Posted on January 03 2021
Grief is a funny thing, isn't it?! Chuy has been gone for almost four years now, and while not a day goes by that I don't think of him, seeing his stocking every year when we dig out the Christmas decor always stings a bit. This stocking bore special significance as it came to be in a time when our family was newly forming and Chuy was the center of our universe. I don't hang it because I don't have the space or desire to put gifts in there, yet I just can't bring myself to do away with it because my heart is still attached. In the box it's sat with my guilt for not knowing the proper way to honor this small part of Chuy's life (as if there were a proper way).
This year, I've finally caved in to the creative pull! I reached out to my Instagram fam to pick their brains, and true to form, they delivered. Leave it to the sweet community of loving dog moms to have all the answers! Here are a few of their ideas:
- If the stocking is small, hang it on the tree!
- Hang it in another pretty area of your home such as the fireplace tools or stairway garland
- Cut the personalized portion down, finish the edges by sewing, hot glue, or fray check to create an ornament
- Put it on a shadowbox frame and hang it on the wall
I ended up deciding to create a pillow from Chuy's stocking because the soft fabric matches my current pillow ensemble and I adore the cuff as a bellyband. Here's how I made it happen:
1.) Cut the cuff from the top of the stocking.
2.) Finish the raw edges of the cuff. In this style of stocking, the edges will be tucked under and it doesn't need to be pretty, so I used a simple zigzag stitch.
3.) Cut the stocking to your desired height. I prefer a square pillow and my stocking was 8" wide, so I cut mine to 9" to provide for 1/2" seam allowance.
4.) Flip inside out, pin, and sew the end seams together, leaving a hole to add filling. Clip the corners.
5.) Stuff with the filling of your choice (I use a hypoallergenic polyester fill) and sew the fill hole shut with a blind stitch.
6.) Slide the bellyband on and attach with a few blind stitches if you wish! I chose to leave mine unattached in case I decide to play around with it more later.
7.) Snuggle and enjoy! If you end up making something from your stocking, please send me photos! I hope this brings you a sense of comfort and control over your grief as you reflect on the life of your beloved.