Locked in my Heart

When I was a kid I used to always want to style my mom’s hair. I went through a (very long) phase where I was going to be a hair stylist. Even when I was in high school, I would braid my mom’s hair for her. I would either do a french braid for keeping it out of her face or I would do a bunch of smaller braids while it was wet to give her some extra curl.

In later years we talked about when you go to the salon, you don’t want just a haircut, you want the whole treatment. You want the shampooing and all of it. It makes it more of a pampering. She would joke and say how when I was little and wanted to brush and style her hair, she would feign reluctance. “Okay, I guess I’ll let you.”

So a lot of my memories of my childhood have my mom’s hair braided into them.

We had a request when mom died for a lock or two of her hair. I’m glad we did because I would probably not have thought of it. Today I finally had a few hours to myself and since school is out I didn’t have to fill them with homework. I decided that I would use that time to get mom’s hair ready.

I wrapped one end of each lock with embroidery floss and then braided it and tied the other end off with small bow. While I was doing it I was remembering all those other times and thinking how strange it is that this will be the last time that I do this. It began to feel like a ritual, like a ceremony.  I can see why there are so many rituals and ceremonies that involve preparing a loved one for burial. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do all of it. But I am grateful for this small thing.

I’m honored to be able to do it one last time.

I’m also tying a Celtic Heart Knot to go with each of the locks of hair.

I learned this knot here. I think it’s beautiful.

This is the project mostly done:

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Janel
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:30:12

    Oh Brook… how powerful! To see the locks of your mom’s hair, so carefully tied and braided, and the hearts so delicately made. Very, very special.


  2. liz
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 16:41:26

    I know what you mean about ritual. i am making small ceramic dishes for the memorial with leaves pressed into them because of her love of plants and the garden.


    Jun 18, 2011 @ 04:00:31

    oh, such a beautiful post of memories woven into your heart. And such a precious gift to share those precious braided locks with those most loved by your mom.


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