Monday, May 13, 2013


Apologies for taking a bit of a blogging break. I meant to post after our Civil War event last weekend, but my dear Grampie passed from the world last Monday evening and in the whirl and flutter of various emotions since that time I have not been settled enough to write a blog post.

Now, as time goes on, I can take it all in. I can reconcile myself to it. I am still very sad, but now it is a methodical sadness. Not the wild burst of grief that has come in the night, sometimes. Not the tears that swell unbidden when I look at the faces of my children and know that they will never know their great grandfather, at least like I did.

It was not altogether unexpected. He was diagnosed with cancer a little over a month ago. And he was eighty-five. Still, I had hoped to be able to visit him this summer. To let my children meet the man who first showed me the world, barefooted on the beach, watching the waves fall over each other and wondering what lay beyond them. Thrilling to the idea that the ocean connected me to a completely different continent.  The doctor gave him 4-12 months. So his passing so soon was a bit of a shock.
Me and Grampie during his last visit to Illinois, over ten years ago. I think I'm 15 in this picture!

I am preparing a mourning impression for my dear Grampie for the remainder of the reenacting year. It may seem strange, but it does help to have something to *do*. Now that Grampie is gone and his memorial service is over and life seemingly must go on, it is nice to know that I have a job to do; I have things to research and make and I can outwardly show my respect for him, at least in some small way. It is relieving and comforting. Mourning is a process. I think the Victorians had it right; death seems such a quick thing anymore.

Since a woman in full mourning would not have gone into public beyond a very few occasions, I am researching a second mourning impression. The items I am making are not really very different than anything I might wear for "normal" wear, but they will reflect the mourning stage and will be appropriate for normal wear after mourning is over, although perhaps a bit more somber in color and more conservative regarding cut and trim.

I will update as I have things to update on. I'm working on my cage crinoline right now, since I do not have a suitable one to wear with my black dress (I will be using my black lawn for the summer.)
You can see David and his red flag here, and his litter-bearers. 

As for the Civil War reenactment, it was fun! We all had a lovely time and I am looking forward to going to more events as the season gets off to a start. It's nice to enjoy reenacting again! You can see more pictures here: Delevan Civil War Days 2013



  1. Dear Sarah Jane,

    Sending you warm hugs and sympathy at the loss of your grandfather.

    You'll be able to tell your sons the stories of walking next to the ocean and feeling the next continent thousands of miles away but its waters washing right at your feet, and the stories will feed all of you, and connect the layers of generations together.

    Again, hugs, and peace,


  2. I'm sorry for your loss, Sarah. If you tell your boys all of your stories about their Grampie, someday they will have those memories and will remember him with fondness though they never actually met him. My dad always told us about his grandma, who I never knew. I still remember his stories, and in that way, I did "know" her.

    So much death this spring. My FIL, my friend's brother. It has been rather sobering. I like your idea of a mourning impression. I have always thought the idea of mourning appealing.

  3. Love and light to you, Sarah.

    The passing of a loved one can be hard, but through those warm memories and stories, he will live on in your heart and continue to touch both you and your family.

    Remember the good times, let them bring you joy, and smile, knowing he has returned to Source, to God, like all things will :)

  4. Sarah-

    I am so sorry for your loss! Grandfathers are so precious. They aren't the memory keepers, like Grandmothers. They are the memory-makers. The smell of my Papaw's woodshop has been a comforting companion to my memories of him these past 18 years. Just a breath of sawdust, oil, or his brand of pipe tobacco and I am *there.*

    I hope, as time passes, you too can find your Grampie over and over again in a thousand little ways. The hurt will fade, but the sweetness of being loved by him will always be with you.


  5. I'm so sorry to hear you lost your grandfather. It's obvious you loved him very much. I think it's great you are looking for a way to express your feelings in the mourning impression.

  6. I don't normally comment on your blog, but I have been reading it for years so I feel like I know you.

    Sarah, I am so sorry about the loss about your grandfather. I I too just lost my grandma. In fact she died the day before your grandfather. I feel for you. Praying that the pain has lessoned over the past month.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!