Woman's 'beautiful' tribute to father who passed during pandemic

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

A Melbourne woman has been met with an outpouring of praise and warm-wishes online after sharing her ‘beautiful’ tribute to her late father who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 79.

“I’m actually overwhelmed at the response my post has had — over 45,000 likes!!,” Emma-Jane Stone tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Emma-Jane with her late father, Barry, who passed away mid-pandemic in Melbourne. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).
Emma-Jane with her late father, Barry, who passed away mid-pandemic in Melbourne. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).

“Lots of people have been messaging me with the most beautiful words,” she adds.

As she explained on Facebook, Emma-Jane knew it didn’t seem right for her beloved dad Barry Morris to be farewelled in a plain timber casket. Instead, she hand-painted the entire thing with flowers and patterns in every colour of the rainbow.

The ‘bright, joyful and colourful’ design was a perfect reflection of the man Emma-Jane remembers as “the most amazing father, husband, poppy and friend to so many”.

“I can hear him now saying ‘It’s bloody amazing — I can’t wait to get in!’,” she wrote.

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Emma-Jane hand-painted a 'beautiful' tribute to her dad. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).
Emma-Jane hand-painted a 'beautiful' tribute to her dad. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).

Emma-Jane went on to say how thankful she is that she and her family were able to say goodbye to Barry in the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic — “albeit with mask-covered faces”.

Barry, a former journalist, was laid to rest in his beautiful bespoke casket about a week after his passing on September 29. Again, due to coronavirus restrictions, just 10 of his loved ones were able to attend the service and all wore masks.

Emma-Jane credits her artistic expression with helping her come to terms with her dad’s death amid such a chaotic and stressful time.

“The time I spent painting was really one the most cathartic experiences I’ve had,” she wrote.

She was flooded with praise and well-wishes after sharing photos of the casket on Facebook. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).
She was flooded with praise and well-wishes after sharing photos of the casket on Facebook. Photo: Emma-Jane Stone (supplied).

“I know it is probably one of the saddest times in your life, losing a loved one, but I recommend this as a wonderful creative experience that you can do on your own or as a family as a beautiful last tribute.”

Emma-Jane tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she’s not a professional artist and likes to call herself a “Sunday painter”.

“I only started a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, I love it and have always been very creative,” she says.

After sharing her story and some photos of her father’s casket on Facebook, Emma-Jane was inundated with comments.

“I’m so sorry for your loss. What an amazing gesture for your Dad, I’m sure he would be so proud. Such a great idea too xx,” wrote one user.

“That is such a beautiful tribute. Life should be celebrated and I hope you find great comfort in memories of beautiful and happy times with your dad,” added another.

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