You may have noticed I like to think a lot. The last few days I’ve been thinking about and dealing with a bout of grief. Grief happens when it does. There is no rhyme or reason. Sometimes it nibbles at my toes like gentle waves while I stand at the edge of the ocean; sometimes it’s huge and overwhelming like waves during a mega-storm. Waves that come crashing over, their thunderous crash heard for miles.
This time of year is somewhat tough. My dad’s birthday, December 11 and 4 days later my mother in law’s passing on December 15. And then it’s Christmas and new year and the days are dark and I’m not a fan of winter. My dad and I had something of a rough teenage time. It’s complicated. It always is, right. Without going into a lot of detail Dad tapped into something and we started writing letters to one another in my late teens/early twenties. There were moments where it got quite ugly, we had to work out our troubles. We did. I loved talking to him. I loved his laugh and rotten poetry.
And then there’s my mother-in-law Joy. I will forever cherish the time with her. Particularly in her moment when she breathed her last. I wanted, asked to be there with her in that moment. I was there. Tears spilling down my cheeks. Missing this woman who gave me her son, who cherished her. I knew! I had a great guy watching him with his mum.
Dad and Joy were friends for a long time. Joy missed dad after he passed away. They shared a similar warped sense of humor. Joy had more contact with dad for a while than I did. That was good.
So, the song I posted. For almost a year every time I cleaned Joy’s apartment this song would come on and I would just bawl my eyes out. I hear it now, almost 8 years later, the tears will come. And I let them. Grief is, after all, part of life. It is not solely the loss of the physical person. Somehow over the years we have not learned how to grieve. We do not give ourselves permission to grieve, whatever that looks like.
That permission to grieve allows us to acknowledge the person and their importance in our lives. That we miss them.
I miss Joy and Dad a lot. As a person of faith of the Catholic Christian persuasion I have a great hope of one time enjoying the company of their person once again. I have this internal image of them cheering me on and enjoying my quilting life right now. Whether they are or not makes little difference to me.
Grief floods into the quilting world as well. We see it when quilt shows send out their acceptance and rejection letters. We see it when a quilt doesn’t turn out quite right. We see it in our quilt making when a quilt that we’ve made for someone is summarily rejected for whatever reason. We see grief in quilterly relationships as well. We see grief and pain and hurt. Acknowledging this grief is helpful. Lisa H Calle wrote a fab blog Perseverance in Spite of Disappointment that acknowledges the difficulty in quilt making, in entering shows and persevering through it.
Grief and struggle are a good thing. Grief ebbs over time. Struggle helps us learn.