Quilts · Something to Think About

On A Day Like This

What do you serve for dinner on a day like this?  It’s a day where the food needs to be hearty and warm and go down easily in between the tears.  Soup?  Spaghetti made with that good sauce from Trader Joe’s?  Chocolate needs to be in the picture, better schedule some brownies for dessert.  A whole pan, so more can be cut up and carried in the car on the way to the funeral.

What do you do on a day like this?  The news came early this morning, my husband weeping as he tells me of his brother-in-law passing away in the morning.  I am strong.  I don’t cry.  I get more information later, that my husband’s sister was sitting at Bruce’s bedside, having been awoken at 4 a.m. by her daughter, each taking two-hour shifts through the last few nights.  They sat there, his breathing diminishing, faltering, until at 6:30 it ceased.  A quiet, in-sleep, in-home death.  One we all would choose if we could.


On a day like this, I finish up the quilt and the angelic quilter lady agrees to a rush job and later, much later, after I sit numbly at the computer, and I become not strong, do I realize how Bruce’s death diminishes our family.  This is not a new idea.  I felt it when my other brother-in-law died, when my husband’s parents died, when my grandmothers died and it has been expressed by writers since time began.  It just feels new, each death bringing with it memories and associations and words that can not ever now be spoken.


On a day like this, I clean out a cupboard and jar breaks.  I look at it, get the dustpan and broom, wander to the mailbox, ask the neighbors to throw the papers on the porch while we’re gone and then the quilter drives up, bringing me my quilt, making me cry again.  Because.  Because on a day like this we need hands to hold us, hearts to share our sorrow.  And something easy to eat for dinner.

9 thoughts on “On A Day Like This

  1. Oh dear. Such a hard time. I’m glad you are able to go and find comfort with other family. The heart in hand quilting is beautiful.
    Blessings on you all.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss! I will share with you a poem by Mary Frye, it always brings me comfort , it goes:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night. I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room,
    I am the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there. I do not die.

  3. Elizabeth, I am so sorry about your brother in law. Please know that I am praying for God’s peace that passes understanding to comfort you and your family.

  4. Oh, Elizabeth, I am so, so sorry (and I’m sitting here, crying as well, for you and your husband and all who knew and loved this man). It is always so hard and yes, always so new even if you’ve gone through it before. I picture footsteps fading away and quiet. Know you and your family are in my heart, my prayers, my thoughts.

  5. So sorry to hear of David’s brother’s passing. Our hearts are sad for you, even as we rejoice in his reaching his next home. Please give each other hugs and love from us. And your quilt is a beautiful tribute – well done.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. He obviously was a valued member of your family and the loss goes deep. Sending my prayers and quilty hugs out to your whole family. The hands and hearts quilting is so lovely and touching. I’m sure they will surround you and your sister-in-law with love.

  7. what a sad but beautiful post.
    God Bless you all and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
    hugs – xx

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