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.
“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.
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.
“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.