Wednesday, 30 May 2018

This past weekend the big guy and I drove to Jasper for my girlfriend's funeral.  The weather was beautiful, as was the service.  There was an honour guard of park wardens at the door and inside the church were my friend's quilts.  Over her lifetime she made some three hundred quilts and gave them away.  People were asked to bring their quilts for the funeral and the quilts were lined up at the front of the church, draped over pews and hung at the end of the rows.

My friend was not old, only fifty-seven.  The church was full and her parents and in-laws are still alive.  I can't even imagine burying a child.  You're supposed to be old when you die.  You're supposed to bury your parents first.  But that's not how life works.  It's random.  Shit happens.  We love, if we're lucky, and we die.

The best part of the funeral was hearing about her life;  the things she enjoyed doing, the people she loved.  She had even written a portion of the service herself which was lovely.  And in the end we sang "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" by Monty Python, complete with whistling.

Last November when she was given her prognosis and she started planning her funeral, my friend told me that she wanted this song as part of her funeral but wasn't sure how her mom would feel about it.  Obviously her mom was okay with it.  We all sang, we all smiled, we all felt better.  One last gift that she was able to give us.

My friend was an optimist.  She truly did look on the bright side of life and to honor her memory I will do my best to also look on the bright side.

Miss Katie is doing well.  Her arm is healing and she won't be put out on the street on June 17th.  The agency will care for her until a new placement can be found for her.  I met with a behavior specialist last Friday.  She had been brought into to make recommendations on how to deal with Katie's aggression.  She believes all aggression comes from fear.  She also noted that Katie is an emotional sponge, much like her mother (cough, cough), and that Katie picks up on all of the emotions of those around her, including the fear of her caregivers.  Katie matches the mood of those around her.

Katie's caregivers are divided.  Most love her deeply and want only the best for her.  Some are just there to put in their time and get paid.  A couple are afraid of her.  Needless to say the ones who love her are loved back in return by Katie.

The specialist believes that Katie only wants to feel that she belongs and is loved, like the rest of us.  I believe this as well.  She has recommendations and will work with Katie's present agency and the new agency moving forward.  I am hopeful.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your friend- to show how much she loved with each and every stitch in each and every quilt. Amazing!
    Glad to hear about Katie. I hope things get sorted out for the best very soon.

  2. Thank you for sharing your friend's beautiful quilts with us. Quilts are love. That she wanted "Always Look At The Bright Side Of Life" sung at her funeral shows a fine-tuned sense of humor and compassion that is inspiring.

    That's a relief to know that Katie is doing well and that she can stay where she is until a new placement is being found for her. I hope that with your insights and the behavior specialist's input, Katie will come to feel that there is a place where she belongs and is loved.

  3. I'm so sorry about your friend, that is way too young to die. :( The quilts sound like a lovely touch.

  4. That was a beautiful tribute to your friend....all those lovely quilts. I am sorry for all those who loved her. I can't fathom how her parents must be feeling.

  5. My God -- those quilts and that funeral. That is astoundingly beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss, though -- everything you wrote here -- so much love. I'm really glad that Katie's placement will be a slower process and I'm sending all my good thoughts your way and hers -- that all will be well.

  6. The specialist sounds really good - wise, even. I am moved by the display of quilts at your friends funeral. What a touching testimony to a life well lived.

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  8. Those quilts, made and given by your friend, kept and well loved, lined up over pews in the church, they made me cry. And then more tears at the words of the specialist, that aggression comes from fear, that Katie is an emotional sponge, and only wants to be loved. I am glad you will have time to look for a good new placement for her, guided by a caring specialist. There can sometimes be so much beauty in the things that are hard. You have really found the bright side in this post.

  9. What a beautiful memorial for your friend. What a generous spirit she had to make and give away all those quilts.

    And I'm glad Katie gets to stay while you find her a new place.