The last several weeks have involved loss. Not my personal loss, but loss for those one or two degrees of separation from me. We all suffer loss throughout our lives. We all struggle with that loss. And those of us still here have figured ways to live with that loss.
Sometimes, not gracefully. But we keep moving forward. Because that is our only option. Until we master time travel, we can only move forward. However, grief doesn’t seem to need to follow the laws of physics. You can go on for days and days, months even, and out of the blue it will sucker punch you in the nads. That perfect color of blue the sky has that makes you think of your loved one will have been a welcome, happy memory the last 8600 times you saw it. This time, though, it just rips out your soul. Next time, it may be happy again. Who knows why?
So, why does a crafting blog talk about something so heavy? Well, it started with someone in my outer circle losing her partner. This made me think of when a friend lost her partner relatively recently. I kind of started putting together a post in my head that involved the blanket I gave back then. It was kind of vague, though, and felt a bit self-serving. But, my TEDtalk podcast had a talk on grief. And then my friend mentioned the anniversary of her loss had arrived. Whatever you do or don’t believe in, it felt as if something was…lets say encouraging me to put my thoughts out there.
Those who know me know that I am always crafting. ALWAYS. I will frequently get asked “what are you making?” Usually, I have an answer for that. The next logical question “who’s it for?” is tougher. Sometimes, I know. Often, I don’t. I have found that, much like Ray from Field of Dreams, if I make it, it will find a home. For as often as I make things, and as many 1/2 finished items I have hanging around, I have very few finished items that take up residence at my home.
Such was the way of the blanket in the featured image. It was, in all honesty, a scrap blanket. I love, love, love Lion Brand Homespun. Accordingly, I had a bunch of bits and bobs of it hanging out. I found a blanket pattern that was an interesting construction, and I thought it would look interesting with varied colors of differing amounts. So, I went about making it. I didn’t have anyone in mind while I was making it. I just made it.
I knew my friend’s partner was not doing well. Truth be told, my entire relationship with her, he wasn’t doing well. However, as I was nearing the end of the blanket, I found out that things were so poorly off, that he had set a date for his death. I knew then that the blanket was intended for her. There is not much more cuddly than a blanket made out of Homespun. This blanket is both soft and durable, it is both broken and whole. It just screamed at me that it was hers. We don’t really have a gift-giving relationship, but I gave it to her anyway. Later, she told me it was nice to have in her grief. This is one way we, as crafters, can help someone on their journey.
Now, to last month. How do I help this person on her journey? We aren’t close. D and I have really only been around each other a handful of times. For like 1/2 those times, she didn’t even like me, I drove her up a wall, and she only put up with me for the sake of our mutual friends. I’d never met her partner. I don’t know her well, so I honestly wouldn’t know if any of my attempts at comfort would be doing more harm than good. However, I could lessen the outside burdens on our mutual friends so they could more fully be there for her. This is like the showing up post I wrote so long ago. While it’s not a direct support to her, I hope that I indirectly helped her on her journey.
Our mutual friend G was supposed to demo at Sheep to Shawl, but it coincided with the memorial service for D’s partner. She was going to the memorial service no matter what, but she may have been distracted by the missed obligation. So, I hijacked someone else into demo-ing. I hope this helped make the day smoother for those involved. But even if it didn’t, it certainly didn’t hurt.
I am really quite socially awkward, I never seem to have the right words at the right time. In fact, I’m super good at shoving my foot into my mouth, and I generally don’t stop talking until I reach my hip. Envision Walter Matthau in anything he’s ever done trying to be earnest…that’s me. Foisting my awkwardness on someone isn’t really making them feel better…unless it’s by comparison. (IE “my life is falling apart, but at least I’m not her!”) But, I can do crafting and works of service. I can also sit and knit/spin/weave/crochet while you tell me all about how your heart was ripped out by the stupid sky for no apparent reason.
And if I say “that sucks” and thrust the pair of socks I just finished at you, just know that’s me trying to say all those encouraging and inspiring words that would make everything feel a little better for a little while…it’s just I don’t know what they are.