Someone in my group for hospice workers shares the article on flowers as a grief ritual, and that’s how I discover Janet. I quickly read the news story about how Janet uses the dried flowers from her mother’s funeral to make new images for 100 days.
I read other people’s comments on her posts. Everyone is so moved by Janet’s sorrow and how she has rendered it into something beautiful. The images are stunning, it’s true, and so is the story behind them, but it shocks me that in a culture so averse to grief, her account’s followers grow every day.
My mother has already been dead for four years when I decide to spend a year making blankets for hospice. I’ve never made a blanket before, but I get it into my head to make a new afghan every month for twelve months, and to never repeat a pattern. At the time, I don’t see what this has to do with my mother, who died so suddenly she never entered hospice. I don’t see, perhaps because I don’t want to see, how learning a craft is symbolic of her and the craft store she once ran out of our garage.
From diagnosis to death, my dad’s journey was a callously swift nine months. A strange lump in his thigh turned out to be osteosarcoma, which then...