beauty from ashes: flowers for Florence

June 3, 2016, Michaela Evanow, 5 Comments

My cousin, The Samurai Carpenter, is a talented woodworker and carpenter. We asked him to make an urn for our Florence’s precious ashes. I really wanted marigolds and a butterfly on the urn somehow, but I couldn’t even begin to imagine what the final result would be. He is truly gifted.

This video shows how he made it, piece by piece, and also shows the reveal to us when the project was complete. To say we are blown away by the outpouring of compassion and love is an understatement.

We love that this video helps raise awareness about a disease that is so ruthless. In this day and age, it is crazy that a cure has not been found for a muscle wasting disease that begins in the most precious and helpless…our children.

I’m sharing this because so often childloss comes with a kind of stigma. There are times when I can barely get the words out about our story, and someone says, “Oh God, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how you are doing it.”

Suddenly my words come stilted. And sometimes, I even feel a little awkward shame. There needs to be more space for our stories, and yes, our stories include child loss and mother loss and spousal loss and early death and awful diagnoses. 

We have to do it. We have to live and continue on. Somedays, I’m not sure how we’ve done it, but we have. We live and laugh and breathe and grieve, all in the same day.

At some point in history, death became a secret, and no one wanted to talk about it anymore. It became sterilized. It happened to other people. Our story is complex and messy and painful, but our daughter has given us wings. We see and will see things others never will. I like the view from up here. I can’t change it, so I’m learning to accept it. I am both rooted and released.

Please consider making a donation to help end SMA.

Every detail was thought through. These photos of the unfilled urn show how delicate and beautiful the piece truly is.

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  • Reply Klaus Schafer November 16, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Hello !!

    I follow Samurai Carpenter on youtube for a while, after I have viewed the video of the urn 10 times, I have only realized what it is.

    Take time for what is important to you,
    Take time for what you love,
    Take time for the children,
    Take time for the family,
    Take time your parents,
    Take time for your brothers and sisters.

    Because sometime you do not have time for what you love

    I wish you a lot of strength and all the good things


    In the writenote for the video I found your website and wanted to wish you all the best in the world.

    Your cousin is really nice work and I admire him very much.

    For me, working with wood is just a hobby

    Greetings from Germany

    Klaus Schaefer

  • Reply Donna Gordon June 3, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    It’s so nice to know your talented family, with the writer Michaela, and the cousin craftsman. I have followed your story for several years and prayed for you. What a wonderful urn, and tribute to a brave and loving little girl that I won’t forget.

  • Reply Honey Brown June 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    This is so beautiful. What an amazing talent he has. What a wonderful treasure.

  • Reply Debbie Tuit June 3, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Absolutely phenomenal !! Yes. He is gifted indeed. what a blessing!

  • Reply Sue June 3, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Oh my gosh, Michaela, that is stunning! Your cousin is not only talented but so sweet.
    (runs in the family?)
    I absolutely loved the video. And Teddy is just too cute for words.

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