There’s not a lot I can say about this quilt, since the stories contained in it are not my stories to tell. As in many human stories, this quilt holds a story of love, loss, death, courage, and bravery.
I imagine holding onto the shirts he once wore must have been painful. Tucked away in a closet, forgotten, then found again – the heart stops and the breath quickens. She knows the shirts are there, but she puts them out of sight – too painful to see.
The outfit she wore to the funeral. I’ve had those too. How can you ever wear the skirt again knowing what it’s seen, where it’s been? So, she doesn’t. It took gets tucked away. It’s too beautiful to get rid of. It’s too haunted to wear.
The fragment of the baby blanket. I wonder how many times he held her while she held it? There wasn’t much left of that loved piece of fabric. Just enough to cut one small square. One small square now surrounded by memories with him and memories without him.
What do you do with a shirt that represents life and death all in one place? His name on the back, memorialized. Suicide prevention on the front. It’s almost too much to bear.
She trusted me with some of her most valuable, tangible possessions.
After looking through the shirts, trying to decide where to begin, I decided on cream for the back and binding. I’ve never made a quilt with such a light color before, but it’s fitting. Although it’s a small quilt, I suspect it’s one of the heavier ones I’ve made. It needed some light, some air, some openness. The cream fabric did the trick.
This is the third quilt I’ve been asked to create in memory of someone succumbed to suicide. I truly hope it’s the last.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday. Call if you need help. Someone loves you. Someone will miss you. I promise.