Yesterday was Ella's funeral. I read her mother, Amy's words this morning and one line in particular struck me:
Hearts that have been broken wide open need to be filled up with something else.
Maybe that's why it is so important to fill broken hearts with love and comfort and compassion, before they get filled up with bitterness, anger, and regret. Broken hearts are so darn vulnerable like that.
I was just made aware of this family who recently lost their 14-month-old son, Andrew. He died in his sleep of SIDS. It's a parent's worst nightmare! The thing we all secretly fret over and fear. Let us all go and give this family a hug!
I bet my sister will make another "for keeps" baby blanket like the one she made for Amy.
She just asked me yesterday to let her know if there is anyone else who needs one. Making baby blankets is such a productive way to grieve the loss of a child, don't you think? Just another way to fill up a heart that's been split wide open.
Hey, I just thought of a new motto!
Be the comfort you want to see in the world.
I'm surprised Gandhi didn't think of that. ;)
So, to summarize: If you have lost a child, or know of someone who has, please join hands with the rest of us to soften the blow for others who are experiencing the same loss. It can be an adult child, or a miscarriage, it mattereth not. It can even be a grandchild or a niece or nephew. If you loved a child that has shuffled off this mortal coil, I am asking you to donate a piece of flannel in his/her honor. In remembrance. In memoriam.
So how can you join hands with us?
1. Send a piece of flannel fabric which represents the child of honor. It can be a yard, or several yards, or simply a 12x12 square.
2. Include your child's name and birth date AND death date. (My sister says the death date is very important to her since her son died.)
3. The flannel will be cut into quilt blocks and sewn together with love, and with other quilt blocks honoring other children who have finished their earthly journey.
4. The child's name, birth date and death date will appear in the corner of his/her quilt block.
5. The baby quilt(s) (hopefully we will make dozens) will begin their journey as magic traveling quilts. Each person who receives the quilt will keep it as long as they need, until they feel ready to part with it and until they find someone else whose heart has split open wide and needs a filler. They will then pass it on. And so on and so on and so on.
6. A notebook, which my sister is at this very moment making, will accompany the quilt on it's magical journey. The notebook will be for writing letters, messages, quotes, or little love notes to the absent child. This will be cathartic for both the writer and the subsequent readers.
7. If you would like to include a love note to your child to be inserted into the magic notebook before it is sent out to the first recipient, please send it to me along with your fabric, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please raise your hand if you would like to help sew "for keeps" blankets, or help piece together the traveling magic baby quilts once we get rolling.
Let's get to work, peeps!