Red Dress

Hello My Love,


I am touched and honoured by your tender

gift of living memory, the way it dances across

a room in celebration of my life. I have grown

fond of walking through the world with you,

an angel on your shoulder, that felt sense of

solace when you are full, and empty.


Though my bones are buried, brave darling,

see me in the vibrant sun reflecting across

water. Live carefree, an inventor enriched by

countless passions; these robust flames to

warm your years.


Softly I send love and strength, my gifts to

you for all you have give me:


I remember you.

Red Dress was sewn from fragments of fabric cut from the contributions below

Hazel Yale Loughridge – d. 2007 at 90 years old

My dear sweet mother-in-law, Hazel…red, her favourite colour to wear…She was a beautiful woman inside and out…As a tribute at her funeral, most family and friends wore red. And you see, red will always make me think of her, because red means love. And love is the biggest gift she gave everyone who knew her.

Adele Mazza McGovern – d. 2004 at 87 years old

Nothing was more important to Adele than her family. Her other great passion was her love of dance…Her long teaching career touched and enriched the lives of countless people…Adele has, in fact, left a legacy of love for dance for her children, her siblings (many of whom danced with her), her many students, and all those who came to know her...She remains in our hearts despite the fact that we no longer have the pleasure of her warmth and smile...When Adele lived, she danced like an angel. Now she dances with the angels.

Donald Scott Richardson – d. 1997 at 86 years old

I remember that my grandfather loved teaching…The most important lesson we learned was the importance of family. I remember that he loved to read…enjoyed the outdoors…was a musician…was an inventor…All of these memories are pictured with him wearing one of many plaid shirts...There were plaid shirts for working in his shop, going to town, going in the boat and special plaid shirts only worn for fiddle contests...I remember being a little girl and watching the back of the plaid shirt as he worked in his shop...I miss him.

Dr. Harry Wilcke III – d. 2007 at 81 years old

My father's death leaves a large empty place...He was always there. Now he is not. It is a hard adjustment…He told us the afternoon of his death that he was leaving us soon…The hat was one he wore the last few years of his life. He wore it when we worked together on the last project - a large shelving unit for the storage of my framed work. He wore it on the last outing we took to the Peace Gardens on the border between the USA and Manitoba. He wore it whenever he went out in the sun.

Earl and Mary Redmond – d. at Earl (age 79) and Mary (age 82) years old

The caressing waves of time can soften the sharpest edges of grief and transform it into treasured memories. Thank you Mom and Dad for all the love and memories. Loves it! Loves it! Loves it!

Katherine (Lix) Lynch – d. 2007 at 79 years old

My mother's was the life of a first generation Canadian, born to immigrant parents on the eve of the Depression…Here is the coat, bright red and merry, that she chose for herself…Her mother once told her you must always have a dark coat: "What if someone died?" But she defied her mother and chose only because she wanted and liked it - something special, frivolous, just for her...Robust and vibrant, almost to the end. This coat is all of that to me, it reflects her spirit...These fibres reflect for me the memory of one who encircled my life. She lives inside of me, integral to my bones. She was my mother.

Professor G. Ralph Albert – d. 2005 at 76 years old

Just two months before his death, Professor Albert was declared an Artist. His work…and his biography are displayed to this day along the Artist Walk at Sunnybrook Veterans facility. On that day…he wore his favourite fleece sweater…My husband comes to me in my dreams...I know he is with me when I hear the words "Hello My Love."

Marjorie De Silva – d. 2005 at 76 years old

This galabia belonged to our Mother, Marjorie, and represents her elegant style. She was a kind, warm and generous woman…Her presence influenced all our lives greatly.

A. Jean (Stagnolia) Pierce – d. 2005 at 67 years old

The first prism I glimpsed of your nature came in giggles that echo in the depths of my memory…Thank you Mom…You Danced. And sang with the radio. While we sang with Dad. And you would recall those times in the mountains In between As the World Turned…

Frank Bussey – d. 2006 at 59 years old

Frank and I were married for 35 years and during our time together we did a tremendous amount of walking. So it seems appropriate that I send you something he wore on his feet (and that I've worn on my own feet since he died)…They carry many memories for me…like the Toronto Film Festival...For at least a dozen years we bought daytime passes and each picked our own movies. Over dinner we talked about what we'd seen that day. I bought these socks for Frank while browsing through a store between movies.

Marie-Claire Gravier-Euvrard – d. 2004 at 57 years old

My lovely and sweet MC, since your sudden departure not a day has gone by when I don't think of your wonderful smile and your soothing voice…I sometimes wish I could go back in time and change the course of things by giving birth sooner so your wish of being a grandmother could have been fulfilled...Even though you cannot physically be here, I will try my best to convey all the wonderful things you would have bestowed upon your adoring granddaughter. Your spirit will live on forevermore.

Sharon Beckford – d. 2007 at 50 years old

This skirt was worn by my mother the day the Lord called her home. My mother was an amazing person who was there for others, something I admired most about her. Not only was she an amazing person but an amazing mother. On the day she died, she was attending a funeral wearing this skirt and looking beautiful, as always. If I had known it was the last day I was going to see her I never would have let her go. Rest in peace, my beautiful mother. You are forever in my heart.

Nancy Diane Hoffman – d. 2006 at 50 years old

Nancy had a mastectomy at the tender age of 32 and was cancer free for fourteen years. It returned with a vengeance…She continued on like the brave little thing she was…cheering me up when I was sad because of what she was going through…Nancy left this scarf at our home the last time she and her husband stayed for a few days. I said, "Don't worry, honey, I'll bring it when we come to see you." Two of her sisters, her Dad and I would all be there on her birthday. She died the day before we arrived.

Cheryl Ann Barnes – d. 2004 at 43 years old

What comes to mind when I see my Mum's uniform shirt is strength. My Mum was full of it. Though a single mother of two, starting at a very young age, nothing kept her down…I saved this item because I wasn't really ready to let go of it until now. Giving it away now to a good cause where the world has the opportunity to see my Mum's strength through a piece of her clothing means the world to me. It is really hard living without my Mum. She was my #1 fan. She was my best friend and my world.

Lisa Bissett – d. 2007 at 37 years old

This is the skirt my sister, Lisa, wore for my 30th birthday celebration with family. I have very fond memories of that evening…I remember thinking she looked really great that night…Living without Lisa: It's still new and since she and I haven't lived in the same city in about twenty years, in some ways it doesn't feel very different. Except that it is...It feels weird to be two now instead of three Bissett kids...I'm the middle child, and at some level I guess I have this image of the three of us, with Todd on one side of me and Lisa on the other. I have this hard-to-describe feeling that something is not at my shoulder that should be. I don't actually look around to see what's missing, but it is almost like a physical feeling.

Lori Ella Bursey – d. 2005 at 31 years old

Just nine days after giving birth, Lori suffered a devastating stroke in her sleep…I keep a picture of her close to my heart at all times in a pendant. Her son is only two but every time I see him, he opens the pendant, looks at me with his beautiful brown eyes and his adoring smile and says "mama," and then he kisses and hugs her picture.

Matthew William Boyer – d. 2004 at 25 years old

Matthew was a Métis youth who had huge dreams…He had applied and been accepted into the fire fighter/paramedic program at Seneca College…Since he was a little boy, he had wanted to be a fireman…Matthew truly felt that this was his calling. He would be able to help people, which is what he wanted to do...Just a few weeks from graduation, Matthew passed away. It isn't totally understood why his heart gave out, but it did...Soar with the Eagles, Matthew!

Spencer Death – d. 2004 at 21 years old

I fell in love with Spencer the moment I knew he was growing inside me. After he was born, I didn't think I could love anyone more…Spencer prided himself with his fashion sense. This red shirt was one of his favourites...At times, I need to spend time with his scent, found on clothing and bedding that has not been washed since he left...Although there are still days where my grief is overwhelming, I am living a new life, knowing that I cannot ever own the life I had on the day before he left. My only solace is my profound awareness that Spencer died knowing how much I loved him.

Leah Ryan Eisenberg – d. 2006 at 21 years old

I chose these jeans from a basket of fifteen or so. I like that this pair is frayed; it tells me that Leah must have liked these too. She bought jeans like some people buy shoes…The bra and panties are my adult girl who liked lacy, pretty things…I bought this coat for Leah at The Gap. One of my favourite things to do was to shop together...After they'd taken Leah's body, I found a pair of her jeans on the bathroom floor. When my friend saw these she smiled and softly said, "They still have her shape to them."

Aaron Glenn Yantzi – d. 2006 at 18 years and 11 months years old

Aaron's smile would light up the room…He had the opportunity to travel 400km in Northern Ontario with his friends and family on a very memorable winter adventure doing what he loved to do best: enjoying the great outdoors on his sled. This jacket is one that he wore proudly when out sledding. The colours are vibrant, just as he was and will always remain in our hearts forever. We are honoured to have enjoyed and shared his love of life for almost 19 years...taken too soon...ride on Aaron...ride on!

Chad Mercer – d. 2005 at 17 years old

Chad loved the outdoors, ATVs, ski-doos and motorcycles. I'm sending an OC Chopper t-shirt that he used to wear. He loved West Coast Choppers shirts the best but I've given them to his friends. Now when I see these t-shirts I think of Chad immediately. He was such a great kid. I guess he was an angel sent to me, for only a short while. I love him and miss him so much.

Matthew Rodney Churchill – d. 2005 at 15 1/2 years old

Matthew, the meaning of your name is Gift of God and you were truly that to us…His beautiful smile made of sunshine, his heart of pure gold. His personality a rare gem to behold. Matthew filled our hearts with so much love and joy. He touched our lives, our darling boy.

Heather C. Neatt – d. 2003 at 15 years old

This little cover up was purchased for Heather on our first trip to St. Lucia when she was thirteen years old. Her happy and carefree personality shone there. She got up and did the limbo with other guests, most of them adults, the first night of our stay...She said wearing this skirt made her feel "all grown up like the ladies." She loved anything with flames or rainbows on it.

Brody James Prebble-Cooper – d. 2006 at 9 years old

Brody loved the water. That's where he felt most at home. He was a child who could make you laugh with his wonderful sense of humour…To know Brody was to know joy, love and life. To have these swimming shorts is to have the largest part of my boy, my son, my Brody.