Orange Dress

arijit in orange

On March 22nd I lost my dear friend Arijit. He battled colon cancer for two years in a very public, very honorable fight.

He was 32 and a PhD candidate at the School of Sustainability at ASU. He was feisty and passionate about the environment, food, and music. He liked to challenge me to think about why I do the things I do. I taught him about hotdish and we talked about our feelings and swore like sailors during rowdy impromptu dinner parties. The world is definitely lonelier without him.

Ari’s favorite color was orange and when we gathered with friends to celebrate his life, I wanted to be blazing in it. I made another Elisalex in linen, and dedicated the time I spent sewing my orange dress to reflecting on Ari, our friendship, and his life’s journey. Spending a few days alone with my sewing machine was the best way for me to honor him and to grieve the way I needed to. My heart was full and my hands were busy.

orange dressSo the blog takes a somber tone today to match the somber mood I have been feeling these past few months. I wanted to share about Ari because he constantly reminded us of how beautiful and interesting the world is and I am working to focus on those things rather than the sadness. But also because Ari loved thoughtful handmade things and making a dress or a cake or a hat, or whatever it is we make, are all ways to show our love for one another. It is a testament to how close you can feel to someone so far away. So I’ll keep making his tomato chickpea recipe, hand-stitched neckties for my husband, embroidered wedding gifts, and strive to show people how much I care about them.

Ari’s photo courtesy

10 thoughts on “Orange Dress

  1. what a beautiful dress, and a beautiful way to honour someone who was clearly very very special. So sorry you lost him, the world needs more people like him.

  2. I am sad at reading about Arijit’s death. What a brilliant mind! Just looking in his eyes I can see how filled with life and grace he is. You chose a wonderful way to honor him. Wherever he is now I feel sure that he is smiling that big smile like the one in the photo you shared. Be gentle with yourself as you grieve.
    Linda from New Hampshire
    PS You look lovely in orange.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, what a special person he was. I spent a lot of time at the sewing machine when I was newly grieving someone very close to me, a little while ago…your words remind me of that time. What a beautiful way to honour him, with your orange dress. Take care.

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