Saturday, October 06, 2007

Grief Therapy

It's been an emotional & painful week for our department. One of our nurses, Carolyn Warner was killed when she rolled her truck on her way to visit family in California. She was 47 years old. We were shocked & saddened when we got the news on Monday. It colored our whole week at work. Tears flowed frequently. We decided to make a memory book, & everyone who wants to make a page for it can, then we're going to send it to Carolyn's parents & twin sister, to let them know how much we cared about her.
I volunteered to quilt a cover for the notebook that we're using. I started out by writing things that reminded me of Carolyn, using a bleach pen on dark fabric. It isn't beautiful, but it won't even be seen unless someone takes the cover off of the book, because I placed this on the back side of the quilt. I did it more for my own grief-work, than anything else.
Here's the cover after I put it together & quilted it. Aside from the green & black batik print, the other fabrics are my hand painted cottons & silks. The blues are layers of cotton covered by silk organza, the light green is my own Shibori hand-dyed work.
I quilted a floral motif into part of the blue, because Carolyn was a terrific gardener. She was always bringing in her flowers & fresh veggies to share with all of us.
On another section I "wrote" more words about her. Things like "funny, compassionate, skilled nurse, sarcastic wit, she always made me laugh...etc".
Here's the final cover front
and back.
It really helped me to do this, to work through some of my grief.
I visited auntie Ethel on Thursday this week. Her leg is no longer healing, in fact it's getting worse. The weak pulse she had in her foot is completely gone. The foot is looking bad. I talked to Hospice & her surgeon, & we are going to just try & keep her comfortable. She'll be 94 next Thursday. I'm as sure as I can be that this will be her last birthday.
You all should go see what my friend Kathy has been doing. It's really interesting.

15 comments:

Allison Ann Aller said...

Life is so tough sometimes....very sorry for you all at work, Deb.
Your book is a beautiful response...
...and special prayers for your aunt as well....

Barbara C said...

What a wonderful tribute for your friend. My sincere condolences for your loss. I'm sorry your aunt isn't doing well. I'm sure this is a tough time for you, but I'm sending you good wishes and prayers.

Sue B said...

A beautiful tribute for your friend Deb and my condolences to you on your loss.

Dianne said...

That is so sad Deb! Your book is really beautiful......

Waltraud said...

I can feel with you and I know your book can help you!

Vicki W said...

What a wonderful tribute! I am so sorry for all of the sadness you are going through.

StegArt said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. The book is wonderful and I'm inspired by how it helped you. Sending wishes and prayers your way.

Rian said...

That is just so, so sad. So young. Her family must be devastated.

I am sorry to hear about Auntie E, too.

Lots of cyber hugs coming your way.

Barbara said...

Sometimes life is not to explain.We walk and walk and life changes from good to bad. There are moments we are sad and moments we are happy . ....I think of you in your sadness , creativity helps to change sadness in gratitude. Barbara

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

My condolances to you, co-workers and Carolyn's family.

I am also sending my prayers for your Aunt.

You did an outstanding job on the notebook cover. What a great way to remember and honor Carolyn.

jenclair said...

I'm so sorry and hope that the process of making the beautiful cover helps in your recovery from the sadness. I'm sure it will provide comfort to those who loved her.

Micki said...

My condolences to you and your co-workers and to Carolyn's family. You did a wonderful job on the book cover.

Granny Fran said...

What a wonderful way to deal with your grief; it's a beautiful book.
Thanks for the link to Kathy's Navajo dyeing and weaving class.

Deborah said...

That's very sad. A family we know lost their 16 year old son in an auto accident this past week too. What a wonderful tribute to your friend. It will mean so much to her family. Take care

Jane Ann said...

Oh, Deb, I'm behind in my blog reading, but I had to say how sorry I am for your loss. As I looked at the book cover you made, I couldn't help thinking it must have been healing to create something so beautiful out of your grief. It will mean so much to her family.