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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

R.I.P.

Peace....

This is my brother....


He died Tuesday May 12th. He was my hero.

Many of you with brothers may think that you have/had the best brother. You are wrong. Mine was the best.

This is a sewing blog and I'm not going to get into the whats and hows... But I miss him and plan to mourn him; publicly and privately.

Unfortunately... I have mourning experience. I lost my 1st husband in 2003. My mother, always aware of appearances, told me that I should mourn Michael in dress. I didn't quite know what that entailed. So I researched it. Mommie told me that it was a family tradition to mourn a spouse for 1.5 years. I asked her where she got that from. she said it was just what they did. Mommie is in her 70's. I've come to learn half answers is all I'm getting from her. But there are African traditions (many of which match a lot of family traditions) that say that one mourns a blood relative for 18 months. There is fanfare month 1 and month 18. But the best record of mourning etiquette comes from the Victorian era. That queen mourned her husband for more than 40 years. She must have loved him.... So I combined the family, African and Victorian traditions to make "Serenity Mourning Traditions."

Included in my external mourning is the way I dress. When Michael died in 2003, I wore black for 18 months. Solid black the first year and then a mix of black and other patterns/colors for the last 6 months. After 18 months I was disgusted with black and did everything to not wear it again. I even got rid of a lot of the clothes that reminded me of mourning. It was such a dark time in my life. When my Daddy died in 2008, I mourned for 1 year. 6 months of solid black and 6 months of broken black. I discarded the black after that too. Now.... I'm starting from scratch again. I plan to mourn Clarence, for at least 6 solid months. I will probably be the only one mourning him. Our family was small to start with my parents and just the 2 of us. My mother is cracking up, as you can imagine. Clarence was her favorite... her words, not mine. His wife is a "special" person. It's doubtful that she will mourn him at all. And what she does, my nephew follows suit... as he should. I would mourn him even if my SIL did, but I will make sure that he is remembered as an honored ancestor (as if he didn't have a wife).

So my sewing will take on a different hue... literally. I didn't have a lot of black or even broken black. I wore the dress that I made earlier in the year for mourning to the funeral. Who knew? I went to Fine Fabrics and bought some things.... I went to Charming Charlies and bought jewelry and accessories to match. I'm going to do this right and make this look good...

I actually have Michael's death to attribute to me getting back into sewing. I have been sewing since I was 13, but not everything I own. That's why my previous sewing machine lasted 30 years. I made a few things here and there, but mostly did alterations, costumes, quilts and home stuff. I could make garments.... I just didn't all that often. Michael died on Good Friday. Do you know how hard it is to find black for spring and summer??? Even the suit I wore to his services was hard to find. Nordstrom found one in a distant store, ordered it and altered it in 3 days. Go Nordstrom! But what was I to wear all the other days? I was wandering in a fabric store and they has bolts of black cotton on sale for $10/bolt. I bought 3 full bolts and proceeded to make my mourning trousseau. That's what got me into sewing all my clothes. The more successes I had the more confident I became. And here I am.

I am going to not discard my black clothes anymore. Apparently it doesn't keep folks from dying.


This is us as children...


Peace






4 comments:

Dorothy DotDot said...

My deepest sympathy! I have one sibling and he lives with me. We are eleven months apart with me being the oldest. Take care of yourself and your family.

Lyndle said...

My deepest sympathy in your loss. It's a huge loss to lose a sibling.
Thank you for the information about mourning in dress. My great auntie said they used to mourn in black for a year (for close family) then move to purple or mauve for 'half-mourning' for the rest of the mourning period. The deep mourning period was longer the closer you were to the person.
It is quite a sacrificial and personal way to honour a loved one, and also signals to others that you are mourning a loss. I honor you for it.

MAD14kt said...

My deepest sympathy in your loss!!!

happyhomemakerredux said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!