The Spring of 2020 might look something like this in your home.
For me it was without hesitation and with a feeling of how-could-I-not, I wanted to help where I could in our world’s crisis. What? People are sewing masks? I can do that! I chose the one man assembly line approach for production thinking I would be more efficient. At this point, many face masks have been completed . . . and delivered. Finding the pattern (there are many out there) that pleased me, locating sewing supplies around the house, obtaining twist ties from the neighbors, this has been an all-consuming project for the past few weeks. My goal was to help out the helpers. Today, I delivered a quantity of 25 to a local nursing home and a batch of 50 were packaged for the local EMTs. Neighbors, friends, and family members have been gifted.
This is on the topic of life after the loss of a loved one. Not the emotional impact nor the significant life change but more-so on the items that were labeled ‘his’ that were left behind. What I call the layers of physical reminders in and around the house. Loss is a tricky thing and we all cope differently. I am speaking of how I handled his ‘comforts of joy’ that I no longer desired to have around. Where to begin? How to deal? Well, I did what I do best. I organized them. I organized in groupings, like layers, from easiest to most difficult in their significance to our relationship meaning the easiest to the most difficult in coping with each of his things.
Pretty much my entire life, I’ve knitted alone. Happily, on the couch, in a relaxed state of mind, figuring out the pattern stitch or the possible mistake in the pattern or in my thinking, always knitting alone . . happily. The main advantage of that is the ease of stealing an hour here or there between the hustle bustle of family life, after a school day (whether a student or teacher or both), in between the piles of homework and/or housework, there were always those precious hours.
Sometimes you cheat on your own website. My View, a column in the Buffalo News offers a place for writers to express their own personal thoughts on a topic of your choosing. There are some guidelines (of course) which can easily be found online. Today, I was published. Some of you have been asking how I’ve been since my great loss(es) of 2017 and here I try (within the word count allowed) to express where I am today.
“I decided to take the time this evening to see why your blogs seemed to stop. I enjoyed them so very much. I sent you a note for information on the Tom Scott piece and you kindly answered so knitting that now. I have been taking care of things here as my 30-ish son had a heart transplant and thus lives here now with me forever. I have not had time for much else. I am heart broken because I now know why you have not done your fine blog now.I am so very sorry for your loss and hope you have managed to find a life without him.”
The ending to this year was no different than the personal devastation I endured throughout this horrific year of 2017. Bitter cold temperatures and wind prohibited the otherwise planned trip to be with family this holiday season.
I don’t know what the psychologists would say but I certainly know what my heart and mind are saying and I am listening. Here is what has been going on with me. Each of these moves are or has been intentional to help cope with the great losses I have experienced this horrific year. Do not read into the order as truly many if not most of these things are happening simultaneously.
If you believe in kindness, thoughtfulness, and love for a pet, then this update is for you.
A few posts ago, I shared a good-bye love letter from Lizzie, our lab of five years. The letter was written in first person, Lizzie, who wrote to her ‘new family’ sharing a thing or two about her upbringing as well as explaining how and why she needed re-homing. HERE is that post.
The other day, in the mail . . . none other than a letter from Lizzie!
I call it a cloud. A storm cloud. A storm cloud filled with tragic events. This cloud of tragedy chose our house and the residents inside to reign its terror. It has hovered for months but this morning, there was a phone call with news that may loosen the grip of this fury. Just enough wind of information, perhaps more like a breeze, I am able to document a tip or two that I have found helpful in coping with this life altering event.