Saturday, April 16, 2011

With Sympathy

Warning: Reading this post may result in tears. Have some tissues handy.

On Wednesday night as I was preparing my Pink Cat Studio post, I received an email from Elen's husband that reduced me to tears. Elen's father had just passed a few hours before in Greece, which meant that it was already in the future my time. Elen had less than a week with her father by the time they arrived in Greece and her father slipped away quickly. It was almost 11:00 p.m., I was tired and I hadn't yet finished my post but I couldn't stop crying. I felt so sad for Elen. I couldn't believe how little time she had with her Dad since the doctors had told them he had two to three months. Life really is fragile and precious.

I didn't get to talk to Elen until today but I did talk to her husband that night to make sure he and their son were doing okay. He said that he had the easy task. Elen must have the weight of the world on her shoulders being so far away from her husband and son. I can't imagine having to make that choice and then actually going through it. Elen told me today that she spent the last four days of her father's life by his bedside and they laughed like friends and roommates. He must've been so comforted and proud. I have no doubt that he died happy.

In the 12 years that I've known Elen, I was fortunate enough to meet her parents on several occasions and get to know them. Her parents were always generous, funny and kind. They were always grateful that I was such a good friend to Elen and they made sure that I knew it. Elen and I have been through a lot together including divorce, job loss, travel, remarriage and babies. It's almost like living two lifetimes with someone which is why my heart aches so much for Elen, especially since she's so far right now and there's only so much I can do to comfort her. I know she's looking forward to receiving my package which includes the Brave Girl card I made for her and also the card and gift set I made for her parents. I just never imagined her father wouldn't be around to see it.

To make this card for Elen, I needed a lot of help because I can't make sympathy cards. They are so hard to make, a million times harder than masculine cards. I didn't know where to begin but the colourQ challenge #80 gave me a good start.

I really love this bird image from Melody Ross' She Did It Anyway and wanted to use it as the focal point of my card. As it happens, birds are the theme over at the current Unity Challenge. The sentiment was created using the alphabets from A Little Happy. (Thanks, Cindy, for letting me know what set they're from!)

I sponged all the edges which is something I rarely do but I like the softened look it gives to the card. I tied the Honeydew twine using the cross-and-twist method I described in wrapping this gift set so it's all one piece, bow included, and secured at the back of the panel with Scor-Tape so it doesn't slip off the edge.

Sources: Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft & 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; SU Tangerine Tango cardstock; Unity+Melody Ross She Did It Anyway; Unity May 2010 Kit of the Month - A Little Happy; SU Kiwi Kiss & Cherry Cobbler inks; Tim Holtz Antique Linen & Walnut Stain Distress Inks; Papertrey Ink Edgers #1 die; QuicKutz Epic Six; The Twinery Honeydew baker's twine; Scor-Tape; Stampin' Dimensionals

46 comments:

Cheryl said...

Beautiful card! Lovely combination of design, images and the pieced sentiment.

AnitaRex said...

Oh no I am so sorry for your dear friend. I am so happy that she was able to go there but sad she didn't have as much time as she thought! My mother missed her sister just by hours a few years ago while she sat on a plane on her way to Croatia. Your card is so beautiful. I really like the way you tied the twine. :>

Jocelyn said...

I am so sorry, Emily to hear about your friend's father. I'm glad she was able to spend time with him at the end. Hugs to you--you are such a good friend to her!

Virginia L. said...

I'm so sad about Elin's father. You have been such a loyal friend to her as she will need your help and suppot even more! Sending big hugs to you. (I was in Elin's shoes just less then a year ago...I miss my Dad..). Your sympathy card is perfect!! xox

kasia c. said...

Oh Emily! I am so so sorry to hear about your friend's father. I am glad she got to spend at least a little time with him. I know she will cherish it once the pain starts to subside. I wish her the strength to get through this tough time. I lost my mom suddenly and it's something I deal with on a daily basis, almost four years later. She's lucky to have a great friend in you. Hugs to you both.

BTW your card is absolutely fabulous! The edging really does add a softness. I LOVE what you did with the twine. :)

Sylvia said...

You are such a good friend and the loss of someone you know is hard. YOur card is lovely and will be well received I am sure. Thanks for joining us this week at the ColourQ.

Heather said...

A beautiful card and I know that no matter how far apart you are your friend will really appreciate the comfort you can provide. Hugs

lynn said...

so sorry for your friend, emily. her mom and she will find comfort in your lovely card and your friendship:) love the curvey bottom on the card, and the twine idea:)

mustavcoffee said...

Hello Emily, I missed you posting and guessed that maybe something was not right, I'm really sorry about Elen's father. Thank goodness she was with him and spent time sharing love and laughs, precious time.
Your card is beautiful:0) xxx

Smita said...

That is really sad news, Emily! :( May God bless Elen and her mom and help them cope with the loss.

Handmade Creations by Stephanie said...

This is such a pretty card!!!!I am so sorry for your friend's loss she is very lucky to have you there for her!! thinking of you!!!
Hugs
Stephanie

Karen B. said...

This is beautiful, your friend must find so much comfort in you.

Lynn said...

Oh Emily. I am so very sorry to hear about Elen's dad. She is very blessed to have you has her friend. I lost my dad about six years ago and it was sudden. I am sure that Elen's dad and mom cherished the week that they had together. She is a wonderful daughter to go care for him. I'll continue to pray for them all.

Scrapcollectr said...

Considering the distance between you, you are doing a wonderful thing by creating this card for her. I'm sure she'll be comforted. It's wonderful that, although her dad didn't live much longer, she gave him his wish and it pleased him. I gained something from your sharing this card with us. I realized that I don't have to struggle to line up those individual letters (a drawback before), I can stamp them then cut them out and line them up like you did. Thanks for that light bulb over my head!
*smile*

Meg said...

Oh, Emily, what a beautiful card you made for Elen. It is so tough to make a sympathy card when you know the person well, but I think you made all the right design decisions to result in a card that will be cherished by Elen. It's so sad that her time with her father was cut so short.

Erin (Homemade Cards by Erin) said...

sob, sob... love the birds in green, hadn't thought of that (and thanks again for the stamp!).

Emily (stampingout on SCS) said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's father, Emily. My heart aches for her loss and the fact that her husband and child are not able to be there to support her. I am glad that she got to spend that special week with her father before he passed.
I am sure they will appreciate this gorgeous card you made for them, Em.

Ujjwal said...

Ohh I am so sorry for your friend's loss, Emily!! I had been following your story about her and even though I haven't met you in person, I can completely feel your pain seeing your best friend going through all of this.

She is in my thoughts and so are you!!

The card is beautiful and I love the bird image.

Lisa said...

So sorry to hear of your friend's loss. This truly is a beautiful sympathy card - I'm sure she'll feel the love you put into it.

Janna Werner said...

Hi Emily! I am really sorry to hear about your friend´s loss. But its good to know she could spend some time with her father before he passed away.
Your card is wonderful and lovely, I like the colours you chose. All the best to your friend, Janna

Brenda said...

Oh Emily! I am so sorry to hear about your friend's loss and I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to not be able to give her a huge hug right now. But hopefully there will be time for that. In the meantime, your beautiful card will mean the world to her!

Emily Keaton said...

I'm so sorry to hear Elen's news and that it affected you so wrenchingly. I'm sure that this beautiful card will bring her comfort.

Karin said...

You are a wonderful friend and this is a fabulous card...Perfect elements for a sympathy card. She will appreicate it, I know.

Julie Hoffman said...

Emily I am so sorry for your dear friend's loss. Recently, one of my dearest friends lost her Dad suddenly so I know how your heart is breaking for her! I am still praying for my friend to find peace and comfort. I will include your friend in my prayers too.

Your card is absolutely perfect and beautiful! I love the birds and the twine and how you cut out the sentiment. Your friend will love it too! HUGS!

BabyBokChoy said...

My thoughts and prayers to your friend Elen and her entire family. May he rest in peace and may she find peace in this very difficult time. Your card is very beautiful and I have no doubt that she will treasure and appreciate it. What a privilege it is to have you as a friend!

Gwen said...

Oh, Emily, first of all, thanks for sharing your and Elen's grief so I can be praying for you both. And then thanks for being such a good friend to her and her family! Your card is beautiful and will be treasured forever!

Angela said...

I'm so sorry Elen didn't get the time she was hoping for -- but I'm glad she had _good_ time, short though it was.

Your card is absolutely lovely and comforting and so well-designed. I wouldn't have been able to spin those colors into an appropriate sympathy card, but yours is just amazing. I'm sure she'll love and cherish it.

LeAnne said...

So sorry about your friend. I am sure this beautiful card will convey your love & thoughts to her and her family. And thanks for using the CQC colors as well...those birds are just beautiful.

Lindsey said...

Beautiful card, and hugs to you.

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

OH, Emily! I am sooooooooo sorry to hear that your friend's dad passed. I am so glad that they were able to spend time together and go to Greece. I am praying for her and her family--as well as you!! It's never easy!

And this card--just beautiful! It's perfect for her! It will ease her pain and I know she will keep this! I love the colors you used--beautifully done! HUGS to you!!

Tiffany said...

So sorry for her loss!! You did a wonderful job on this card, very thoughtful and serene, it is a perfect sympathy card and is a loving expression of your feelings!

Sunghee said...

I'm soooo sorry to hear about your friend's dad.
*sigh*

donna mikasa said...

So sorry to read about Elen's dad. I'm sure she'll treasure the time she spent with him and your card will surely give her a lot of comfort. You enabled me to buy that stamp set--I love it!

Jen W. said...

So sorry to hear about Elen's father. I'm glad they made it back to Greece and he had a little time in his home country with his family. My thoughts are with Elen and I'm sending her strength - she sounds like an amazing woman. And you are an amazing friend. Glad she has you to lean on.

Your card is beautiful and perfect. :)

Jimmi said...

Emily, I'm so sorry about your friend father, she is blessed that she got there to spend a little time with him...and blessed to have you as such a wonderful friend.
The card is so beautiful and perfect!!

Jennifer said...

So sorry to hear this sad news! Your card is PERFECT!!!

Angie Blom said...

I wanted to comment on this last night but my itouch wouldn't let me.. so today I will.. So sorry for your friends loss my heart goes out to her and her family.. you are such a wonderful friend.. Iam sure she will need you when she gets back.. you card is just stunning.. I love it and I know the family will treasure it. xx

Erin said...

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is make a card and be a good listener...She is certainly blessed to have you in her life! **prayers to all those that are impacted by this loss**

jo said...

Beautiful card Emily. So sorry for Elen on the loss of her father :-(

Vicky Hayes said...

Isn't to die surrounded by those we love the way we'd all choose to go? I'm sure Elen will be comforted by the happy time she spent with her father in that week and she is lucky to have you as she will need her good friends in the weeks to come. Your sympathy card is beautiful Emily.

Kary said...

Hi Emily - I'm so sorry to hear about Elen's father. You are a wonderful friend to her, and I'm sure she's so grateful to have you.

Rachel B said...

I am so sorry you had the need for a sympathy card. I know they are the hardest to make when you really need them. I too had reason to make one recently, so I made two very similar so I have one on hand the next time something unhappy happens. I love how you used the color combo and the bird challenge. I have a bunch of different Unity birds and am wondering if I can make a similar card with just a bunch of different stamps... Beautiful creation.

onecraftymama said...

I am so glad for Elen that her father's last days were filled with such love and companionship. Even though it happened so much faster than anyone expected, she must be thankful for the positive memories of their time together in Greece, and grateful for being able to fulfill his wishes that way. My sympathy goes out to you too - I know you are hurting because your friend is hurting. She's lucky to have you to count on.

Angela said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's father. It is always hard, she is lucky to have such a wonderful friend like you to lean on! :)

Beautiful card! I LOVE your edges, good job!

Lisa H. said...

it's never easy....but your card is beautiful and your friend is lucky to have you.

Superj said...

You sound like such a great friend! The card is beautiful!