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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Be the comfort you want to see in the world

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. 

How profound!

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  

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!


Momza said...

:::Raising Hand::: Pick Me! I can do it too!

Homer and Queen said...

Do you want them all the same pattern or does it matter. I know people! Not only bad people (relatives) but I know a bunch of great quilters. e-mail me.

TisforTonya said...

is it bad that I'm crying every time I debate writing something...

I think I need to do this = for my own well being as much as any.

Fabric being picked up this weekend - I'll e-mail you for an address :)

val of the south said...

So much sadness. It's a great thing you're doing Crash.
My 20 year old nephew was killed last month...I'll ask my sister for some fabric. In time she may love to help too. I'm happy to help with the sewing or wherever you need me. Just let me know.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

No, it doesn't have to be the same pattern. Anything you want. Thank you all so much for you volunteering to help. If you want to help sew I would say go ahead and start making baby blankets. My sis suggests something white to represent the angel baby. As we hear about people, I will ask you to send the blankets.


I'm so excited.

T, I wish I would give you a hug. I didn't even know about your loss.

I hope this will help you empty your bucket.

Val, I'm so sorry about your nephew. It doesn't matter how old, they are ALWAYS our babies. I imagine it might be even harder to lose an older child. Or maybe not. I don't know. I don't want to know.

Emily said...

Crash- I'll repost on my Stepping Stones blog. What a great idea. Thanks for all you do for everyone

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I think having a blog to write about the loss in would have really helped me. I am glad others have that source of comfort now. I am going to send something and even though my daughter did not die, I will put the day she was taken from our family to return to her birth family, because that is the day my dream of her in our family died.

Amy said...

I am honored, humbled, and awed at your beautiful gesture. I received the beautiful little blanket yesterday and it will be treasured forever. Truly, I am so touched by your generosity and I would LOVE to contribute fabric for a magic quilt. I'm going to go to the fabric store today to look for fabric and i'll send it off asap.
thank you again, with all my heart.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Amy, hugs to you, and thank you for your contribution. I am so glad you liked the blanket in honor of little Ella. I just received news not an hour ago that my ex-sister-in-law's son, of 7 years old, died this morning. His big sister, my niece is devasted. It makes me realize how far reaching the pain of loss can be, especially the loss of children. It goes beyond mommy and daddy to sisters and brother and grandmothers and grandfathers. And ex-relatives, who even though they are no longer bound by law, are still bound by heart.

Pat, I'm so glad you are going to contribute on behalf of your daughter. I was going to invite you to, but didn't want to over step my bounds.

Emily, I'm so glad you found me because I was going to send you this link and ask you to post it on your stepping stones blog. Thank you so much. I will send you my address via facebook message. Later. Right now I've got to go rush to my ex-sister in law and my niece's side.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I need to tell my sister about this... you are awesome and I hope this takes off to be world wide!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Thank you, Shelle. I thought of your sister too.

Clorise said...

Hi I was wondering where to find a baby memorial blanket for a few people I know . One is Kellie Staats she lost her baby Maddie about a month ago and I would love to find something to comfort her . Her blog is
I really would love to find a way to help. If you could point me in the right direction I would appreicate it thanks