• Dawn Ford

From pyjamas to a pillow

Updated: Jan 16



April 2017

My dear friend Melanie had a wonderful Pagan wedding ceremony in August 2008. My husband and I went along and with everyone else there on that day we all saw Melanie 'wed' her man. It was in March the following year when she was diagnosed with the cancer and tragically died in the May.

The 1st anniversary of their beautiful summer countryside wedding approached and her husband invited me to the 'gathering of friends'. I can't remember if I offered, or if her husband asked me to make something special out of her clothes. I do remember him stressing that he wanted it out of clothing that only he saw and therefore nightwear would be perfect. He gave me her pyjamas.

This was going to be the 1st keepsake I would create out of a cherished piece of clothing where the loved one had died. As with my children's keepsake my hand shook nervously when I picked up the scissors and started deconstructing the items. I decided on a pillow. I wanted her husband to have something that he could hug, lie with and cry into.

The anniversary day arrived and I was still finishing off the keepsake an hour before I left to meet them all. I was determined to present this keepsake to him on this poignant day. I finished it and instantly hugged it.. And of course the tears came. ..... so many of tears.

Imagine this... I sat in the car and automatically put the seatbelt around the pillow. It so felt like a person. It will not come as a surprise, that the drive to the 'party gathering' was an incredibly emotional one.

But that was nothing compared to the tears shed by her husband when I gave the pillow to him. As before I was concerned that the memory association with the keepsake was too much.. too emotional, but he just looked at me and through the tears I saw him mouth the words "Thank You".