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Topic: Grandmom's box  (Read 3031 times)
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Onyxnox
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« on: July 03, 2011 05:12:26 AM »

DH's grandmom passed away this Spring.  It was exceptionally sad because she was our generation's last grandparent, and it felt like losing all of my grandparents all over again, even though it has been years.  Especially as his grandfather and grandmother reminded me so much of my paternal grandparents.

Anyways, she did not want a flashy funeral, or coffin or the whole shebang her husband had.  They were very much opposites.  He had the big church ceremony, and a huge wood coffin, with viewings at the funeral home.  She wanted to be cremated and a quiet ceremony with family and friends.



Jim's dad asked him to build her a nice box and if I could decorate it with a Claddagh heart because she was Irish, and loved everything it stands for, letting love and friendship reign.  I think all the girls in the family have a ring, including myself, even though I am Chinese.

This is what we built for her - our final gift.  A lot of love went into this box.  DH built it out of the prettiest clear cedar he could find, which was bought by the SO of his sister, who also helped him.  They finished it to the smoothest finish I have ever felt, finishing with an emery paper of fine fine grit.  I found a Claddagh pattern I felt suited her personality the best, transferred and burned that on.  I left a bit of space at the bottom in case they decided that they wanted to add a message.  Jim's dad and his sister decided they wanted her name on it.  Not her formal name, but what everyone called her; Vilma (she is formally Wilhemina, but no one ever called her that).



After the burning, DH finished it with several coats of clear coat, so carefully that it was like satin when he was done.

The kids wanted her wedding ring to stay with her, and were just going to crazy glue it onto the box, which I felt was just wrong.  I had a Victorian style cameo setting, so with everyone's permission, I took the ring, and made it into a cameo with clear resin.



They were going to put the box into a marble box they bought from the funeral home, but in the end, her kids all decided they liked it so much, that they would not cover it.  We had a graveside service just last month, so she could be buried when the flowers are blooming.  What surprised me was how many people took pictures of the box, and so many people complimented us and cried about it.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011 05:27:38 AM by Onyxnox » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011 05:33:42 AM »

What a beautiful tribute.
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raeraethejetplane
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011 06:01:42 AM »

I'm sorry for your loss. The box turned out gorgeous. You can really see all the love that went into it.
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011 06:43:36 AM »

I'm so sorry for your loss, Onyxnox, but you sure found a wonderful way to commemorate her life. The box is beautiful, the woodburned pattern is so special and the ring setting is gorgeous. It's nice that so many family members were able to help with this project.
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011 07:38:16 AM »

What a beautiful tribute.

I agree completely.  What a beautiful and touching tribute.

~Martha
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011 11:54:10 AM »

That is such a wonderfull and thoughtfull last gift!  I have tears in my eyes now.
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Onyxnox
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2011 07:42:12 PM »

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts.  I honestly think she would have loved it - she loved whenever any of us made things, and always knew how to make us feel special and talented.  It really touched me watching so many of her children and grandkids at the end of the ceremony go up and touch her wedding ring to say their goodbyes.  I am really glad we did this.

It just seems so much more personal than buying a box from the funeral home.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011 05:54:58 PM »

Onyxox,
I am so touched by your box and the story that goes with it. I loved my grandma and still miss her after all these many years. What a wonderful tribute.
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011 11:52:00 AM »

I am crying at work reading that.  I am very sorry for your loss.  The box came out beautiful and it is such a fitting tribute.
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011 11:39:46 PM »

Amazing box, wonderful back story. Wonderful how much you all love her.
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