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A Story of Grief and Clothes

(George Peters / Getty Images)

By: ssegal

Published: 1 year ago

In the fleeting span of time between 2014 and 2016, Ekaterina Sedia lost her father, her sister, her aunt, and her mother. It was an awful storm of grief. Ekaterina lives in New Jersey, where she teaches biology and writes books, and her family still lived in Moscow, where she grew up. For two years, she spent her life crossing the Atlantic again and again to say goodbye.

This week, she writes at Medium about an aspect of grieving that's present in all our lives, but that we rarely see discussed: the impressions and memories of our loved ones that are tied to the clothes they wear.

A new cancer diagnosis for her: stage four, metastatic. She has lost her hair to chemo. We Skype weekly, talk on the phone more often. “When you come over next time,” she said recently, “bring me a dress. Blue or green, just not black, with long sleeves and high collar.”

“What’s the occasion?”

“You know.” I do.

I grieve my mother’s pre-death and look at dresses online. First time in my life, I don’t look for natural fabrics.

It's a beautiful, sad, thoughtful essay. Read the full story here.