Sunday, December 9, 2012

in Wrethe

 Beautiful wreathes by Amy Merrick.

I love the symbolism of wreaths (from wrethe, which means to band). With no beginning and no end, they embody eternal love.  While these are specifically holiday wreaths, these would also be perfect at a time of loss, a way to express love that transcends this temporal world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

light my way back

Oh dear, I'm truly sorry for my absence! I vow to return and post with more loyalty. I let my day job get the better of me. But I realized that it's my hopes to find more meaningful ways to mourn - and to share them with others - that truly gives my own life true meaning.

These tin can candles posted by are wonderful. I love the simplicity and modesty of the vintage can with little shy rays of light poking through. And it goes without saying that these modest lights lend themselves to a sweet analogy - the persistence of light in the heaviest of times.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2012

you will always be the most beautiful woman in the world to me

You had been part of my life from the beginning ...

and when I lost you, it seemed too soon.

Still, I see your smile everywhere

your love for everyone and everything only made me love you more. It didn't seem fair that such a bright and loving spirit could be taken away from me. I didn't understand.

In time, I came to realize that you're still somehow so close to me ...

through your absence you taught me that a mother's love is eternal and transcendent. And that is the most beautiful love of all.

Mom, I love you so much.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a heart to hold onto

One of the best ways to honor the memory of someone is by handing out thoughtful tokens at a service. It doesn't have to be anything big or extravagant - just a small item that reminds us of the love we will always harbor in our hearts that person. For me, the best remembrance favors are handmade objects made with love.

That's why I love these crocheted hearts by Cornflower Blue Studio (currently 10 for $6.) They come in a variety of colors, and would be perfect to hand out as a remembrance favor. Delicate and gracious, these hearts symbolize your gratitude for the guests' kindness and charity. And for the recipients, these sweetly crocheted hearts will keep the memory of the loved one alive in their own hearts.

Also, I just have to express my love for Cornflower Blue Studios' hand-embroidered notes. These little quilted messages can be customized, so if you want to send a kind thought to someone in need of it, this would be a very thoughtful and treasured gift!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

a new altar

Wouldn't this DIY lily backdrop make any memorial more gorgeous? I imagine how it would gently sway in the breeze, adding movement and a sense of lightness. Here are the DIY instructions as they appear in Ruffled.

Although this was originally designed by My Hands Made It to be displayed at a wedding, I think it would be a lovely addition to any memorial service. These draped strands of lilies, especially if draped in front of a window or even outdoors, are simply gorgeous as a luminous and ethereal cascade. (For what it's worth, lilies are one of the most traditional memorial flowers, symbolizing the soul's return to innocence.)

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, I encourage anyone who is faced with planning a memorial service to visit wedding blogs like Ruffled for inspiration. There are so many wonderful (and easy!) ideas that could just as well work for a memorial service. If you think about it, many of the components are the same - guest books, altar, photo displays, flowers, and table centerpieces. Memorials should be just as meaningful and pretty as any wedding!

Why can't memorials be more like weddings?

Vintage keys as remembrance favors (from Bustled Events)

It's my goal to make death pretty again. And I believe memorials deserve to be as beautifully styled as any wedding. Like a wedding, memorials are ceremonies devoted to love. And love, whether it's earthly or eternal, always merits gorgeous and affectionate design.

Vintage card cabinet and photo display from Martha Stewart Weddings

Of course, the primary reason for the lack of style with memorials is the weight of grief. Who wants to think about design at a time when they can hardly function? So it's my hope to create templates of memorial ideas that can be easily recreated. These services will have many DIY components, which I believe not only makes the memorial more personal, it allows family and friends to contribute in a meaningful way.

Right now I'm working on different themes - vintage, rustic, beach, garden, classic, and neo-Victorian. In time I hope to have photo shoots highlighting each theme, but for now I've been collecting ideas on my Pinterest page. I spend a lot of time on DIY wedding blogs like Forget Me Knot Weddings, 100 Layer Cake and Grey Likes Weddings looking for inspiration, and I encourage others who are planning memorials to check out these sites.

Memorials are all about remembrance, so it's nice to bring in vintage items that are also meaningful - from tea tins to doilies, crockery to cookbooks. Here are just a few display ideas incorporating easy-to-do vintage elements from Ruffled, Bustled Events, and Hazlitt Vintage Rentals:

I hope that we can reinvent how we think of memorials, and treat them with the same love and affection that we do with weddings. Why not?