er quilt.JPG

I want to thank all of you for your kindness and support. I am really overwhelmed! I had no idea there were so many of you out there, and I really appreciate all your heartfelt comments.
My mother, brother, and I are all doing fine. I kind of feel like we shouldn’t be doing as well as we are, but you can never predict how your emotions are going to react under such peculiar circumstances. I mean, I’ve never had to deal with such a close death before. We had a meeting with the funeral director yesterday, and he basically just spelled out everything we are expected to do. It’s just easier to go along with everything, and who knew that a funeral takes on a life of its own?
Anyway, maybe this is really morbid, but I took that photo of the little quilt in the ER. It was placed on top of my father’s feet. It added some color to an otherwise monochromatic, sterile room, and I thought it was so sweet that they placed it there. My father was unconscious by then, so it’s not like he could appreciate the gesture, but we could. I would like to make similar quilts for us, but you know how long my craft to-do list is! Still, the pattern looks easy enough for even a non-quilter like me to manage.
The memorial service will take place this Friday evening at 7pm at the Oregon Buddhist Temple (SE 34th just off of Powell). I haven’t been to a Buddhist ceremony since I was a kid, so this should be pretty interesting.

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44 Responses to aftermath

  1. chauntel says:

    All of my heartfelt condolences to you & your family at this time.
    On to the quilt…I think that is a wonderful idea to memorialize such a thing. We just received the china my mother in law left to us when she passed last fall and it’s a nice reminder to have around, not morbid at all. Or maybe I don’t see things as morbid as others do. We all deal with death in our own way & noone can tell you that you are doing it right or wrong.
    And, I received my Repos bag from superbuzzy…love, love, love it. Thanks!

  2. Romi says:

    I’m so sorry about your father’s death.

  3. Sasha says:

    Mariko, I will be thinking of you and your family.

  4. Laura says:

    You’re spot on re: the quilt – it’s showing concern both for your father, and for your and your family. Nice to see the nurses showing such compassion.
    I’ll be thinking of you guys on Friday. Remember, we all grieve in our own ways, and maybe for your family it’s about doing ok and making your dad proud?

  5. Siow Chin says:

    I’m sorry to learn about your father’s passing away.

  6. corrie says:

    my thoughts are with you and your family! what an amazing long life your father lived….to be 91 is an impressive feat….I hope the funeral gives you comfort and peace and that you help each!
    I think the quilt is a lovely gesture, just beautiful!

  7. amisha says:

    i don’t find the quilt photo morbid at all… it is such a thoughtful gesture to place it there, a touch of color and warmth and love at a difficult time. thinking of you and your family.

  8. Miss Dot says:

    no, not mobid, I have the quilt that my Grannie had in hospital when she passed away. I love the connection that it gives me to a woman who was hard to love when she was alive. Good luck with the ceremony and I hope it brings you all closure.

  9. nina says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. May you and your family find peace during this time.

  10. mari says:

    The quilt is such a nice, comforting item during a stressful time. Shows that there are caring people taking care of your loved ones – I’m so happy you took the photo.
    If you need help planning a quilt, drop me a line – even though I’m a novice quilter, simple straight quilts are my favorite to design!

  11. Maritza says:

    The quilt is beautiful, and it was such a thoughtful and lovely gesture that they placed it there.

  12. PlazaJen says:

    I think the quilt is nice. If you had some of your dad’s clothing, you could integrate those pieces in with some of your fabulous fabrics and truly create a tribute that would blend pieces from his life into the pieces from yours.
    But hey, I’m all about the concept phase of projects. Which is why I have so much uncut fabric!
    Again, hugs to you, and may the memorial service be comforting and a good memory for you & your family.

  13. Johanna says:

    I’ve been there, unfortunately. It can be quite surreal. Which is very normal. I don’t think I *really* cried until a month after. The mourning process is such an odd thing. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  14. Shelly says:

    All my love to you, Mariko, and your family. I will be thinking about you as the week progresses.

  15. donna says:

    I remember feeling a similar way when my mother died. It was comforting to just follow the series of steps that had been laid out for me.
    The photo isn’t morbid at all, it’s a nice final memory of your father and the people who took care of him.

  16. Sil says:

    You’re right, everyone reacts differently, so there is no right or wrong reaction. I went on a job interview the very next day my dad died. The employer didn’t know and I got the job…
    Take care of yourself and definitely add that footsie quilt to the list of projects. It’s lovely. Imagine how cute it’ll be with all those Japanese fabrics thrown in.

  17. Kathy says:

    Something with color, something made by a person, is a really special thing in a hospital setting. My ex bf had a really nasty form of lymphoma and was in the hospital for a while, and the thing that meant most to him was an afghan that I knit up for him, draped over his bed. It was somehow more real and human than the sanitized sheets and plastic cups and pillows.
    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  18. shar says:

    Dear Mariko, I want to give you my heartfelt condolenses on the lost of your father. I also lost my dad after a short illness…your mentioning of the quilt picture brought me memories of his passing…I had placed my hello kitty blanket on my dad to keep him warm and he had it covering him when he passed suddenly while having a procedure done.Somehow it was somewhat comforting knowing it was with him. I understand how you felt about placing that picture of the quilt by him. Losing someone so close to you is a difficult time and I pray that you and your family will be comforted that he lived such a long and full life. Take care.

  19. Rita says:

    Hi, Mariko – I’m just now catching up reading this after finishing up tax season yesterday. I’m really sorry to hear about your father. I lost my father last year. It is, indeed, a strange experience. The little quilt is lovely. What a caring hospital to be in. I’ll be thinking about you Friday.

  20. Terry says:

    I don’t come by your blog all the time – so I just learned. I am very sorry about the passing of your father. I love your gesture w. the quilt, a wonderful gesture! Take care, and take it easy 🙂

  21. Peggy says:

    Lovely quilt, just what a quilt should be. I’m sure I’d be happy if I knew a handmade thing of beauty like that was in the room when I died. Who made it? Anyway, you feel what you feel. It’s good that you can be honest about it.

  22. madmommy says:

    What a beautiful quilt! So much better than those overwashed, threadbare hospital blankets. What a lovely gesture.

  23. The quilt seems like such a ray of light in what could be such a sad time. The calm bittersweetness of your tone is so touching. I wish you and your family all the best through this time. And I am glad to be part of your extended lurking blogcircle.

  24. Heather says:

    I hope that you have had a moment to realize how important and respectful your quilt is for your father, and for those who were near him in his dying time.
    Although your father was unconscious, he may have known what was in that space and each gesture of respect, care, and love.
    Who can say.

  25. Annhb says:

    So sorry to hear about your Dad – I’ll be thinking of you Mariko!

  26. *karen says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad. He must have been quite a man to have raised children as interesting/entertaining/quirky as your brother and yourself. 3/4 of the funerals I’ve ever been to have been Buddhist funerals but it was only recently that there was a priest who could speak English well enough for me to understand the Buddhist philosophy and that philosophy turned out to be a comfort to me.

  27. Michiko says:

    Just a note to let you know that I’m thinking of you, your mom, and your brother. I’m sorry I can’t be there for the services on Friday evening, but I’ll be thinking of you.

  28. debbie says:

    my condolences to you and your family – when the busy-ness of everything passes and the ‘fog’ lifts, i hope the memories of your dad will comfort you all….

  29. Lydia says:

    Mariko, I am so very sorry and saddened to hear of the loss of your father. Having experienced the death of my father years ago, I know how mixed the death of a loved one can be: a bit of a relief and, yet, painful. I’m sure that beautiful quilt was comforting to him even though he wasn’t conscious; perhaps the quilt will hold a special memory for you someday. Take care!

  30. Pip says:

    Mariko.. I have been thinking about you all afternoon. So sorry to hear of your loss. The quilt is beautiful.. and I wish you many crafty, happy moments in the future.

  31. Samantha says:

    Hi Mariko,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am glad you and your brother and your mom are doing well.
    My father passed away last October, and to a certain extent it still seems like yesterday. But even though he is gone, I delight in seeing the things that brought him joy… mostly food. Mallomars, My-T-Fine chocolate pudding, really huge cans of fruit cocktail. What can I say, we’re a food family.
    Take care.

  32. Amy says:

    Mariko, I understand your sentiments. My grandpa passed away last year, and I don’t feel sad because of the memories that we share. I remembered him as a jovial man who liked to tease me the most, so I smiled at his funerals. Somehow I couldn’t cry. There was no reason to anyway. He died in my grandma’s arms after she bathed him. I’m sorry for your loss.

  33. Amber says:

    Heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father. I lost mine a year and a half ago, also the first really close person to me to go, and it’s a very strange feeling. And a strange time, just as you described.
    Thanks so much for sharing the quilt – it is lovely. My mother has been making quilts for hospitals, and it’s so nice to see a story where someone making the same gesture had an impact.
    When I think about the surrealness of a passing and the funeral and all the surrounding activity, I remember the dream my brother had when our grandfather died. In the dream, there was an open casket, and people were shuffling up one-by-one. When my brother got to the casket, he told a joke. Grandpa sat up and smiled and said “Thanks. I was waiting for that.” Then he got up and walked away.
    Best thoughts to you and yours.

  34. Dawnya says:

    It is Dawnya from the Teaswap. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family.

  35. Lori says:

    I’m so sorry about your father’s passing. The quilt is beautiful… and it is not morbid at all to take a picture of it.
    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  36. Betsy says:

    Sweetheart, loosing a parent is one of the most trying ordeals we experience. You will find that, over the years, you have indeed listened to his wisdom. This will always keep him close to you. Your quilt is beautiful, and I believe his spirit knew by heart. I am sure it was a wonderful comfort to him as well as yourself. This is not morbid, this is a link in the cycle of life. Give that blanket to your first born child. This will create continuity in your family, a connection for your child to his/her ancestor, and comfort for you.

  37. carol says:

    hi mariko,
    my thoughts are with you and your family. i am glad to read that you are coping well during what must be a difficult time. and i think making a little quilt would be a sweet way to remember him. i loved seeing the photo of him with deedle.

  38. heather says:

    I am sorry for your loss, my sympathy are with you and your family.

  39. Denice says:

    My thoughts are with you, too, Mariko. Your dad sounded like quite a character. I have a ninety-three y.o. grandfather who is a hoot, too. they seemed to break the molds after this generation. Please take care.

  40. ellen says:

    I was very sorry to hear of your loss, but so glad to hear that you all had a chance to say goodbye. Enjoy your memories. That keeps our loved ones alive in our hearts.

  41. Tara says:

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have been reading your blog for a while and never posted. I am saddened to make first comment on an occassion such as this. Take care.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Mariko: I just read about your loss. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. God bless you and your family. Lots of hugs!

  43. earthchick says:

    I just read about your loss – I am so sorry. The quilt is lovely, and such a nice thing for them to do. I hope the memorial service went well last night, and that you and your family are holding up well.

  44. Lauren says:

    Oh, Mariko, I’m so sad. I have just started reading your blog again after at least a year of non-blog-reading and now there is such sad news. 🙁
    The quilt is beautiful and thoughtful. My new husband’s grandmother was in the process of making us our wedding quilt when she died in January. I had not met her. I am both sad and happy, now, to have the opportunity to learn to quilt so that I can finish the beautiful gift she was preparing for us.
    Condolences and thoughts to you all during these coming weeks.

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