Crafting is the best therapy

I had a wonderfully crafty Christmas and spent some quality time with my family. I will forever be grateful for those memories, because my dad went into the hospital on December 27. The doctors said it would be a few days, then they’d send him to rehab for a couple weeks to gain strength. Mom made plans to get some projects done before he got home. Dad seemed tired on New Year’s Day, but then they got him up to sit in a chair — progress! The doctor called the next morning to say Dad had a rough night and the family needed to discuss plans.

I watched my brave, strong father struggle to breathe and talk around the bipap mask. He was aware and knew what was happening. He was scared. And finally as he grew weaker, my mom asked if he was tired. He nodded. And we decided we had to let him rest. They weaned him off the mask and gave him medicine to make him comfortable. And I sat beside him and held his hand as he slipped away on January 3, just three days shy of his 73rd birthday.

Forgive me for the story, it’s still so hard for me to fathom at times. We wanted to share our memories of his life, so I threw myself into making photo boards for his visitation. It was lovely to look at the old pictures and remember all those years together, and to hear stories about his exploits before I was born. But most of all, having something creative to do helped soothe an ache in my soul.

These are far from perfect, but I had limited time and resources. I didn’t want to use the actual pictures, lest something get lost or damaged, so these are all scans printed on a color copier/printer. (They seem squished on preview with my phone, so I hope they display properly)

The services are all over, the extended family has left town, and I’m left looking for meaningful occupation and something that won’t make me cry.

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This is a lovely tribute. I’m very sorry for your loss.

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Online hugs to you and yours. :heart: The memory boards are so beautiful - I loved seeing the pictures of your dad at each stage in his life. Wish I could give you a big hug… since I can’t, I’ll be hoping that it won’t be too long before all the memories will bring only smiles.

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I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

What a great tribute to make to your dad!

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What a beautiful way to gather and share all those special memories. I’m sorry to hear about your dad, it must be such a difficult time for you and your family.

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I’m a bit choked up so will come back and comment coherently later on. For now (((hugs))). Thank you for sharing. Surely your dad knew he was loved enormously by you. I can tell that he was just from reading your post.

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Oh, what a beautiful tribute to him. I keep zooming in to see each little photo and imagine the story that surely accompanies it. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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This is such a touching tribute.
My condolences.

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Such a wonderful thing to do! I’m sure your family was touched to see it. I’m sorry for your loss. Clearly you have some lovely memories and I hope they can help to sustain and comfort you. (((Hugs)))

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Thank you for your kindness!

Thank you for the kind words. My dad’s personality was larger than life. It was a challenge to choose the right pictures.

Memories are a tricky thing, aren’t they? :blue_heart:

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These are beautiful and a lovely celebration of what sounds like a grand and meaningful life. My condolences to you and your family.

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Thank you @FrizzyTyger, @jemimah, @Magpie, @sweets4ever, @geekgirl, and @Bunny1kenobi, I appreciate your kindness!

Have you ever crafted anything that you knew was pleasing and useful, but couldn’t help feeling like it could never be enough? How do you say thank you to the man who taught you the importance of hard work, fairness, and helping others? How can the world ever understand just what it lost? It’s a lot of self-imposed pressure for a crafty type.

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Thanks so much for your kind words!

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Oh my dear, you craft yourself a beautiful life with all you were taught. It’s the one creation a parent would most want in return :heartpulse:

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Words and feelings exist on different spheres; although the spheres may intersect, some things simply cannot be corseted into words. Pictures tell stories without any necessary narrative. Your love for your father shows in these remarkable memory boards, and are such a wonderful tribute to him and his legacy. I am very sorry for your loss. Hugs, love, and prayers to you and your family.

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I’m so sorry for your loss, but these boards are wonderfully and lovingly made.

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This is a beautiful tribute! It sounds like your dad was an amazing man and you did a wonderful job of capturing some of his personality and spirit in these photo boards. I am so very, very sorry for your loss!

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What a wonderful tribute. So sorry for your loss.

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A loss of a family member, especially someone as close, is hard. I’m glad you were able to make this board which shows the amazing life he’s lived, and yes, crafting is great therapy.

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