Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'll fly away

How do we remember those we've lost? How can we hold on to our memories and keep them close? One of the most tangible items - and ironically the quickest to be discarded - is clothing. Instead of donating the clothes of one who has passed on, keep a few items and have them transformed into something special that can shared with friends and family. And nothing is more perfect than a flock of birds - these creatures both unite those who need comfort, and remind us that our loved one has simply taken flight to a better place.

These birds, made from repurposed clothing, will bring comfort and peace to those who grieve. A colorful coat, a plaid shirt, any clothing item can be reborn as a flock of friendly birds to be shared among friends and family. A great example of this concept are these Springtime Birds by While She Naps at Etsy.

Ann Wood Handmade also has some adorable repurposed birds:

I'm not sure if these vendors are currently taking custom orders, but I'll keep looking until I find someone who does. (Please email me if this is something you're interested in, and I'll do my best to find a resource.) I think these birds provide a loving and meaningful memento, and remind us that sometimes one must fly away to truly find peace.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

remember me by the sea

At the beach yesterday I wrote some of my favorite Victorian remembrance phrases in the sand. Usually these phrases appear on something permanent like jewelry, an engraved plaque or a tombstone. So I thought it'd be fun to scribble them at the edge of the incoming tide, not a place known for its permanence.

The fleeting nature of these words by the water made these affectionate phrases all the more meaningful. Here I am watching people check out at what I had written.

I got the best reaction ever! I had written "Remember Me" in the sand, then walked along the beach. I passed an elderly couple, and after a bit I turned to see if they saw my writing. Not only had they noticed it, they had stopped to write something more - they were smiling all the while and even took a picture. When I returned, they had written:

Gone But Not Forgotten
E + G
48 years

I have no idea what this means, but it made my day. Alas, when I came back with my camera, the words had already been washed away. That's what you get for writing stuff on the beach.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The sentimental can be found in the every day

I don't know about you, but I'm very sentimental when it comes to coffee mugs. In the morning when I'm choosing my mug, I sometimes think the day's fortune will be determined by the mood of the mug - the cheap coffee cup from our Kauai trip means I'll have a relaxing, laid-back day, while the mug that belonged to my mother means she'll be looking out for me. I choose this one when I need an extra boost of love. And God forbid if I should break a mug! I think I would cry for days.

It's time to recognize the inherent sentimentality of the everyday coffee mug, and make sure our cupboards are filled with beautiful cups. If you know someone who is going through a tough time, a well-intentioned mug with a cheerful or comforting thought might be the perfect sympathy gift. I love these mugs from Brookish:

Brookish is a Jane Austen fan (as am I!) In the words of Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen's Persuasion, Half Agony Half Hope captures that sentiment of being separated from the one you love. Despite the agony, there is always hope. My personal favorite is the Mr. Darcy's proposal mug:

And there is always the option to customize your mug with your own words of comfort.

Thank you, Deliasthompson, for this lovely link!