“Sometimes we need something physical to hold onto.”

After a loss such as a death has occurred, some individuals get comfort from holding onto something that belonged to the deceased person.  One idea I am sharing with you now is about folding a piece of clothing in such a manner that it resembles a pillow.

Perhaps Grandpa died.  You could get one of his T-shirts and do the following; 

(A few other suggestions could be using a clothing item such as a sweat shirt or perhaps a sweater.  You could get creative, but for now I will keep it simple.)

You are going to fold a t-shirt into the shape of a small pillow.  This can easily be whipped stitched (stitched loosely) closed when you are done.  If there is a name or logo you may want to show, then fold the item accordingly.

  • Lay the t-shirt out flat with any logo facing down
  • Fold the sleeves inward, one side at a time
  • Position the folded sleeves and sides of the t-shirt to the width you want
  • Once everything is tucked in, then fold the ends into the middle; take the bottom to the middle then the top fold down to the middle of the shirt
  • Now close it up and you have the rectangular shape
  • Next, make loose stitches around the edges with a needle and thread (this is in case you want to take the stitching out in the future.  If not, you can sew smaller, tighter stitches or sew the item around the edges on a sewing machine.

The pictures that follow give a visual of what to do. (the pictures were taken on a glass tabletop)

 The newly created pillow is now small enough for a child to put in a back pack and take to school, hold while watching TV or put inside a sweater where no one will notice it while they are sitting quietly.  An adult can do the same thing with the clothing item. 

If possible, do not wash the smell of a loved one away; this can be a part of the remembering and healing process.  There is no right or wrong here.

Consider the death of a child; folding an item of clothing into a pillow size can be done with a child’s blanket, top, sweater, under-shirt, clothing or anything else you can think of.

Now that you have the concept, you can apply it where necessary to perhaps add comfort to someone who is missing a loved one.

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist