Tuesday, July 31, 2007



Once, I was invited to attend the youth group that my aunt and uncle ran for their church. We made viking boats from cardboard and then painted and varnished them.
The next week, we took the boats to the outdoor Steprock swimming pool. At the base of the masts, we stuffed balls of cottonwool soaked in meths and set light to them. It was a magical sight as they drifted away, beneath the flood-lit walls of the ancient, ruined castle.
Thirty years later, this activity was the inspiration for the equally magical 'viking-style' funeral of our beautiful, but profoundly handicapped, 3 year old daughter, Hermione Rose. See here.

16 comments:

Arty Velarde said...

what a beautiful story.
I haven't been to your blog in a while and spent a lot of time browsing and reading this morning. I was entranced. It's awesome.

You asked about my roosters.. from photos.

Tami said...

Alison, this is so BEAUTIFUL! I am glad you could find a way that spoke to you and those around you in such a hard time. This story is so touching

Annie said...

Alison--A beautiful and personal way to honor your Hermione Rose. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you for the link. I found it very moving, extraordinary too.

And your two new pictures are quite lovely. A youth group at a church doing Viking funerals! Way to go and well, that is something to ponder because we often do these important rites of passage awkwardly. Sometimes we have moments though - at a recent funeral, they had a once-upon-a-time opera singer and his Ave Maria was special.
w.

Claudia said...

A very touching story, Alison, and wonderful, new memory paintings!

Laureline said...

Alison, I join everyone here in being moved by the story of Hermione Rose's funeral. What an exquisitely loving thing to have done for her.
And your memory book compositions just keep getting better and better.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Wow, Alison.
Gosh, I'm so touched by this post and especially the link. Fantastic work as always.

MILLY said...

A very sad story, but you made a beautiful and personal gift to your daughter with the viking ship.

Penny said...

I revisited your link and it was just as moving as it was then. I love the idea of the viking ships and that they were actually set alight. we had a friend whose ashes were sent off in a viking ship which was burnt as well.
Lovely sketches as usual.

caseytoussaint said...

What a beautiful tribute. Your drawings are lovely.

ElizT said...

I have just read all your story-pictures and am full of admiration. We are doing something similar for our family but in a much smaller way. I can see that it must be helpful to have prompts.

Jana Bouc said...

Not only are your memory drawings beautiful and fascinating but your memories themselves are often so profound and moving. I'm speechless with awe and emotion after reading about the little boat coffin for your daughter. The fact that everyone who loved her contributed to it's completion and sending it on its journey is so moving. And who would have thought that a random church camp activity would prove so sustaining as an adult.

Anna said...

Nice drawings and story too. Keep storytelling and illustrating your stories!

Annie said...

Your watercolors are fun and charming! Thank you for the comment, too!
:)

Africantapestry said...

I love your story and thank you for making us part of it by giving your link...

aquabot said...

Well I have no words..because I have never done anything like this...This one is really exceptional and I really adores your artwork...
I bookmark this page and am really looking forward to your other and upcoming stuff..