Hello. Today I am sharing about a paper weaving technique as a way to mourn for the death of a loved one. I am very much mourning lately, since my mom died four months ago. Did you know there is a difference between grief and mourning? Grief is an emotion. Mourning is actually doing something to symbolize the grief and taking time to express it. The idea here is not to stuff and bury your feelings, but to process and honor yourself and your loved ones.
Here is my own letter to my mom that I finished writing and then weaving, just a little bit ago:
(If you need more ideas on how to mourn, I have plenty of ideas since my mom died, just ask me in the comments to share some.)
How to weave a letter :
First, you write a letter of goodbye to your dead loved one, on black paper to show how sad and devastated you feel. Then you cut parallel slits into the black letter. Then you weave other pieces of paper into the slits, in and out, to create a quilt-like pattern. At the same time you can weave write, draw, and decorate it with items that helps you to experience and remember your loved one with. I wove in feathers and added sparklies on mine. Then glue it to an art board.
So let you tell me about my own letter:
I brought my goodbye letter to the mourning daughters group, to complete our woven letters in a little circle together. We’ve all lost parents and we meet regularly. We mourn whenever anyone lets us to mourn, we mourn when there are candles lit, we mourn sipping orange spice tea and sharing stories and photos of our loved ones. We understand one another more than I could ever imagine. Anyways…
When I was weaving my letter, the feathers reminded me of my Mom’s softness and her kindness. They reminded me that her hands were small and delicate, like little birds. She was just a little bird in the end, under a hundred pounds, speaking as soft as a little wind, as the disease had taken its toll.
I put the bright flower paper into the work, as mom loved bright orange flowers, and was a great gardener, back in her healthy days.
I drew flames on the edges, because she lay dying under the threat of being evacuated because the Sonoma Forest fires were so close. It will be forever ingrained in my mind that a few miles away, the whole city was shut down and fires creeping nearer, and I would drive towards it, not away, to go see my mom, and sit by her quietly in her bed, in the natural light of the window, as she lay sleep talking to angels. I think that the forest fires just hurried up her death. In any case, I included a few flames in the borders.
How do I feel after making this art letter? Nice. Underneath all her seriousness, it reminds me that Mom had a lighter side to her and she had a silly sense of humor too, and how I loved to make her smile. I would work hard to make her smile at times.
Here are some of the other art letters that my friends made on the same night, for their lost parents: