"Dear Susan, Rochelle and Lynn, I had the precious gift of being present with my mom (in a nursing home) and dad (in home hospice) when each of them died. Sadly, it never occurred to me to stay longer after they died and care for their body. Someone else came in to care for and take away their body. Later, when I realized what I had missed, it caused me deep pain. Now, I think perhaps it is possible to experience the healing benefits of washing a loved one's face and hands later, in spirit. For a long time, I wondered how I might help to make others' experiences different. As a hospice volunteer, I knew I might have the chance to invite family and friends to stay longer and care for their loved one. When I saw "one washcloth," I was so uplifted and inspired. It is a small gesture that could make a HUGE difference for someone. What a beautiful idea! Thank you for your lovely offering. Gratefully, Kathy"
"Thank you for creating one Washcloth! I have given the washcloth to my partner and she used it to wash her mothers face after she passed. I was with her and I could see how meaningful it was for her to have that ritual.
Wishing you all the best,
I am touched by your washcloth project and share with you an experience of my twin brother's death suddenly by heart attack. He was a paramedic for 30 years so walked your paths. I was not able to be with him at the end and when I requested to go to the mortuary to see him, was refused. But I had such a consolation later when I visited the Queen of Peace Monastery in Oceanside at the time of his burial at sea. In the corner is a Black Madonna with names of Mary...and Veronica, who wiped Jesus' face on the way of the cross... My brother was said to be in de-comp so none of us viewed his dead body. However, in this little corner of the Monastery chapel I felt the opportunity with Veronica to, in spirit, wipe his face one last time before giving him into the arms of the Ocean Mother in burial.
I think your idea is wonderful...
"What a beautiful website this is and what a beautiful and natural act to promote. I know first hand how important this nurturing of the deceased loved one is. My darling husband died in hospital just over four years ago. The nurses were very kind, could see that I was coping with the process of him dying and left me alone with him. When he took his last breath I didn't tell the nursing staff as I feared they would take him from me. I lay on the bed with him and when eventually the staff came in they quietly just allowed me to stay there with him for some hours. Even after this I was not ready to be parted and asked if I could take him home but was told it would not be possible. I was not offered a washcloth but would love to have spent time more time pampering and caressing him. I did spray him with his after shave and I combed his hair, so the natural instinct kicked in. I commend you for setting this up and really hope it will take off to help make that final goodbye just a little more easy for the loved ones who are left.