Creating · Family

The Black Side of Life

These past few weeks have been, and will probably continue to be, a struggle. Did you know there is no word for a parent who has lost a child? Losing parents and you become orphaned and a spouse a widow or widower but the thought of your child going before you is so wrong it does not merit a name. The funeral on the Friday went as well as any funeral could, I try not to dwell on it. The Saturday was an amazing gathering for a paddle-out of some of Chris’s friends on the beach in front of the Surf Lifesaving Club we are raising money for. It was very emotional and Chris managed to provide them all with some quite good weather and even a few surfable waves for them to enjoy.

Having all those young men, a lot of whom I have known since nursery and primary school, with their kiddies was wonderful. I used to spend hours with Chris and Elsa waiting for their dad to just have that last good wave, brought back memories! And those little ones you can see bottom left will no doubt become members of the Nippers at the club and learn the respect of the sea and life saving that will, no doubt, take some of them on to RNLI etc, I can but hope. Thank you for the kind donations after the last post.

I went through quite some time of not doing anything creative at all but then I realised my calm place, the place of mind’s retreat, my refuge, is when my hands are busy. First I finished my Hendricks Hare by Lesley Parsons.

Sadly her pattern is being copied and sold elsewhere so if you want to buy one please find the Hendricks group on FB and her links to the pattern. My hare is called Lovage and is all hand sewn using Harris Tweed. He is 26 inches high so if I do another one I may reduce the pattern by 75 or 50% which quite a few have. He and Gwyn have a common look about them.

I had to have a new heating unit fitted into my studio space. We had put it off for some time and it really was starting to get cold in there. This meant dealing with this.

I didn’t want to but I had to. I must admit most of it was just transferred into a downstairs bedroom and then the units were moved out of the way. A little was sorted and thrown but I’m not in a sorting mood really. In the cupboard we’re two boxes of bits pointlessly taking up a whole shelf.

So, with the need of something mindless I have been sifting through the pieces and ironing them and putting aside the larger pieces. I did start trying to colour sort the smaller ones but then I found I was becoming too tight with it and didn’t want that so I just turned on the machine and started sewing. No thought to colours just a little to shapes which were trimmed as I went anyway. The only truly conscious decision I made is to have the blocks finish at 10.5 inches so they grow quite fast.

Adding sashing will make a nice flimsy when I have enough. Having no colour plan makes them more coherent.

I really enjoyed the hand stitching I did on Lovage I want to do some more. Some of the larger pieces of fabric in the scraps boxes worked nicely together so I’ve made myself a totally hand stitched Hussif roll.

I now have a little kit to keep my hand stitching things portable. Very soothing to make. With that in mind I will have to perhaps make some more as gifts. Anything to stop me sliding into a black hole.

I’ve lost the four below all within 3 years. I’d like to think they are now playing together again. xx

Chris and pups, Ireland 2013

20 thoughts on “The Black Side of Life

  1. big hugs! You’re right, there’s no word for a parent who loses a child because it is indeed, not the way things are meant to happen. But you’ve made your first steps in the grieving process and you know you don’t walk that road alone. You have family & friends beside you . . . together you will survive this terrible loss, sharing your joint memories and keeping Chris alive in your hearts.

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    1. Friends and strangers have been amazing on so many levels. Lots of stories of him. He was very much a kind and loving people person.

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  2. It’s times like this that words seem so inadequate, especially written words, I remember years ago at a friends funeral the vicar turned to her mother and said this is something no parent should have to go through. With love and support from those around you you will get through this awful time, sending big hugs!

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  3. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was going to tell my grandad that my mum had died. It’s not the natural order of things.
    Keeping your hands busy is therapeutic and the sorting out will happen when you’re ready. It’ll be good for your working room to feel warm and welcoming. Be kind and patient with yourself. Dog walking will help too.

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    1. The dogs have been a lifeline! I have a list of all the things I have underway so I can choose to do whatever takes me at that time. Or do nothing at all. I’m listening to me quite well.

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  4. Well it’s hard to know what to say, but I’m glad you are making again. Your son was much loved, and even those of us who never met him have love and care in our thoughts for him, yourself and your family. xxx

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    1. A truly life changing event when it’s someone you had future plans for and now it’s all wiped away. I take each day.

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  5. I’m glad so many have rallied round. My uncle died before either of his parents, and I can still remember the look on Grandmama’s face when she heard the news. Sending much love and support to you and yours.

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  6. While dealing with my own shattered life and grieving when my husband died in an accident, I witnessed the different shattering and grieving of his parents with whom I was very close. They stayed with me for some time so I got a good look at what losing a child does to a parent. It really is different. As for keeping your hands busy, so glad you are able to. I still remember a quilt teacher who mentored me telling me to go into my studio every day, if only to “pet” the fabric, and that eventually I’d be able to get back into sewing again. I took her advice and it did help. Goodness, having to tackle that wall of stuff for the new heating unit install, well, maybe a good way to expended pent up emotions. The blocks coming out of it rather show the turmoil you are in. But the hare, oh the hare! You are right about how much Gwen and it resemble each other. Sending love and patience and the ability to keep finding comfort in the words of others and your videos.

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    1. Yes totally different. Add onto that the questions and disbelief of a suicide it’s understandable why there are specialist support groups.
      I am grateful our hobby is soothing and even the petting or sitting amongst is helpful.

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  7. I often think that losing someone we loveis like having the fabric of our life torn to shreds. Bit by bit we pick up bits and stitch them together. It is never the same as before but we make something new which holds together well enough and may even, eventually, be beautiful. Literally stitching bits of fabric together seems to be a useful way for you to start the process. I love the pieces you have made.

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    1. That is such a lovely way of looking at it I sent your comment to my daughter Elsa. Thank you for the thought. I know there are lots of tears dripped into the fabric of Lovage so he’s never going far.

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