|Project by grace123||posted 09-14-2014 03:59 PM||2680 views||8 times favorited||20 comments|
This is a project I approached with definite mixed emotions.
My mother’s family lived in a very small farming community in the southwest, Virden, New Mexico. When people died, the men of the church made the wooden box and the women made the upholstery for caskets. As time went by and communication and transportation improved, the people of this little town did not want to give up their tradition of making the caskets. My grandfather was often called on to speak at funerals, and said he said the reason these caskets were so beautiful was because of the love that went into making them.
I now live in northwest New Mexico. A lady in my church was wathing TV in her daughter’s living room. Her daughter said, “Mom, are you ready to go home?”, and realized her mother had died quietly in her chair. This family were really in dire straits financially and the men of our church made a casket.
One day I got a wild idea and decided to make a casket for someone in my circle of loved ones. I approached my husband, and then my daughters and my mother. They thought it would be fine and not too weird. And so I began. Many thanks to Mark DeCou for his casket plans.
In the second picture you can see the casket in progress before staining. My husband was looking at the lid and gave me his opinion, that yep the top board was warped and I needed to replace it. So I got my last piece of wood and measured and cut—-and nearly sobbed because it was two inches too short. A LJ has tag line, “Measure twice, cut once, buy more wood”. And so it goes.
Now that I have finished making one with the assistance of my family, we have decided to make a couple more and just store them. Not because it saves money—and believe me it does over the cost of a purchased casket, but because of the good feelings we had working on thie project together and the thoughts of making something wonderful for a person we love.
Finally—I hope this gift goes unused for a very long time.