Life after loss is tricky. Although time and hard work help heal the wounds of grief, it’s always there. It lies under the surface, and sometimes it chooses to rear its ugly head. Most of the time when you least expect it. When I decided to give my kids their t-shirt quilts made from their dad’s old t-shirts, I didn’t know how they would react. Seeing a loved one’s t-shirt quilt can be full of triggers.
Loved One’s T-Shirt Quilt
The kids helped me clean our R’s side of the closet the summer after he passed away. School was about to start, and I didn’t think I could stand walking in there every day before school to have his clothes as a reminder to me that he was gone. After they got what they wanted of his clothes, I put all his t-shirts in bags.
I am fortunate that I have a former co-worker and friend who is a great quilter. She made me a beautiful quilt when I remarried, and I knew she would be the perfect person to make these t-shirt quilts since after 7 years I finally felt I had the strength to go through them and do something with them.
I told her I wanted baby quilts, but I called them lap quilts with the kids. I didn’t want to put any pressure on them that I’m expecting babies!!
You can tell by the pictures that grief didn’t take our joy!
These pictures were taken October 2019. We all got together for my son’s 30th birthday. He showed up with a goatee (which I do not like) He wanted to grow a beard for a hunting trip, but he could because of his work so he had grown this. I wasn’t too happy, but what do moms know!!
Memories of him wearing every single one!
We took a few minutes to look at these quilts. We had memories of him wearing every single one of these shirts. Some were from his work at an aircraft company. Some were t-shirts from the kids’ sporting events. He always wore those sports t-shirts with such pride!
My friend who made these was so wonderful. I learned a lot from her about dealing with someone who is grieving. She knew it would be emotional for us. She kept every button and put them in a jar for us.
These two are so full of life. I’m so proud of them. They have faced a terrible tragedy and instead of crumbling, they have grown from it. They have found strength in the valley. I know in my mama’s heart that strength will take them to the mountaintop!!
A funny thing about this weekend…I took a lot of pictures which the kids don’t really like. We have very few pictures from the weekend where we all had our eyes open!! Oh well. Hopefully next time!
My big take about after this weekend and the several times that we’ve been together since— We laugh much more than we cry!!
Make A T-Shirt Quilt
Etsy has many people who will make quilts for you. See the list HERE.
I love this. What a wonderful way to remember a loved one. Ive been saving t-shirts and shirts of meaning (first meet, honeymoon, vacay etc) I cant part with them and hoped to make a quilt one day myself. I should just get someone to do it for me. Thx for the beautiful idea I hope those quilts bring great joy and even comfort on those days that are difficult. God Bless!
Thank you so much! Yes, it take some thought. I’m so lucky that my friend was so wonderful and thoughtful!! She did an amazing job!
Those are beautiful..Maria does awesome work. I’ve made a few memory quilts…it’s always a labor of love.
Thank you! Yes, she does incredible work, and she was so thoughtful!! Thanks for stopping by!
Kathleen Bailey-Potter says
I was thinking about making quilts for the boys and I from David’s Hawaiian shirt collection. I still have some of his clothes in my closet. His wedding tuxedo, his sports jackets and such. I guess I am just not ready to let them go yet. But it would be fun to make quilts for our boys.
I understand not being ready! You’ll know when the time is right! Sending you hugs! I know it’s hard moving forward without him!!