passed away a little over a month ago. It was my honor to preside over her service and be there for my family. After the funeral was over and everyone went back home, I thought about her closet full of clothes which sat full at my husband’s parents’ house. As I vividly remember being overwhelmed with what to do with my mom’s clothes, I wanted to do something to be there for my mother-in-law as she faced the task.
My brain went back to the garlands I made for the liturgical seasons this past Advent and immediately I knew what to do. I asked Ryan’s mom to save 6-10 pieces of clothing of her mom’s which either looked pretty together or were special to her. Ryan and the boys helped me cut it all into strips and we made it into a fabric garland.
The craft is quite simple. Just cut whatever fabric you have into strips approximately two inches wide. The length can be as long or short as you’d like it. There is literally no wrong way to do this craft. I taped a length of braided twine from the craft store to my counter and tied a loop at each end. Then, I arranged a pattern that I liked and tied the fabric onto the twine by making a loop above the twine and threading the fabric through. (Children of the 1980s will remember topsy tails? The totally unnecessary piece of plastic they sold on infomercials to aid in threading one’s ponytail through itself….Same thing.)
We gave the garland to Ryan’s mom on Mother’s Day and I knew right away it was a healing moment for her. We helped her hang it above her kitchen sink before we left. The house, which seemed a little empty since Grandma’s passing, now had a visible sign of Grandma as part of the day-to-day as she had been.
For us makers, crafting is therapeutic. But, this craft was truly healing for my family. I hope it can be healing for you or someone you love who is experiencing a time of grief.