"Saying goodbye is the hardest part"
"Saying goodbye in the hardest part"
I do try and keep business from personal within my business, but over the last few weeks I have been grieving the loss of a wonderful man in my life - my grandfather - and today we said our goodbyes to him.
During tough times, sewing is my absolute savior. It gives me balance, reflection time and sense of calmness among chaos. So creating these beautiful keepsakes for myself and family has truly given me that.
Family is so important to me, and my little girl doesn't quite have understanding of the loss of her Great Pa just yet, but I want to be able to give her something to treasure these special things for the future, but also give comfort and joy in these sad times, to not only my daughter, but to my nieces, my mum and my twin sister.
Taking a few precious items of my grandfather's -
Pieces of clothing that truly reflected him - his check shirts, his polo shirts, and his check pyjama top where we captured the very last beautiful images of him.
Lock of his gorgeous salt and pepper hair (he was always so proud to be sporting a beautiful head of hair even well into his 90's!) to be a lovely reminder of his DNA, his roots and connection to the family.
Both of these precious items gives us the chance to fondly reflect on his personality, his life, his presence and be truly taken back to those amazing memories, and also to make connection between those photos and the item created.
My little girl is nearly 3 and my sister's gorgeous girls are 2 and nearly 5 and were deeply involved in my grandfather's life. It was such a honour and pleasure that they got to meet this gentle man. Not only did they light up his life, he truly lit up theirs.
It was important to me that each of the girls have something to hold close and these stunning little dolls are a true reflection of my grandfather in one little sweet bundle. Using the mixture of his clothing, these beautiful ballerinas were created.
But the special part for me is the deeply personal connection in those dolls - each doll has an honouring resin heart - sized according to the age order of the girls - set with a lock of their great grandfather's hair. Set into the chest of the doll, you can even feel the heart through the fabric. So each and every time they feel they would like to connect to their Great Pa they can do so in their very own way.
The simple finishing touch is using his name label from his clothing to be placed on the doll - "Leslie Mills" but forever to us he was Dad, Grandpa and Great Pa and that is truly special.
To link back to myself, my mum and sister - the very same items of clothing were used to create a lovely and modern European Bead Charm to wear not only at the ceremony but always. In one little item holds so much love, sentiment and meaning.
Pa, your legacy will live on through your grandchildren and great grandchildren and that is the most wonderful gift you could have given us.