Through

Three weeks ago today, I went over to my mother’s house after physiotherapy, with the intention of running her over to the doctor because she had a virus. She’d been feeling crappy for about a week. We ended up at the ER instead, and mum never went home. She was admitted that day, and she died ten days later.  It was shocking, it was fast, and I know that I am supposed to be grateful for her sake that it was so swift, but I am having trouble finding gratitude for any part of it. I’ve been asked several times if I’m angry, and I don’t think I am – I just feel sad and shocked and tired. I’ve been trying to ease back into a real life, trying to do proper things, and this morning I went back to physio, and I bought vegetables on the way home, and I managed to do a little work.  This afternoon I’m going to ride my bike.  My current operating theory is that if I do lots of sane, sensible and healthy things, that soon I’ll start to feel sane, sensible and healthy, which I don’t just yet. I feel breakable and sad and I keep thinking that people are being insensitive, but I’m realizing I’m just sensitive right now.

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I’m knitting again too – and yes, that implies I stopped and I mostly did.  The day after mum landed in hospital we were all to leave for week long family vacation to Nova Scotia. Me, Joe, the girls, Alex, the baby, Joe’s parents and siblings and Frankie and Luis, and my little niece Myrie and brand new baby Emmett. All off us heading off to Cape Breton for my niece Savannah‘s wedding. That’s who I was making that shawl for, the last time I wrote to you.  I had big plans to finish it and block it in Cape Breton, and give it to Savannah to wear on her wedding day.  That first day mum was sick, I told Joe and the girls to go ahead, and I’d stay home, get mum sorted (I was sure she just needed an antibiotic or something) and when I got her home I’d follow on a later flight and still make it for the wedding.

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That’s not what happened.  I didn’t make it on a later flight, I did miss the vacation and the wedding, and it was a pretty lonely week. Usually when things are bad my knitting is a good friend to me.  I know you’re probably some of the only people in the world that I could say that to who won’t think I need to be committed immediately, but my knitting makes me less lonely, and keeps me company when things are rough.  You would think that ten rough days in the hospital culminating in the worst day of my life would add up to a lot of knitting, but it didn’t. What was happening was so destructive and so terrible that I couldn’t knit. I couldn’t do something productive in the face of all that, it felt trivial to even try.  Erin and I were at the hospital pretty much all the time, and we slept there for most nights of it, and there I was, holding my knitting all the time like it was some little comfort lovie, but didn’t really knit on it.  I managed a few stitches here and there, but didn’t finish the shawl in time for Sav to have it for her day.

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It’s taken three whole weeks to manage what should have been two days worth of knitting, if that.

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It’s coming back now – the urge to knit is creeping in around the edges, as I start trying to feel better, or think that it’s even possible to feel better, as I start thinking about what comes next, or what a world without my mum in it looks like, since I guess that’s the one I have to live in now.  I keep telling my friends that I’m trying to have faith, some of them have lost their mothers, and my mum lost hers, and they all went on to have what looked like happy lives, so it must be that this feeling goes away, or is transformed, or you get used to it. I’m waiting for that to happen, and trying to be confident that it will – and that makes me less frightened.  As I wait and try to make that feeling of the new normal happen, I’m looking forward, and those ideas of building something or something being transformed… those feelings feel like knitting…

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and suddenly Sav’s shawl is finished.

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It’s too late for her wedding, but I’m giving it to her anyway.

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It’s a good time for beautiful things.

485 thoughts on “Through

  1. It is beautiful and the world will show you more beauty yet. Right now my heart aches for your empty places and your raw edges. Being a praying girl, I will cover those spaces with prayer. You are loved.

  2. It will become the new normal, this world without your mother. But it will be hard and teary. I lost my mom to cancer in 2001 and it hurt for a long time. It’s been 16 years and it doesn’t hurt any longer but the empty space my mother held has never been filled. I wish you so much love and understanding from the world as you walk this journey.

    • I think of it as a Mom-shaped hole in your life. Nothing will ever fill it, but you will get used to having it there and you will eventually feel better. I am so sorry about this. Sending love.

      • And be kind and patient to yourself because 3 weeks is nothing in the scope of your loss. The “recovery” if you can call it that, happens the ways stitches come together to make a shawl. You keep putting one foot in front of the other because life keeps moving along even if you don’t want to, and eventually a shawl, or a sweater, or something comes off the needles, built from thousands of tiny stitches.

        Moving forward after a catastrophic loss like this happens slowly and in bits and starts, and at 3 weeks, you are still in the thick of it.

        So knit when you feel up to it, surround yourself with friends and family (and maybe The Blog!) and take it from moment to moment.

        You shared amazing glimpses of your mum with us and I think we all feel a bit of your loss. We are a safety net to catch you and dropped stitches as needed.

        I hope you find some peace.

        Robin

  3. It is indeed a good time for beautiful things. And I’m so glad you’ve finished one and found it beautiful in the midst of your grief. Wishing you the best of everything, always

  4. While I have no experience with grief like that, I do think there’s a lesson to be found in endurance sports like running or cycling. It never stops being hard, you just develop the capacity to endure it. I’m so sorry you have so many miles in front of you on this, but I hope you can find comfort in your family and friends, and your knitting, and Blog, who (I think I can speak for all of us) wishes peace and love for you.

  5. So sorry. Losing your mom is like a sucker punch to the gut. Glad to see you back on the blog and knitting.
    (((Stephanie and family)))

  6. You’ll get there. It will happen while you’re not looking for it. Also be prepared for it all to come back every now and then, in a rush, when you’re not looking for it.

    • Beautifully put and wisely said.

      It will pass, but it will be hard, and it will never completely go away. Be kind to yourself.

  7. It’s a beautiful shawl, but such a sad story. I know the feeling of losing a mother, not because my mother has passed but because my aunt who was like a mother to me did. I am lucky in having had many mothers in my life. Each one is precious and so tied up in our lives that the loss of a mother is like losing a part of your own life. She’s the person who knows more about you more than anyone else left on earth, and so you become a little more unknown when she’s gone. I am sending you warm hugs.

  8. Grief isn’t linear. I’ve discovered that, when dealing with grief in my life. Some days you just have to do what you can to get through it. The shawl is beautiful, and it came from a beautiful place. Wishing you peace as you process your new normal.

    • This is a good point – “grief isn’t linear”. This flies in my face, as I am very logical and a very linear thinker. C comes after B, which came after A. But that isn’t how it works and it’s different for everyone. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself. I found the first year the hardest, as I went through all of those sad “firsts”. First Christmas without Dad, first birthday without Dad, first Father’s Day without Dad. It’s been 16 years since he passed, and mostly now I have fond, funny memories, but still find myself sad on occasion. Nothing that seems logical, but sadness nonetheless. It does get better, and I suppose it’s some new kind of normal, but it’s still hard.

      • I’ve just finished my year of firsts after the loss of my Mom. Friends made sure I that knew to expect to find every milestone hard the first time. It really did help to expect that so I didn’t fall into the trap of expecting that it would “feel better” quickly. Everyone is different but it took months for me to stop thinking of her constantly. We feel the loss because we were blessed to have amazing mothers.

        • The milestones are not the hardest because you know they are coming and your put your big girl pants on and are ready for them, prepared so you cope. You have the happy memories ready to balance out the sadness and the emptiness. The hardest are the unexpected things that nearly 25 years without my Dad I am still not prepared for and which can, in an instant, still have tears rolling down my face. How is it that after 25 years I can still catch myself wanting to just tell my Dad something, mostly not even very important things, but just something that I know he would have enjoyed sharing? No, it never goes away but the edges of the emotions soften so they are kinder to live with.

    • It’s like waves on the beach, and sometimes it’s calmer and other times there are storms.
      Much love to you and your family Steph

      • I love that image – like waves on the beach. My dad died suddenly 3 months ago and that’s what it’s been like – sometimes calm and sometimes stormy. It’s all new to me too so I have lots of sympathy for you. Be kind to yourself.

      • What Kathy said. It’s 16 years since my son the surfer died. He always said that if he died surfing to know that he died doing something he loved. So glad your mum was surrounded with love at the end.

      • Oh, this is so true! I lost my dad 14 years ago and there are still times it just aches. Don’t let others (or yourself) tell you how long you “should” grieve. It’s going to come and go for a long time.
        ((hugs))

  9. I’m so very sorry for your loss. And it’s a huge one. I can’t minimize it. I lost my own Mom when I was 26. I’m 40 now so that seems to be well on through to the other side of this strange new world.

    (((hugs)))

    It does change. You will find joy in things again. But be gentle with yourself because it won’t happen on anyone’s desired schedule, not even yours (and certainly not the people’s around you). Love to you <3 <3

  10. Steph, it does get better, it really does. You never get over it, but you get used to the pain and it feels a little less awful with each passing week. It’ll never stop hurting, but it will be a part of you, like wearing your glasses.

    {hug}

  11. Yes, many of us have been in that same place…but it’s always a little bit different for each of us. It’s difficult to believe that those strangers walking down the street can smile, and how dare there be laughter anywhere. And so, you plunge forward trying to make it through each day. Eventually it does ease, or somehow fits into the new definition of “you”, but there will be many a time, even 20 years from now, when your heart will suddenly seize and the grief will flood back. Know that many people around you know how that feels, and won’t ever question the reason for your feelings. Take good care of you, and of those other special people who knew and loved your mom as they are the ones that can share your grief and your memories, which somehow makes it that wee bit more tolerable.

  12. My heart goes out to you. Ten days is no time at all, it’s ten years since my mother passed and not a day goes by when I don’t miss her or think of her at some point. The rawness eases but the absence of her presence takes a long time to get used to. Your wee grandson is a boon and a blessing and there’s nothing better than loving on babies to help heal a heart. I hope feeling the love emanating from “the Blog” provides some balm to your spirit.

  13. Stephanie, my heart hurts for you. I know that pain, I lost my mom in presence and personality, though not in body, a few summers ago. It still aches. I was surprised that the hurt also too away some of my knitting motivation. Grief is so unpredictable and unmanageable. My best to you and your family.

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom 4 years ago and the first 2 were pretty rough. I lost a nephew early last month so I know the sadness of which you speak. Take it one day at a time and be gentle with yourself. Deal with the grief as it rears its ugly head.

  15. My sincere condolences.
    I too have been orphaned, and must now parent myself. I hope one day that you are able take comfort in the fact that your mother did an awesome job preparing you for this task.

  16. Sincerest condolences. Everyone heals in their own way and in their own time. I hope you feel the loving support of your community during this difficult time.

  17. Grief is hard and it takes as long as it takes, and people (including, and maybe especially, you as the person living through it) will expect you to get over things way faster than grief wants to be gotten over. Just try to be as kind and as patient with yourself as you’d be with the people you love best. Sending my love out to you and your family…

    • Sprite nailed it. It takes as long as it takes. You take as long you need to take and however you need to take it. There’s no one correct way through to the other side. Hugs and condolences.

      • I wish more people appreciated that concept. I’ve heard much unnecessary criticism of those who cried years after a spouse died, or mourned “too long” after a deep loss. Empathy is part of humanity, & each person is unique.

  18. After my dad had a stroke following cardiac surgery last summer, he endured four long months in hospital before he died. I took my knitting with me to the hospital every day I was there, but like you I would look at it and think, “that’s totally irrelevant.” The knitting came back. The grief eased a bit. Happy moments in between bouts of grieving slowly appeared and became longer and more frequent. But I’m still brought to my knees at times by what he went through and what I’ve lost. All I can suggest is that you try to breathe through the pain and trust that you’ll come out the other side. As you know, you have a lot of company in sorrow. We’re here with you.

    • .The week this past January that my dad was in the hospital, culminating in HIS death, I couldn’t knit either. We were in neuro step-down (ICU kinda), which is a horrifying place to spend any time. (who knew a bump on the head could cause grand mal seizures, heart failure, and death?)

      These are places of horror and these situations cause us psychological trauma. I could feel my own brain shut down for hours at a time after what I saw.

      Losing one’s parent is a shock to the soul, and I don’t know that this gets better. Apparently the “cream rises to the top, and the good things take up more space than the hospital stuff.”

      Jesus it hurts.

  19. Stephanie — Thank you for sharing this with us. I read your post — must have been shortly after you put it up, as there were only 2 comments — had tears in my eyes. Came back to it. This time, the pictures . . . the sequence, the crumpled knitting, then the beautiful, blocked shawl on the wooden fence, so perfect. Then I realized that the series of photos is a metaphor of grief, of life after such a loss — first the crumpling, then something beautiful. I lost my father in 1974, when I was at college. Eventually you breath again and life goes on — not as before, but something else. Wishing you and your family the best in this sad time.

  20. Upon losing her mom, my friend was told grief is like the tide. Waves will recede, and then a big one comes in, and they recede some more. It must be so much harder that your loss was sudden. My dad was failing for years so his death did feel like the talked of “blessed relief”. But the finality of it is still final, if that makes any sense. Sincere condolences.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. I lost my mother suddenly when I was very young and I can say that for me the “feeling” did not go away, or transform, nor did I get used to it. I have gone on to have a happy life but that grief occupies space in my life even after over 35 years later. It’s a visitor that comes to stay, something that I live with and accommodate (and I’m not a dramatic person who nurtures grief). I fully expected to one day “get over it” but that hasn’t happened yet.

  22. Losing your loved ones is the hardest thing. The pain never fully goes, only, with time, it merely creeps up on you unexpectedly, rather than constantly, as it does at first. I can understand feeling knitting is trivial, but if you can knit, I’d suggest knitting the brightest, most glorious, most cheerful and fabulous rainbow of yarns. Sunny yellow mittens, poppy red hats, tangerine orange scarves, eventually, hopefully, they will help colour your world again.

  23. My sympathies, there is no love like a mothers love. I lost my 28 year old son to an undiagnosed heart condition on July 13. Slowly, my knitting came back and my tears fall on to my projects daily. It really helps to pick up the needles again. You do not walk alone.

  24. As with many other commenters my mom is no longer alive and my dad passed many years before her. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what other family you have, losing a parent is like a punch to the gut. We do carry on (mostly because we have to) but there is always an ache inside. I think that is a good thing because it shows how important they were to you. Blessings to you.

  25. Much love to you and yours. As so many have said be kind and gentle with yourself, eventually the grief will transform itself and your life. As you posted on Instagram give that baby hugs. New life is a precious balm for grief.

  26. I hear you, I feel for you – and I remember sitting by my mother’s bed, for a couple of hours, the night before she died, knitting, and wondering if the next breath would be her last. (I still knit. But I stopped doing cross-stitch.)
    Hugs, and more hugs, for you and all your family.

    (And that shawl is absolutely gorgeous.)

  27. I have no words for you. I recently lost 3 close loved ones within a 2 day period. As someone else said it comes and goes with waves. Hoping you have at least moments of peace and hope. Much love to you and your family.

  28. I think it makes complete sense that your will to knit left you at what was likely the hardest moment of your life. You needed to grieve, with your whole body and soul, and you likely still will for some time. I have no specific advice to give except to be kind to yourself and hold your loved ones close.

  29. Sweetie, it’s way too early for you to feel anything but a huge hole in your heart. My mom died 10 days after a stroke, and not only is there nothing that can prepare you for it, there’s nothing you can do afterward except sit and hurt. Yes, you are now beginning to get up and around, and knit again, and do some cooking, and let life happen, but that hole is always there and it’s as though you see everything around you from a distance, though a haze of pain and loss. Once when she was around 65, my mom told me she missed her mother every day. My mom passed over 20 years ago, and I miss her every day too. In short, you will never get over this. The sadness will always be there. But at some point the gratitude and love you have for her (I first typed “had”, but realized it’s a present thing) and she had for you will take over. Sometimes sadness and love are the same thing. Many hugs.

  30. I lost my mom when I was 7. The loss has not gone away but it has felt different at different times in my life. One of the hardest things for me, was to allow others to give me their sympathy, their care, and their love. That took a long time. You have my very deepest condolences.
    Be very kind to yourself and do not be concerned with what others have experienced. Your feelings are yours and that makes them exactly right.

  31. My mom has been gone 20 years and there are still days when I curl up in a ball and have a good cry about all the things we’ve missed together. And there are other days when I see the sunset and remember all the times she pointed it out to me and I feel all the love she packed into the years we had.

    A friend of mine gave me a beautiful baby blanket for my firstborn which she knit while sitting with her own mom in hospital. Her mom never left that hospital. I sometimes look at the blanket and think how much waiting, watching, and grief those stitches must have held and at the same time, my friend’s joy in creating something for a newborn. In giving that blanket to my wee babe, she passed on an object filled with the love of a child for their mother.

    The shawl is beautiful, in so many ways.

  32. I’m so sorry for your loss. In my experience faking it until it feels normal does kind of work. Not that you feel the old normal of course, you get to a new normal. But doing what you did before helps. Seeing people who don’t know the story helps as it takes you out of yourself just a little bit. The day when you feel you can go ten seconds without saying to every single person you see that your mum died is a breakthrough day. Be very kind to yourself and trust your instinct. It’s born of millions of years of human evolution that we know how to grieve. Peace to you and yours Stephanie.

  33. In the wild, orca pods are led by mature females long past breeding age. The pods value these older ladies for their experience and ability to provide for the younger generations long after menopause. When one of the older ladies passes, the pod mourns. Eventually the next generation of females takes up the role of their beloved matriarch but that doesn’t mean she is replaced nor forgotten. Maybe it means she inspires those who come after, despite how much her loss hurts.

    Comfort and love.

  34. All the love. I can only tell you that while it doesn’t feel like it now, the pain will ease. The loss leaves a scar which will hurt and then recede into a twinge now and then.
    Be gentle on yourself — this is hard and leaves you fragile.

    • I lost my beloved Ma in November 2014 (coincidentally called Helen) after a long fight with Parkinson’s, but when my son, who lives on the other side of the pond (Connecticut and I live in southern England), was taken ill my first thought was to ring Ma. She’d been a nurse and was always sensible about medical matters; I’ve never missed her as much.

      Much love, Stephanie, to you and your family; it will get less raw and you will be less angry, but you’ll never lose her love or she yours. We were both just so very lucky to have such wonderful mothers.

  35. I lost my mom 10 months ago. I’m 60, and you’d think 60 is old enough to let your mom go, but some days it isn’t. But it gets better, and your wonderful family will help you get through.

  36. Steph, as someone else mentioned, grief takes as long as it takes. One can only do what feels best and right at the time. There is no right or wrong or I shoulds here.

    My brother and I did hospice for my dad for several weeks before he died 5-1/2 years ago. He had been going downhill for a while, and we knew the end was coming, so we had some time to mentally prepare. It didn’t help. I missed him so much, and still do. I was a mess for months and would cry at the drop of a hat. Now my mom is going downhill, and at 93 it could happen any time, but although she is ready, we are not. Every time my brother calls me, I cringe a little.

  37. Dear Stephanie,
    Two years ago, I also experienced the worst day in my life. I hope it is okay to share a little of what I learned. I can only say that it is never like you could imagine it would be. Your experience of grief will be completely different to anyone else. You may find yourself doing and saying many things you never thought you would. You may feel about 20 gazillion things at one time sometimes in waves. Other times you may feel numb. You will find strength you never knew you had. You may have very low lows in weird times just when you think you are on your way to feeling better. All of this is okay; everything you feel is okay. Please allow all of it to happen as it comes. Please use your support team and take turns being strong for each other. My heart aches for your loss and I send you my prayers and love.

  38. Condolences on the loss of your mum. I love your blog because of your ability to put words together that explains my knitting obsession. Clearly you have a gift for putting words around anything, even something this sad.

  39. I’ve been thinking about you every day, and hoping your family and friends are finding love and support for each other and you.

    (She’s not totally gone: look around at the faces of your beautiful family.)

  40. Dearest Girl,
    when my Mum died, suddenly, 16 years ago, I just wanted to know we would all be ok. We are. It took a long time, and lots of tears, but we’re ok.
    You will be too. Losing out Mums changes the universe for us, but you’ll be ok. I promise, I’ve been there.

  41. I washed my windows at 3 A.M. a week after my mom was gone. I needed something to do and could not sleep. Sad and silly yes but my mom loved to wash windows and it was just something I needed to do. Grieving is a personal thing.

  42. Oh, Steph, I’m so sorry for your pain. A loss so sudden and unexpected takes time to wrap your head around. Six years ago I was right where you are. Mom burst her appendix on the way home from her 65th high school class reunion. I got her to the ER, they did surgery, and 5 days later sent her to rehab. She was getting better so we were all going on with our lives. I stopped to see her and kiss her on my way to knit night. And the next morning she died. Just like that. Ten days from a bellyache to the grave. She lived in an apartment so I turned off just about every feeling to get her belongings organized. I held my knitting for weeks but didn’t make much progress. You’ll get through. One of these days you’ll laugh at a Mom memory and it won’t hurt quite as much. Six years down the road I can chat with her while I sew on her machine with her sewing tools. It’s some better. Holding babies helps.

  43. Stephanie – I lost my 59 year old brother on September 7th, in 6 months he went from a big strong brother to a shell of himself in pain and angry. It was horrible. I am so very sorry your Mum passed and prayers for you all..Sharon

    • Sharon I hope you can feel the love I’m sending your way. Losing a big strong brother must have left you feeling unprotected. So sorry for your loss.

  44. All loss is hard, but it is especially difficult when it also means the mantle of “matriarch” is now yours to settle on your shoulders. You will not feel wise enough or strong enough to deal with grief and expectations, but slowly over time you will heal and grow into this new way of being. There is no rush.
    I discovered this poem after my best friend of 40 years died. I reread it often, and always after loss, as it continues to resonate for me. Perhaps it will for you too:

    Heart weeps.
    Head tries to help heart.
    Head tells heart how it is, again:
    You will lose the ones you love. They will all go.
    But even the earth will go, someday.
    Heart feels better, then.
    But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
    Heart is so new to this.
    I want them back, says heart.
    Head is all heart has.
    Help, head. Help heart.

    From Varieties of Disturbances by Lydia Davis

  45. Her shawl is heartbreakingly gorgeous. It’s okay for it to be done in its own time: the love is only all the more for it. It will be a reminder always of how precious each moment is, to take nothing for granted but to treasure the glory that is in each of us when she reaches for it and wraps it around her shoulders and knows the love and strength offered to her and her husband both. And it will remind her of your mum as well as you: may her memory forever be for a blessing.

    Much love to you.

  46. The grief will come in waves. And the first year is hard. Even now, 20 something years later, a memory or a wish will cause tears. But you will adjust in time, and though it sounds trite it really is true that at some point the memories will bring joy rather than sadness.

  47. This probably isn’t helpful (and I hope I’m not joining the ranks of the insensitive…I’m only saying it because you seem to love both sci-fi/fantasy and handcrafts), but this story reminds me of the fairy tale of the six swans, where a woman has to make shirts out of nettles for her brothers to lift a curse. She doesn’t finish the last shirt, it’s missing a sleeve, but that shirt is also the one that was the hardest for her to make, and it’s stained with tears and blood. The brother who receives it regains human form but still has one arm that is a swan’s wing. But despite it not being finished, the toil of that last shirt makes them the closest out of all of the siblings. I’m sure the recipient of this shawl will feel something similar: this was made during the hardest time in your life, and it’s a testament to both your love for her and your indefatigable spirit and willingness to continue on. It is so precious for that reason.

    Love to you and yours from a longtime reader.

  48. it does get better but its not quick or easy or finished. May I say that even though we don’t know each other you and your family have my deepest sympathy and may i just say that all deaths are individual and all sorrow/grief is specific only to the sufferer. when someone says “how are you doing?” they are not being insensitive or curious, they would I believe want a truthful answer which is “hell I don’t know” or “how am I ever going to feel better” and “okay for now”. So Stephanie and the entire family we are sorry for your loss and our thoughts are with you all.

  49. I lost my dad on June 4th. I keep waiting on normal and it’s pretty slow. I can’t say I understand how you feel because no one can, but what you write sounds familiar to me. I wish I had stayed with him at the end, but I was in denial that it was his time. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself.

    I feel incredibly lonely but also completely overwhelmed by people. I should get out my knitting. Maybe it would help.

    I wish you comfort and peace.

    • This kind of life change is hard enough, so I hope you will reconsider your thoughts about forgiveness. Not everyone can stay to the last breath, not everyone should. But most/all of us will have done everything we are able to before that time comes. Be kind to yourself.
      Chris S in Canada

  50. So very very sorry. We lost my husband’s mum just 2 weeks ago and the range of emotions is wild. It’s one-day-at-a-time mode for us and for you too I expect. Some days aren’t as hard as others, but none are easy. Just breathe and stay busy. Big hugs your way.

  51. So sorry for your loss. I lost my mom over 2-1/2 years ago. She went into the hospital, never came home. I am just getting my knitting mojo back. I still have really sad days. Days I just want to talk to my mom. Today was one of those sad days. Blessing Stephanie and family. HUGS

  52. You don’t need to wonder how, or to plan a life based on your new reality. Just live. Knit one stitch and then another. Prepare your vegetables. Ride your bike. Do it all again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. And one day you will awake in this new world you’re thinking about.

    You will always miss her, but the missing will be a pang or a bittersweet memory or a wistful thought rather than a tearing pain or a constant ache. And it will coexist with happiness. Don’t ask how that can be; just know that it is.

  53. Dear Steph, I noticed it had gone quiet in late August, but you had just finished your ride and that happens sometimes. I went on a vacation of my own and so didn’t see you post about your Mum until today. I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you navigate this new world. Be gentle to yourself as you’ve been and know that you’re surrounded by love. Hugs.

  54. Grief never leaves us, but ebbs and flows. Here’s something by Padraig O Tuama that has comforted me:
    “Neither I nor the poets I love found the keys to the kingdom of prayer and we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit. But I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway. So every morning I sit, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God in my own disorder. I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus. I recognise and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own love, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet. / Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast. / Hello.”

  55. I think of grief and sorrow kind of like surfing the tides. You cannot fight your way through, you have to ride the powerful beast. Maybe there is peace on the other side of the wave, maybe it will sweep you into the safety of the sheltering cove. Maybe there are more waves. Give yourself the gift of letting go of a timeline. Concentrate on Being, and let others cope while you heal. You have a good man, and have done a good job raising good people. Let them help you, and cherish you.

  56. As sad as it is, everything will happen as it’s supposed to. You can’t change it, you can only endure it until the day arrives when you realize you might just survive mostly intact. People return to being people and you laugh a few times and then a few more. Memories are precious instead of painful. Every so often there’s a slight catch in your heart when the gravity of the thing comes back, but you cope. I wish you peace.

  57. My deepest condolences to you and your family! Just two suggestions that seem to work. At least once a day, remember a really good memory and, if possible, share it. The second is to get a good book on grieving (amazon reviews). Read it. It won’t speed up the process, but at least you won’t worry if you are abnormal. Or if you find that something is too hard, get counseling or a group.

    • This is excellent advice, as are all the comments about grief’s progress being different for each person. The suddenness of your Mom’s death adds another layer to the depth of your grief. Be kind to yourself, and just do what you feel like, be it knit or read or watch mindless tv. And see the baby as much as possible!

  58. the pain will, in fade, and while there will aways be an empty place in your heart remember they are a part of you and will be with you always. Mom taught me to crochet so I smile every time I pick up a hook or have a problem and rip back. Dad loved roses so the sight and smell of one brings him back to me. Hugs to all

  59. Coming back for more comments, because when I lost my mum I thought I would die, and I didn’t. I had so much wise advice and you don’t really take it on board until you’re a little further along. But I wanted to add two more things. First off, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You grieve, that’s it, so please don’t feel you should or shouldn’t feel anything at any point. Second, you do learn to walk alongside your grief, but that won’t happen for quite a while. Take comfort in what you can, feel what you feel. You are an amazingly emotionally intelligent, resilient woman surrounded by wonderful family and friends. That will get you through.

  60. This one is going to take a while. I would find myself in tears several years after my mother died. It changes and life goes on and is pretty much like it was before but it’s different because you’ve lost a parent and that’s got to be one of the hardest losses to take in life. It’s been 19 years and I still miss my mother and I think I always will. That’s life, you’ll be OK in the long run.

  61. Continue to do the things you’re doing. Routine will give you the momentum to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will get better. Time will blunt the sharp edges. It won’t go away entirely – and that’s as it should be. We always miss those who truly matter, but you have good memories and as time goes by those will resurface and bring smiles instead of tears. It sucks – and it will suck for a while, but it will get better.

  62. Reading this brought me to tears as I remembered back to my own Mother’s death four years ago. What was supposed to be a wonderful trip to visit my parents in Texas, ended up w/my Mother falling the second day of our visit, followed by her passing, two weeks later. I was rarely farther than an arm’s reach away from her in those last weeks of her life. The pain is still raw, the loss is still fresh and, the tears are still close to the surface. BUT it does get better, and I am grateful for every memory, and trust that you will–in time–reach this place in your “Book of Memories.” Heartfelt wishes coming your way.

  63. You will never be fully over the loss of your mom, Steph, but it will get better. She’s the only one you were issued and without her, a part of your soul has been taken.

    I lost both my parents within 7 months of each other in 2008. I still very much miss them both. Sometimes, I catch sight (or feeling) of them in my dreams. And the memories of them will be with me forever. Plus all the wonderful skills I have from them both. One of which, of course, is knitting. That does help, a bit. But it took me months to get my mojo back. And I still want to show my mom just how clever I am!

  64. My dad died when I was 8…57 years ago. Days go by when I don’t think about him, and then there are moments. like now, when the tears well up in my eyes and I feel the incredible loss of him. I don’t know what grief is, something we get used to, something we assimilate, something we adjust to. It just *is*, and we do our best to live each day. There is no *normal* or *new normal*, just the day and our embrace of it. I think about you often.

  65. I’m so very sorry for your loss. As others have said, losing someone you love is a process that takes time, is different for everyone and the pain from it comes in fits and starts. You are forever changed, marked by the passing of your mother, so this really is a new normal. It will get better…all the “firsts” to get through will feel awful, but you’ll go on, and the wound in your heart will heal, bit by bit. Take comfort in your family, and your knitting, and take care of yourself.

  66. You will never get over it, but will learn to live with it. I know. It has been four years since I lost my mum and you know what when I am upset or ill I still want her so much. Look after yourself and take care..

  67. The shawl is stunning! And I’m sure Savannah will cherish it. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My mother is still alive and I know how very lucky I am to have her here. I can’t imagine life without her.

  68. on the day my Mum died, I did sit, at the extended care nursing station, and knit on the brightest coloured socks I had done to date, while I waited for my Brother and SIL to meet up with me – it was all I COULD do, and when those socks were done (a day or so later) I cast on another ball of sock yarn, and knit more socks – sometimes, I think that hand-knit socks are the only thing that got me through that first year – 16 years later, and socks are what I always have with me. There’s a weird story in Anne of Ingleside – a funeral service in which the minister claims that “his [the deceased’s] works will follow him” – I do hope it doesn’t mean that Mum’s road is choked with socks – though I think perhaps some of the angels might like the socks – I don’t mean to be flippant, Steph and family – be assured that the Blog ‘knows’ what is what, and understands – take care of yourself, and yourselves, and always in your own time – there are no “should’s” in this process

  69. When my husband’s parents died suddenly, after the initial shock and crisis was past, I found my normal “I can work through anything” positive attitude really wasn’t working, instead I was putting expectations on myself and added huge stress.

    I believe you are a positive, responsible, can-do person. It’s easy for that side to kick in in a way that isn’t actually helping, in a way that just makes you feel guilty. You don’t have to do a darn thing, unless you really want to. You don’t have to force yourself to be at peace. Peace will come in time.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey with the Blog.

  70. Yeah, death makes little to no sense. When my dad and recently my brother died, I felt like I was on an unmanned ocean liner, someone had fallen overboard, and the thing — not being under anyone’s control — just kept steaming implacably ahead and leaving them behind. At the rate of exactly one day per day.

    It makes pretty much no sense, and I still don’t get what’s going on with it.

    The only reassurance is that, as you say, others have stood there gaping over the railing going “But-but-but STOP for pete’s sake, someone fell overboard!” and know what it feels like.

      • There is also some consolation to be had in the fact that they are still there — permanently embedded in the past — and that nothing can ever erase their existence in the universe. Through the weird way that time flows only in one direction, they’ve become inaccessible to us, but they haven’t been outright erased.

  71. Sending a virtual hug … each of our experiences is unique but I understand what you are feeling … and it will get better … and then it will wallop you and you have to pick yourself up again … and repeat. 1.5 years ago when we were living in Alaska and my husband was away for work, my dad’s treatable lymphoma went sideways and my world shifted so quickly all I could do was watch from a distance … life stalled in someways other than caring for the kiddo and it took awhile to find a new rotation. It’s better now but still hard. Hang in there … do what feels right for you

  72. I thought of your mum today. I was trying to make my tastes fit my budget, and someone complained at me that they never do. I’m sure it was from your mum (via one of your books) that I heard the phrase ‘Champagne taste in a beer pocket’

    It doesn’t exactly help to know that people are thinking of her too, and it isn’t exactly comforting or nice to hear others’ memories, because right now, nothing can be. It is something to know that others think of her too, and have fond memories to share. I hope that your peace comes quickly, and that the memories of love for and with your mum become greater than the loss you are feeling most now. I’m thinking of you often.

  73. My mom died two years ago. Does it get easier as time goes on? Yes, but underneath the busy-ness of everyday life, the feeling of loss remains. I’m mostly fine now but the other day I found tucked in one of my cookbooks, a speech my mom wrote for my dad’s ninetieth birthday. (He is now 95 and in good health.) Reading through it brought back so many memories, and tears. Surround yourself with family and friends, talk about your mom even though it will make you cry, keep busy and give yourself time. By the way, the shawl is beautiful.

  74. After my son died, the wisest words said to me were these,
    One day, life will be sweet again.
    It was impossible to believe at the time, but true.
    Sending love. Xxx

  75. Mine too passed very quickly from a sudden illness. I don’t remember my question to the trauma center doctor but I do remember his response. ” You have a choice to live in despair and sadness or to live in a way that honors her.” Twenty years later I still apply that principle. To love others like she would have, to enjoy a little luxury from time to time just because I’m worth it – she liked jewelry, I like cashmere so I go and get it. Of course, she was from a generation that wasn’t thrilled with the ideas of tatoos for women, so I haven’t gotten the directions for kitchner stitch inked to my inner arm (yet). Love your self now, be gentle,and slow and kind to yourself as you find your peace again.

  76. Dearest Steph. Feel the need to say something, but nothing sounds less than trite. Just know I’m also thinking of you and yours. Give them all hugs and keep them close.

  77. You have been in my heart since I saw your Instagram post. When I lost my husband 27 months ago (and yes, I am counting) I took that same comfort in just holding my knitting at his bedside me in the ICU. It was a month or more before I picked it up after, and I didn’t finish that hospital project for over a year – it made me sad.
    At Larry’s memorial service, our pastor said to me, and our adult children – “people will tell you to get over this – that is not going to happen. You will eventually get THROUGH it, and carry it with you in a way that is tolerable, and comfortable. But over – no.” So keep navigating the highs and lows and lean into your grief – all of us do this in our own way, and eventually you will notice that more things make you smile when you remember something about your mum. You will continue to be in my heart for a long time.

  78. Do whatever seems best, dear Steph, minute by minute. I’d suggest no long term plans for a while. Just be, and feel, and tell your stories about your mum to one another.
    My mother always teared up when she talked about her own departed mum. But she remembered her mother’s love, and still felt it with her.
    I held my mother as she died at 88, and felt her go. Her love for me remains, a memory, but so warm and dear.
    May your own mother’s love be with you and all her loved ones.

  79. The Coast Salish peoples believe that you should only weave when you are in a good mood, otherwise you are working negativity into your project, and it rubs off when in use. Personally, my tension goes completely off when I’m stressed. So maybe it’s a good thing you took a break from knitting? Sending hugs….

  80. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. Mine died 30 years ago this year when I was 14. It was very terrible. It does get better. You start to feel like a regular person again. But it takes awhile and should not be rushed. I think you should grieve for a person in accordance with their station in your life and her station was very high. I’m sorry to say that I know how you feel and I’m glad you have such strong people and such faithful knitting to stand by you until the only feelings you have about this are the happy memories and remembered love.

  81. Transform is a good word. You don’t get used to it. It takes time, too. More than you think. You’ll look for her in crowds for a while like it you could just find her everything will be ok. Because it’s not possible that she’s gone. Or pick up the phone to share news. And you’ll talk about her but the stories make you sad. And then little by little the stories will make you smile and you’ll be happy you had her. Always sad you don’t still have her. But the feelings do change to something you can bear. My mom died 37 years ago. I was 24. Xox steph.

  82. My Dad died four years ago in June. He kissed my mom goodbye and headed down to the exercise room for his workout. In the middle he fell over and died two hours later of a brain bleed. Three months later my husband died of a long illness.
    I wasn’t very kind to myself, I kept on when I should have stopped. I didn’t need to be so unkind, I haven’t the slightest idea what I was trying to do. Out of it all I can say that the size and shape of the grief seems to be much the same. I have grown bigger, the relative size may be smaller and when I sometimes fall into the hole of it it can seem like it goes on forever.
    Then when eventually I wash up on the shore I seem to have more shoreline to walk on.
    You don’t need to do “normal” Take what time you need to go through.

  83. I don’t think you can ever prepare for the passing of a loved one or a parent . Your parents are part of you and it takes time to heal. Sending hugs

    • Yup. When my Dad was dying i could only wind the hanks of yarn into balls. A dozen balls of Lorna Lace sits in my closet that i forgotten what the original intention was nor now i’m not sure what i am ever going to do with. But like my Dad and memeories of him, hes always with me….hugs to you and yours.

  84. Sept. 3rd was the 12th anniversary of my mother’s death from complications of cancer treatment. It gets easier to go on with life, we have kids and grandkids that need tending to. It will never be the same, and there will be times when you think, “I need to call mom and get her input” and then you realize that isn’t possible. You will smell something that reminds you of her, and the sadness will fall over you. Even 12 yrs later I think about her on a daily basis, even if it’s just to wonder what she would do in any given situation. You may even look in the mirror and see her, or hear her in your own voice, but those are good reminders of her. You will see people who knew her, and they will fondly recall things about her that made her memorable, and that will make you smile. You will never stop loving her, or missing her, but you will eventually find that thoughts of her won’t always make you cry. Grief is personal, and different for everyone. Some will go through different stages of grief. You do your grief the way it comes for you, take as long as you need. Others may seem to have shorter grieving periods, but don’t let it make you think they love her less. She will never be truly gone, as long as her family and friends are around. She has taught you and your family a lot, and your actions and reactions will reflect her life. Your shared stories about her will make you smile and even laugh. She will always be a part of you.

  85. dear broken heart,
    the world will never be the same, but the scale will tip in time to happiness that the world had her in it. put a picture near you and greet her every day. she is with you. I promise.

  86. So very sorry for your loss.

    When your system settles down a bit, you may still find that tears will sneak up on you out of the blue. It could be a scent, or bit of music, a poem – any little thing can trigger a weep. Let the tears fall as long as they want to. It helps.

  87. Dear Stephanie,

    So good to see you are well enough to post. Your mother will always be with you, but now in a different way. There is no right or wrong way to deal with your loss. Every person’s journey is her own. Be glad that you have friends and family to accompany you through this new stage in your life. Take care of yourself, and take care of them.

  88. Again, know that I am thinking of you, as a member of this club that none of us want to be part of. I wish you peace. It’s very hard and it’s a process. It sucks, but the only way to get to the other side, is through it.you truly have been on my mind since I read of your Mom’s passing. It seems that you had a beautiful relationship and that means so much. ❤️☮️

  89. The shawl is beautiful as is your love for your mother. Joan Didion wrote a wonderful book called The Year of Magical Thinking about the year following her husband’s death. She noted that never before had she realized ‘the shallowness of sanity’- the idea that being sane is really just a thin layer of holding it together and that grief so easily puts us out of our depth and unmoored. That feeling of not being quite sane is a real and true part of grief and it’s ok (though awful) to feel that way. Peace and gentleness to you.

  90. Honestly, I’ve only finished one thing since my mom died, and it’s been a year and 7 months. I finished a pair of socks while I was visiting my godparents 6 months after she died, and I think it was just because I was out of my normal habitat, as I haven’t managed anything else since. She taught me to knit, and any time I finished something I showed it to her or sent her pictures and I just ….. I still can’t. The urge is just gone. I hope it comes back some day.

    You may want to check out “The Long Goodbye” by Meghan O’Rourke. It was the first book I made it all the way through afterwards, and I found it hugely helpful

  91. I’m so sorry about your mother.
    It’s tough becoming the “older generation”, and quite a shock, no matter how old you are.
    The shawl is absolutely lovely.

  92. Be very, very kind to yourself. And patient. I lost my Mum in February. Just yesterday I buried my face in one of her old sweaters and wept. Again. Then I made pickles with her old recipe. They were my favorite. And still are. There is a thing about grief – as awful as it is, you have to let yourself feel it. Trying to avoid the pain results in something worse (I studied this for my psychology degree). Be very gentle with yourself. I’ve lost much but losing my mother really hurts. Peace to you. The shawl is lovely, of course.

  93. I have no words, other than I’m so sorry. As much as we’d all like to help; it’s really about family in this difficult time. We’re here for you, whenever you feel like talking (or not).

    Love to you and your family.

  94. “My current operating theory is that if I do lots of sane, sensible and healthy things, that soon I’ll start to feel sane, sensible and healthy, which I don’t just yet.” This is what gets you through, or at least what is getting me through. I lost my dad last year. I’m sending lots of love and hoping that those around you are wrapping you in their care.

  95. My mother, 88 years old, is alive and well. Her mother lived to be 94 and my great-grandmother was 103 when she passed. Reading your blog reminds me to be patient, gentle and grateful for the woman that she is, and is becoming. I do not take her for granted and I join the others in sending love your way. I am also crying at the pain that so many of us have experienced and particularly you and your family today. Peace.

  96. Breakable and sad and sensitive are completely appropriate right now. It’s like you have an internal wound, like internal bleeding. You can’t see it, but it’s there, it’s hurting, it’s taking your resources to deal with, and it’s real. It’s okay to not be okay.

    Be gentle with yourself, have patience with yourself. Take all the time you need to be not okay, to not be able to do things, or whatever it is you need. You’re grieving. You lost your mom. It’s just about the hardest thing there is.

    I’m sending you love and light and support. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry. Try to think how you would react to a friend who lost their mom, and try to treat yourself that way. It’s too easy to think, I should be okay, when actually, you shouldn’t be okay. This came out of nowhere and blindsided you. You have every reason in the world to be however you are right now. There’s no wrong way to grieve, don’t try to push yourself to be okay before you’re ready.

    And it’s not a steady uphill thing, getting through grief. (And I do mean through, the only way out is through. You can’t go around or under, through is the fastest.) You’ll have days that are better followed by days that are worse. It’s waves. And it’s okay to not be okay. What happened is very not okay. Being messed up in response to it is actually a very logical reaction.

    Hugs and love and take it slow. We all love you.

  97. Dear Steph, Grief is a personal thing. There is no right or wrong here. It is. Convoluted and very personal. Shock helps one get through the first few days, but then…..
    My Mum died in 1989. When leafing through a catalogue or surfing a website I see something and my response is,
    oh Mum would love that. Christmas, birthday, oops. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. I will miss her until I die. The ache never goes away; not completely.
    So your task is to grieve your way. Your process.
    Honor yourself and honor your Mum. It’s OK.
    My heart aches for you, a stranger whose words I have long enjoyed. I send you whatever will give you peace in this very messy and painful time. Be blessed.

  98. As someone recently flooded out by Harvey and taking only what I could carry in the boat – including the bedspread I was working on (and my disabled son & 2 kitties) . My 92 year old mother was also evacuated from her nursing home in the opposite direction. I wasn’t able to work on the bedspread until yesterday when hope began to return – hope that someday I’ll have a bed to put it on. So sorry for your loss – it does get better.

  99. I’m really sorry your and your family are going through this trying time. I remember it well. As time goes on, you use the little pieces of her that are all around you–gifts she has given you, advice she has given you that you have passed on to your own daughters, seeing her favorite flower or hearing her favorite song…so many things can bring her spirit back to touch your spirit. Go with it–don’t ignore or write off as coincidences anything that looks like a sign that she is still close to you. There’s so much we don’t know. Your beliefs can be a great comfort.

  100. Two years ago, my adult daughter died after an unexpected, brief illness. The passage of time *does* help but the sorrow and the void will always be a part of you. Please accept my condolences. So many of us have suffered significant losses ~ we are in a position to truly understand what you’re experiencing.

  101. I remember driving to the funeral home and noticing all the people going places. I thought, how can they just go about their lives? Don’t they know the world has changed?

  102. Steph,

    You are amazing. Your words and thoughts even during this time are powerful.

    You are so like your mum. She instilled herself in you and now you are continuing where she left off. You will do her proud!

    Glad you are getting back into routines and blogging. It’s our only way to know how you are. We love you!

  103. You’ll get there. It takes time, loads of time. But someday, you’ll hear one of her favorite melodies, smell her cologne in a crowd, switch channels and catch one of her favorite movies on TV — and you won’t erupt in tears. Fond memories will envelope you instead.

    Until that day arrives, spend time with The Ladies. Knit. Go sailing with Joe. Play with your grandson and grand-dog. Put one foot in front of the other. You’ll get there.

  104. My Mom died September 26, 2006 and I am here to say the feeling of loss does not go away. What I do, and probably what others do, is tuck it away … that feeling of loss. Wrap it tight and open it when alone and you revisit your memories. But when the tears flow down your cheeks unabated … you know that you were loved and that you loved and that love was true between mother and daughter.

    Peace and Love

  105. Steph, I know the pain of losing your mom. Life will go on, and one day you will smile, unexpectedly. The emptiness endures, the edges less ragged. Time will mostly smooth over the loss.

    When my mother passed, I found great solace in the poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

    Do notnstand at my grave and weep
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on the snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
    I am the uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there; I did not die.

    Much love to you and yours.

  106. I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband wrote a poem describing how he felt after his mother died, saying it was like being in a world of white noise with a screen between you and the rest of what is going on around you. And he knew he was coming out of his grief some when colors and sound came back into his life.

  107. How does a Doula grieve.
    When you hold your newborn infants face it seems the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen, the love in your heart is so huge that you think it will break. It is the same with passing. When someone you love is exiting this world you hold their face, they seem the most beautiful person that you have ever seen, your heart is so huge that you think it will break.
    Dearest Doula instinctively you know that grief is labor backwards. You understand the numbness of the push…, you remind the mom in transition to take the time to notice the little breaks and regroup. You remind her that this is the hardest part and she will be ok.
    As you go through this pain of grief, I remind you to notice the moments… the babies smell, the sun hitting the side of your face, how much you love the feel of fiber. When a waves of pain come, respect that, sit down and breathe and love and cry. Don’t hold back, she is worth every tear. All griefs are unique, but at some point you will notice the brakes are longer, the pains or more controllable and that you have been born into a different life. You will be ok.

  108. It will take time, much time, but gradually there will be less pain and more happy memories and remembering the time of laughter. There will be days even years from now when you will siddenly cry, but that is okay too because it is an honouring of your mum and all she was to you.

    It is good to have those things that comfort us: the love of family, knitting and the joy of being outdoors.

    Take care and be patient with yourself.

    Thinking of you and yours.

  109. My heart aches for what you’re going through. I lost my dad two years ago and two sisters more than twenty years ago. It takes a long time to feel a new normal, so be kind to yourself and be patient. ❤

  110. I know this time is very difficult, my mom has been gone more then 14 years. Time does make it easier.

    You will eventually find a new normal.

    Penny

  111. Elliot will help you to heal..spend time with that sweet little baby. And yes it’s a new normal..something that’s never easy to adapt too. Cry when you need to, talk to your girls and Joe about your mum and just be.
    Blessings of time will make it softer, but never easier

  112. Thank you for letting us know what you’ve been through…we’ve all been wondering. I have no words except to say how very sorry I am that you have lost your mom so unexpectedly.

  113. It’s beautiful and I’m glad you had something really meaningful to work on. Even if it was too late for your original intention, it was here when you needed it, just like your Mum was. (And, I don’t think I’ve said before, the sincerest condolences on that loss. I’m so sorry.)

  114. Steph, I’m so sorry. It does get better but it sounds like you had a great relationship so don’t be surprised if it takes a while longer than you might have expected.

  115. I find that the hole left in my heart remains, but that I find comfort in its presence. My father died two years ago. Just yesterday, I met a woman who knew him, and she said that my smile reminded her of him. It gave me such joy to hear it, but I’ve crumbled into tears several times since she said it. Really, I don’t think I have ever gotten a higher compliment. I have comfort knowing that I carry a piece of him with me, but it makes me miss him all the more.
    I’ll miss stories of your adventures with your Mum. It was clear that she was a spunky, clever lady. May you always carry a piece of her with you.

  116. When I was young, my mother used to mention occasionally that there was not a day that went by that she didn’t miss her dad who had died when she was 19. I remember thinking in the callousness of youth “get over it.” When she died she was 55, I was 25, it’s been 39 years and I still miss her. The pain doesn’t go away, it gets different. It softens and the memories get easier to embrace. I chose to celebrate my mom and honor her by living my life with the joy she lived hers. Relish those memories of your beloved mother and hold them tightly in your heart.

  117. Stephanie, I am so sorry for your dreadful loss. My heart literally clenches and aches for you. I have yet to lose a parent, but know that time is coming. I like so much of what I have read here and pray it helps you get through day by day. Children help, and you have a few there. Love and prayers for you all.

  118. All that I have learned about can summed up in three sad words – It goes on. My mother-in-law passed away last month. In the evening following her funeral we had birthday cake for the twin grandsons who turned 11 the day before. It was not lost on the family that this is the way of life. It moves forward and drags one with it. Remember that your mother lives on in you and your family as long as you remember her. Cry. Hug the babies and feel her enduring life and love in the warmth of their bodies. May you find peace and solace in your family’s love.

  119. This post sums up everything that I also experienced earlier this summer when my father passed. I was afraid to put it all into words, and now I no longer need to, because your summation of losing a parent is so elegant and heart-wrenching. Maybe I will later anyway. Here’s wishing you the strength to move forward. I walked 10 miles every day for about six weeks (having a little cry each time), before I started to come around again. Embrace the time of mourning. Much love to you and your family. ❤️

  120. Dearest Steph,

    What a shock it must have been to find yourself not knitting during a time when you may have imagined you would be knitting like crazy. I don’t think that your knitting failed you; I think that you needed to be so deeply, intensely present for your mom and the situation she was in, even the sense of being in the now we usually feel when we knit was too removed. Your body knew this and put the knitting aside, for a while.

    I always imagined that my knitting would always be there for me but I have learned it is not as I deal with a terminal cancer diagnosis. There are times when my body requires my focus to be elsewhere, and times when I can’t focus. Now I treasure the good knitting days without expecting knitting to meet all the needs I once expected it to fill.

    Sending love and wishes for more moments of peace in the days ahead.

    Anita

  121. When my mother died, I too felt broken and extraordinarily sensitive to every event which followed for a bit. I looked around and saw all these people who had survived the death of their mothers and wondered how they had managed get to their present lives. As the days passed, I returned to work. The days got a little easier as I did things which required my attention. About the time I thought the worst had passed, for no reason and out of the blue, my grief would blind-side me and I would need a bit of a cry. You will get through this but it is truly hard. Take care of, and be kind to, yourself.

  122. Stephanie, I am so sorry for your loss. Be gentle with yourself and take comfort in the rituals of the everyday. Please know that you are in the thoughts of many people, all of whom are sending you love.

  123. I’ve been thinking about you and am glad to see this post. Grief is an individual thing-everyone experiences it differently. I remember thinking how can everyone around me be acting so normally? Don’t they know my world just crashed? Or you have a few good days and think you are dealing really well with it-maybe even getting back to ‘normal’. And then there will be a song, or a scent, or someone who looks similar, and you lose it all over again. Give yourself time. It does get better. But it can take a long time, and that’s ok.

  124. When my mother died, nearly 20 years ago, my boss said that, after his mother died, it took some time for him to stop feeling like a balloon that had been let go. That was exactly how I felt, too. My anchor was gone and I was floating, untethered.

    As other people here have said, grief just takes the time it takes. It isn’t linear. It won’t wrap up in a prescribed period of time. There will be sneaker waves. You will be flattened. And then you’ll get up and go on with this business of living, and you’ll continue to make your mother proud.

  125. As I read the comments from the Blog to you, the love expressed is breathtaking. This community that you have created loves you and weeps with you.
    Take your time, be gentle with yourself. Some days will be mountainous, others will be smooth riding.
    There is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Some days you’ll want to scrub every inch of your house. Other days putting your coffee cup in the sink be be almost impossible.
    But you will survive. You’ll put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. You will think of your mum and cry. Other times thinking of her will bring a smile to your face.
    Surround yourself with Joe and your girls, with Luis and Frankie, Myrie and Emmett and especially Elliot. New life is the greatest healer of all.
    Xoxo

  126. I am so sorry for your loss & sadness. Wish I had a magic wand. I’d use it for you. The pain stays, but quiets…. Mostly. Grief doesn’t keep a calendar or wear a watch so don’t be upset with yourself if Grief springs on you.

  127. Oh Stephanie. For my beautiful mother it was also 10 days between diagnosis and death. 20 years down the track things still creep up and whack you, but it does get easier to live with. We have to be kinder and love more to make up for them not being here. Be kind to yourself.

  128. Everything, everyone else has said here, is truth. The small tidbit that I would add from experience is to tell you that the body remembers the grief as well as the joy. Memories will wash over you, overwhelm you, and refuse to let you move past. Kindness, patience, and endurance.
    Peace to you and family.

  129. I am so sorry for your loss. Grief is a horrible thing. I lost my dad very suddenly in 2010 – he was only in the hospital for a few hours, and I was living abroad at the time. I remember being unable to be still afterwards. I’d take the longest possible route from the train station to work, as somehow moving my feet would still my brain a bit. Eventually I stopped feeling sad all the time. The first year was full of milestones and so hard. Now, seven years on, there are occasional times when it’s hard and horrible, but mostly I can focus on good memories, and be grateful for the years we had.

  130. Lost my mom a bit over 5 years ago. I miss her every day. So many times I have a memory of her and at least now sometimes the memories bring a smile to my face instead of me breaking into tears. Some days it seems like we lost her yesterday! the grief still hits me at unexpected times. You will go on but she will always be with you. peace to all of your family.

  131. I lost my father 10 years ago under very similar circumstances. His illness was out of the blue and it was fast. It left us all with our heads spinning. It took about three months before I realized that I had not spent the morning thinking about illness and the loss. Feeling normal is all about a new normal. It is never the same again, yet a routine develops and life goes on. An earlier poster stated that grief is not linear and that is exactly right. Be patient with yourself and with each other. You have more than enough love in your family to get through this together. Peace, my friend.

  132. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Three weeks is nothing – take your time and grieve – joy will return in due time.

  133. Give yourself time. Most of us only get one mum – and you had a wonderful relationship with yours. In time, you’ll be able to enjoy memories of the good times more and feel the loss less. Thinking of you and sending virtual hugs.

    P.S. The shawl is beautiful!

  134. Stephanie, through all of the deaths I’ve been through (thankfully, none of them have been so close a relative as a mother yet), I’ve found that what stands out to me is the wild, crazy feeling of love which used to be directed to a living person, and then isn’t any longer. The love doesn’t disappear, I still feel so much love for my grandmothers and great-aunts and -uncles, but how do I direct it, now? It feels… chaotic.

    I think that’s why we surround ourselves with loved ones after a death. It’s a reminder of all the love we still have with us, and it helps us to learn together what to do with the love for the loved one who has passed away: Seville orange marmalade will always and forever be a loving reminder of my great-uncle Bob even though it makes me gag. It used to make my heart hurt to see it, but, after a while, it started to make me smile.

    This is a long way of saying that I hope that we can also be a safe and loving place for you to remember: yes, there’s still love in this world, and these people love me and hold me close. We do. I do. And I think it’s beautiful that the first thing you finished knitting after this horrible, heart-rending period for you was a wedding shawl for a beloved niece. Tangible love. It’s so important.

    You are one of the most loving people I’ve ever encountered– your warmth comes across in everything you do– and I know that your love for your mother will always stay with you, and at some point, when you’re ready, the love that right now hurts at a reminder of your mother will eventually bring out smiles, just like me and my great-uncle’s marmalade.

    (And that raw, sensitive feeling– the one you describe as making you feel like others are being insensitive– is so very natural, and I for one apologize right here and now if I’ve said anything to trigger that feeling. I remember feeling that raw soreness. You’re so very not alone. And, just between you and me, blaming myself for it (“Why am I so blasted sensitive right now?”) wasn’t helpful. Have patience with yourself right now. It’s OK to feel raw and sensitive after such a horrific wound.

    The short version of all of the above? I love you, Stephanie, and hope that all the love you’re getting on the blog helps you out in these hard times.

  135. Thinking of you. I have been somewhere pretty close to where you are now and although I can’t say it gets easier, it changes. It is five days short of the 9th anniversary of my mother’s death, which was about 8 weeks after what was supposed to be a trip to the doctor with her became the ER, and then the hospital and then two more hospitals. Anyway, I send peace.

  136. How do you do that…so perfectly express the grief of losing a dear one. I am weeping for you and the loss of your mother and me losing someone so very dear to me. You made all real again. All my sympathy to you.

  137. Sometimes, after all these years, I reach for the phone to call her…..there is a pain, but always a smile, because she really would love to hear my news! My mum was a real character, and sometimes I see her in myself…..and that is just wonderful….my heart is with you.

  138. When my dad was in the hospital with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and as a scientist I knew I should not be optimistic, my sock knitting helped me not turn into a puddle of tears. My mom was amazed at how calm I was, but I knew that it was the power of the stitches that helped me hold it together.

    Sometimes it is harder than hard to deal with transitions , and we deal with them as needs be. Hold on to your amazing memories of your mum and feel her spirit in every stitch for the kiddos.

    Hugs to you, Joe, the girls, and everyone that your mom touched.

  139. So many truths about grief have been written beautifully in these comments, and I want to add mine, You will start to live again, not just exist, just functioning. Take whatever time it takes.
    I’ve had several major losses in my life, including my parents, and my husband of 40 years. There have been times that I felt like a very fragile glass vase, and if someone said the wrong thing I would wind up in splinters on the floor, totally broken and not able to be put back together at all. Thanks to a great support group of friends and family, it never got that bad, but the huge holes in my life are not going to go away, not very painful anymore, just missing parts of me. As I’ve gotten older, the sharpness of each loss doesn’t seem to last as long, and the creative parts of me come back more quickly. Almost a year ago, I lost a dear friend, a woman young enough to be my daughter, and whose husband I’ve known for 50 years, since he was 8. It’s been a very rough year for both of us, we know each others pain, with out having to say it.
    I knit some, but mostly I sew, and my machines are humming again, and I have a small list of things to finish and clothes to sew for myself and friends. I get a lot of pleasure out of mending things, maybe because of making something whole again, useful again, even if it is patched up. Probably a metaphor for our lives, patched up and useful.
    Had to touch the clock, a reminder that time passes.

  140. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    I took care of both my mother and father at home with the help of hospice care. Dad died five years ago and mom died the next year on the date of his funeral.
    I won’t tell you it gets easier, at least it hasn’t for me. Grief can be sneaky and just when you think “I’m OK,” it smacks me over the head. Take your time. Knitting will wait.
    When one of my parents had a bad night (sometimes they both did), I want you to know you helped me through many sleepless nights. I’d read your posts that comforted and inspired.
    Be good to you. You’ll re-enter sanity when it’s time.
    Sending you love and gratitude.

  141. Losing my mom 4 years ago blew apart my centre and my balance and place in life. I was sadder and more broken than anyone really knew or could understand. It was a terrible feeling and I spent a lot of effort searching to get relief from. So I figured out that life is in front of me – obvious but hard to come to terms with- and I looked for and found small joys, I made plans that I couldn’t back out of, and when I needed to wallow in a corner on the couch I did. And I still wallow occasionally for a short time and I think that’s fine. Take care of, and be kind to yourself. My heart goes out to you.

  142. She will be with you in ways you haven’t realized yet. She is blessed to be so loved and thus remembered by her family. She lives on in each of you, in tears, in memories, and someday, joy. ♡

  143. I am so sorry to read of your mother’s death. There is heartache to last a lifetime, though we all do seem to go on.
    Let those who love you hold you up for a while. It is all I know to do for you. Holding you in my thoughts.

  144. My heart aches for you. It is such a shocking and foreign place to be – losing someone beloved – and I hope for love and comfort and normalcy for you in the future.

  145. I was 21 when my mom died 16 years ago. While things have gone back to some sense of “normal,” it’s not necessarily any easier, even after this amount of time. You are 100% entitled to your feelings, even if they don’t always make sense, like being both happy and extremely sad at the same time. Knitting brings you joy, keep doing it.

  146. I was thinking about you the other day (which is weird to say to someone you’ve never met or spoken to) in a “I hope everything is ok and she’s just really busy” way. And since that first thought you’ve been in the back of my mind. I am so, so sorry to hear that you lost your mother. Losing a parent is hard. I wanted to push things back to normal as quickly as possible too. But it didn’t work like that for me. So just know that there are all of these wonderful people that you’ve touched with your knitting and writing and riding, and we’re all thinking about you and your family while you feel breakable.

  147. Oh No! Stephanie, I am so very very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I just now opened your blog for the first time in several months. My own mom has been bouncing in and out of hospital for almost a year, and my own knitting and blog reading have fallen by the wayside. Tonight I had a moment and thought I’d tune in to your world, which is always a good thing. I was shocked and saddened to read this, and my heart totally goes out to you. Big hugs, much much love.
    Your friend,
    Michele Fitch

  148. There’s beauty in so many things… The shawl is truly beautiful.
    Don’t rush the pain away. It will slowly fade and the beauty in the memories will always be there. A new normal will emerge…not easily, but surely.
    Take good care

  149. Like so many, I’ve been thinking about you and wishing there were words that could make it all better. I “only” know you from your writing and am not a knitter, but I’ve found comfort in thinking, “Well, thank goodness there is a new baby for her to hold.” ❤️

  150. Dear Stephanie, I am very sorry for your trouble. Like so many others here, I know from hard experience what it is to lose a beloved parent–when I was in my early teenage years, my father died suddenly. It was a brutal shock, but I was young and life was insistent–it demanded that I get on with things despite my sorrow. And that experience probably deepened the already close relationship I had with my mother. Forty years on, when she died (also unexpectedly although she was elderly, and after ten days in hospital), my grief was overwhelming. I felt totally unmoored and detached from everything. But eventually, I came back to myself and back to the world. It has been five years now. Not a single day goes by, that I do not think of both my parents, and emotions still sometimes overcome me. In the comments above, Donna posted a poem by Lydia Davis that was new to me, and when I came to the line, ” I want them back, says heart” a flood of tears started. I do want them back, so do you, so does everyone–but that cannot be. And what cannot be changed, must be borne. It is also true what everyone here has said more eloquently–you will survive even this hardship and your loss will ever-so-gradually become easier to bear. I don’t think it’s possible to really “get over” a profound loss such as a death in the family, or to “move on” (whatever that means), but one does get stronger with time and better able to carry the grief. Take care, and again, condolences to you and your family.

  151. I remember when my mom passed feeling stunned and angry that the world continued without her. Slowly, I started to move with the world again. Be very kind to yourself- and patient. Sending hugs and faith.

  152. A loss like this always makes the survivor feel fragile, and leaves them vulnerable. Just keep moving, one step at a time, don’t push yourself too hard.

  153. My mum died 8 months ago today. Unlike your Mum, she was sick for a long time, which was also awful in its own different way. And it didn’t make the end any easier really, or less shocking or less devastating or feel less like my insides were on the outside. Nothing makes it ok, or better, or normal. Nothing makes us ready to lose our mums. Everything you write is so honest – and it rings so true in my broken heart too. Thank you for sharing what you have chosen to share. I hope it helps you. It helps me. Love to you and yours as you make your way through this.

  154. My Mother died almost 42 years ago and she is still missed terribly. It becomes a new normal without your mom. Life eventually goes on but it is not the same. You still love and will eventually laugh but there is a little piece of your heart that is never the same. I pray for you and your family.

  155. My mom’s younger brother died in under a month. He was fine May 7, we buried him June 8. That was 7 years ago this June. There is part of me that, I think, will always feel like I talked to him 3 weeks ago, because that was true when I got the call that he was sick. I live in the After of that moment. And that is ok. I have had lots of joy and life and sorrow and dinners and hugs from small children and dog petting and books and just now even a hurricane (greetings from the currently-without-power-and-happily-completely-safe in FL btw) since he’s been gone. And I smile when I see goofy things he would have liked. I knitting through so much of finding out what was happening to him and trying and failing to make sense of it. I knitted to have something to show for my time, as I so often do, and I held onto it as a proof that I could still do Something even when it wasn’t something about his illness. And I finally tied it all in a bag and set it aside. I didn’t want to see that project anymore. I picked up something else, and I can’t remember anymore what it was, but I was knitting in the airport on the way back from his funeral. I think he and I were both ok with that.
    I wish I had a way to ease this for you, as your blog has eased hard moments for me. I…live in hope and do the good that is in front of me at moments like this and I know you have so much joy in front of you that I hope it will, not to mitigate the sorrow exactly, but maybe to balance it slightly.
    Love

    ~A

  156. Steph,

    A couple of years ago, my father was in the hospital for what turned out to be six months. Thankfully, he recovered, and is doing well. But in that six months of sitting beside him for hours at a time, I didn’t knit a single stitch. Carried my knitting everywhere. Thought about it, would get it out, look at it, and put it away. Not sure what the deal is at times like that, but I’m glad to see that you’ve picked up your knitting again. Sadly, the only way out is through. And through is a very bumpy road. Keeping you and yours in my prayers.

  157. I am so sory for your loss :(. When my mum died I wasn’t able to knit initially. I felt too restless to be able to sit and enjoy it. It slowly came back though, and when it did it was the most therapeutic thing I could have done. I pumped out 3 pairs of socks in 3 weeks. Every little stitch was a kind of therapy (my mother was a knitter too). I hope knitting helps you find some peace with this. It never goes away, but it does get easier to go on with life and feel happiness again. Much love to you and your family xxx

  158. Tears as I read this. Let yourself be in this profoundly altered state for as long as you need to be. Losing your extraordinary mum, and so quickly and unexpectedly, is a devastating earthquake to your soul. There is no getting over it, it changes and molds you, but eventually, one day down the road in a timeframe that only you will know, gradually it will become easier to bear. Meanwhile, in the words of Rumi… Let your grief ferment and season you as few human or divine ingredients can….

    Blessings.

  159. Hard to know what to say in the face of great loss. Grief is mysterious and exhausting. I hope you can find and gather the little fragments of remembered happiness.

  160. Oh, Steph. there is no sorry in the world big enough for this. Can only send love. which I do send to you and all the family and friends.

  161. I highly recommend Life After Loss by Bob Deits…very comforting but also practical advice about what feelings to expect, what others expect and what you are going through and how to handle it. It is your journey and it takes time. Still miss my Mom like crazy 12 years later.The memories are mine to hold forever but at the same time I realize no on loves me or knows me and understands me like my Mom did .I miss her!

  162. It is indeed beautiful.
    I don’t think that feeling goes away, but it stops being constant and eventually becomes infrequent. But it still likes to stop you in your tracks every now and then. hang on to your optimism and your knitting.

  163. I lost my Mom two years ago and there is still a hole, because after all, we never knew life without a mother before. But, even though there will always be a hole, and it always feels like you’ll never not need her, life does find a balance eventually, and an equilibrium, and it seems that it’ll be okay. But I still cry whenever someone I know loses their Mom, because well, it hurts.

  164. Hugs and warm thoughts are being sent your way. When I went through the pain of my Mum, my knitting and your voice helped me pull through. I have both of your audiobooks, and I listened and cried through the worst. I wish, I pray, someone can do the same for you that you did for me.
    I wish I could say it gets easier, or better, but words won’t ease this pain. I can say that I see my Mum in my daughter’s eyes. I see her smile in my girl.
    My heart aches for you. I pray you find comfort and peace.
    Love and stitches,
    Louise

  165. I had dinner tonight with 2 friends; one lost her husband of 50 yrs a month ago; the other lost her 21 yr son 20 years ago. My dh died 8/27/2001. We talked of grief and healing….how each is so individual and very very personal. Healing happens in so many ways but one of the best is sharing stories with others who knew your Mum. My husband has been gone 16 yrs, but I get little pieces of him back each time I hear a story of him from a friend. Today, 9/11, was the first day in 2001 that I awoke alone in our home, turned on the TV and saw the world crashing down. My comfort and support person was not there with me and it was the scariest, loneliest day of my life. I still cry even after 16 years and even though I will be marrying a wonderful man soon. But I also laugh at the stories and when I do shed tears, they are a testament to how much he was loved. Your tears for your much loved Mum will help you heal. Eventually you will get to a place where you can endure the loss. Much love.

    And that shawl is absolutely gorgeous….wow!

  166. My mom walked into the hospital one day and died 5 weeks later – it took me 6 months to truly smile and laugh again. The hole in my heart will always be there, but as time goes by I remember more of the love and warmth but what I wouldn’t give for one more hug!
    I’m so sorry for you – all of us who have lost our mom’s can completely relate. time is a great healer but it’s different for everyone. Don’t let anyone rush you.

  167. I’m so sorry for your loss. When my dad died, over 30 years ago, someone shared this quote from Abraham Lincoln, “You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.”

    I’ve found this to be pretty good advice. You will feel stronger – but for now, be kind to yourself and those who love your mom. I’m so sorry.

  168. In spirit, we’re sitting with you: remebering your mother; loving families ,which sustain us; and knittting, or holding knitting, until it feels better. I am so sorry for your loss.

  169. my mother gradually disappeared due to vascular dementia. even though we had years to grieve for the person she used to be during the decline it was still heartbreaking when she died.

    2 years later i still find myself thinking “Mum would laugh about that”. and whenever i play silly games with my 18 month old granddaughter i’m just repeating what she did with my offspring and their cousins.

    cherish the memories. love and sympathy to you and all the family.

  170. Thank you. You have described feelings that are almost indescribable, and somehow have managed to help heal others’ hurts out of your own. I don’t think the grief ever goes away, but one does, finally, learn how to carry it most of the time. Bless you all.

  171. What is it that EZ said ?
    “Knit on ,with confidence and hope, through all crises.”
    Stephanie you WILL be able to do that again. Much love and light to you and your family.

  172. I wish I could hug you so much! To be honest: it is the new normal, you learn to endure it, it will transform, but never go away. Allow the sadness, even if it rears up in months, if you do not, it will only come back stronger.
    There is no right nor wrong with grief, everyone has her or his own path, but be asured – there will be a time when you will be able to remember your mum with laughter, when you can tell the funny stories (and the tears will mostly be from laughing).

  173. Miss my Dad every day, but that means he is still alive in my heart and my life. It’s been eight years and I still hear his voice in my head with gentle encouragement and advice. It’s a new normal. Life is good and they want us to live it and they helped make us strong to do so.
    You will be fine.

  174. It is such a fragile and sensitive time and I have found that the world feels extra harsh and unfriendly while in such an emotional place.

    Just the other day I was listening to someone on BBC radio talk about the old tradition of wearing mourning clothing or a black armband so that there was some outside sign that a person was grieving. We don’t have those some kinds of markers but wouldn’t it be nice if we did? I guess we must all have the harder task of constantly remembering that we do not know what others are currently going through and to show kindness at all times.

    This place has been a fountain of kindness for me. I hope you find it so for yourself as well Stephanie. Go gently.

  175. I am really really sorry for your loss! There is nothing comforting that I can think of to say, except that eventually, time heals all. My thoughts are with you!

  176. My Mum died two months ago. She had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in January, and went into hospital with what we thought was a chest infection. It turned out that the disease had progressed massively in just a few days, and as she’d refused assisted ventilation there was nothing they could do except let events take their course. We felt so helpless. It just felt so barbaric having to sit there and not be able to do anything except hold her hand until the end. But after two months I can start thinking about my Mum and not just the way her life ended. I think it does get better.

  177. To have the relationship with a parent that leads to such a sense of loss when they die….that is a gift. It can be hard to see it that way, but some days it is a deep comfort.

  178. Steph it’s called grieving, because you loved so much you are grieving so much. It will in time get better but don’t expect a quick fix because it won’t be. Look to yourself and to your Mum and you will find some comfort there. Don’t feel guilty about smiling and feeling happy with life but imagine your mum enjoying the image with you. Your shawl looks absolutely beautiful.

  179. Dearest Stephanie,

    There are really no words to ease the pain you are feeling, and I doubt I have the skill to find any, but I wanted to send you and your family my love, thoughts, and prayers in this horrible time. You are not alone. I still have my mother, although she is ill, but my father died almost five years ago. There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t think of him, or wish I could share something with him. You have comforted me in difficult times through your books, and the blog, so I’m just trying to send you a measure of comfort now. I am thinking of you, and your family.

  180. I am so sorry for your loss. I check your blog regularly (and have for many years) and I remember thinking it was odd that you had not posted in a while. I still have my mother here, but I have lost her to Alzheimer’s. Knitting has been a real, tangible way to grieve and to keep me centered. You will move on; it’s how life is supposed to go, but doesn’t hurt any less. Take care.

  181. Be thankful it was swift, yes. But be especially thankful you were with her, that’s what meant the most to her. And you would not want to look back on it later and feel heartbroken that you weren’t there.

    Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  182. My dad died in March 2013 & it was a long time before I didn’t catch myself as I was picking up the phone to call him or stopped thinking of him in the present tense. The new normal takes a long time to get used to, but it eventually comes. I still miss him terribly & think of him almost daily, but the ache becomes more bearable with time.

    Know that you are loved by the blog & that we are sending warm thoughts your way. The grieving process takes time, but we are here for & with you.

  183. The best (and truest for my experience) description of grief I have come across is that it is like the waves of a receding tide. You’ll be feeling ok and then a wave will hit and you’ll be awash. At first the waves are frequent and hit you hard. They diminish in strength over time but every now and then a big one will come out of no here and pull you under again. I found hugging babies helped. Love and light to you x.

  184. Stephanie – I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, and rarely comment not because I don’t want to but because there are so many comments posted saying basically the same thing I would. Today that is the same but I want to share – as you said many have lost their mothers, I was 25 when my Mum died — and I remember going to the grocery and leaving in tears because here were all the other mothers out there and they were alive. It took me a long time to go to the grocery again. Its been 32 years now. The gift I give to you is that my mum, like yours, lives on in you and my children who never knew their grandmother all have bits and pieces of her — she is with me every day. Wrap yourself in all that you hold dear and cherish the bits as things fade over time but never that deep connection, she will always be there for you.

  185. I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom. I know how hard it is to lose a parent (both of mine are gone). You will never stop missing her but things will get easier. Just don’t push it-let it happen on it’s own time. How long you grieve is different for each person. When my dad passed away I cried every day for 6 months before I felt like life was getting back to normal.

  186. Your time with your mum was precious, it was so evident to all of us. Cherish those memories. You’ll always miss her but eventually you’ll be able to be happy again. My mom died young, 41 years ago, and I’ve missed her every day.

  187. Again thank you for sharing your words with the Blog. I am sure they also will resonate with others.
    Very glad you have your family, your crafts/art at hand these days. Walking and cycling are excellent in the Toronto autumn.
    The Blog is definitely thinking of you these days.

  188. I am so sorry for your loss. I want to tell you that grief is very individual. What ever you’re feeling, it’s ok. There is no timeline-grief is not linear. The best thing someone said to me after I lost my mother was “I don’t know what you need, so I pray that God gives you what you need today.”

  189. She was loved by you as you were by her, and that is never lost. My mom left us in 1998 and I still feel her loss but now it’s with warm memories instead of sharp pain. I have faith that we’ll be together again with our ‘mums’ on the other side. Prayers for you and the family from my heart

  190. I talked to my mom for an hour this morning. She calls me every Tuesday, for our “Happy Tuesday” phone call. We made each other laugh, and talked about the family, and how grateful we are that my brother in Florida made it through the hurricane okay. She talked about other family members calling her up “to vent”. Today my older sister has to work a voting booth, and mom is making spaghetti and meatballs for her and her co-workers. It was a good phone call, where she recognized she has a purpose, that things she does for other people add up. We ended the call saying “I love you”, and we meant it. She had breast cancer and uterine cancer, and got hit by a car last year. She’s still going strong, but I always think how lucky I am to still have her. Your loss is unfathomable. I am sad for you, and with you. Grief takes time. We’ll all be here for you.

  191. The shawl is exquisite, and it will be a treasure. I understand and have been through this loss, and the pain will lessen, but it takes time. I see from the comments that there are many of us who have gone through this. You take it one day at a time, and I think it sounds like you are handling it well, carefully, slowly, and easing back into a routine. Be good to yourself, and take the time you need. Find something wonderful to knit next, maybe a winter hat or three for sweet Elliot. xo

  192. Yes now is a time for beautiful things. I only know you through the Blog, but I wish I could just hold you and hug you like I did for my sister in law when my brother in law passed away in January, like what was done for me when my husband passed away four years ago. It seems incredible that the world goes on when someone so precious is gone. It does and you will too. Be gentle with yourself and others. Much love and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  193. When my father died, someone described grief to me this way. (and I have found it to be a good analogy). Grief is a carpet you walk on. At the beginning, it is wall-to-wall. No matter where you step, you are on the carpet. Eventually it starts to shrink. One day you find yourself with one foot off the carpet for a little while, although most of the time it is everywhere you step. The carpet continues to shrink until one day it is more the size of a throw rug. You can go days or weeks or months without stepping on it, but there will still be times when both feet are squarely on it. The grief never completely goes away, but it does get easier over time. Be kind to yourself and take all the time you need!

  194. My condolences on the loss of your beautiful, effervescent Mum. You have to get over shock before you can get to grief, I’m afraid, and that sounds like where you’ve been. You’re in my thoughts, in all our thoughts, and I hope you begin to feel some normalcy back soon.

  195. I’m so sorry for you right now. I have been there, and it’s beyond hard. Please don’t try to be something you aren’t: happy, productive, “normal”. And please believe me when I say that, even though there’s no predicting how long it will take or what form it will be, there will be a more normal life again. Be kind to yourself. You are traveling uncharted territory–for you–and how you navigate is unique to you and may be nothing like how others have managed. When someone leaves us in this way, so quickly and without warning, we know it may be a blessing for them. But it is terrible for us, who are left behind. No time to realize, to prepare, to come to grips with what is happening.

  196. This little poem helped me grieve the loss of my mother, sister and husband, all gone quickly and far to soon. Hope it brings you some peace.

    If ever there is a tomorrow that we are not together, there is one thing you should always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is: even if we’re apart, I will always be with you in the heart.
    Winnie the Pooh

  197. I completely understand this. My husband got an unexpected diagnosis last summer. Things went well and we continued to be optimistic until months later. After my sweetheart passed, it was hard for me to knit, paint or make cards (my usual crafts). Besides the heaviness of grief, I had also lost my cheerleader. He was always the first person who saw my knitting or other crafts.

    I have returned to all that I loved to do and the lump in my throat is mostly gone. My life is still good and there is still beauty in the world. My husband and your mother wouldn’t want us to think any differently. Peace and condolences to you.

  198. So so sorry for your loss. Your followers mourn with you and feel your pain. Give to yourself what you need to grow through this. Sending love your way.

  199. I’m so sorry. I can empathize — I lost my mother in January, and although the circumstances are different (she was 97, had had dementia for about 10 years, and her body had been giving out for a while), I can so much relate to the feelings you’re talking about. It’s different in that my mother’s death came when her body and spirit were ready, not with too-early and wrenching suddenness. I suspect I’ve only had a glimpse of the shock and pain you’re feeling. But I think about my mother every day, and memories of the way she used to be keep coming up. Tears are always close to the surface. However, I realize that my base of strength has always been there, and it sounds like yours has, too. I think I’ll always miss my mother, but life is good anyway.

    The shawl is incredibly beautiful.

  200. Also, I’m a relatively new knitter (used to knit years ago but stopped and forgot everything!), and I recently discovered your books and this blog. I really appreciate your humanness and humor, and have learned a lot about knitting from your writing.

  201. I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry those words mean nearly nothing right now. I understand being too sad to knit, and that’s an okay thing to feel. WHATEVER you’re feeling right now is an okay thing to feel. You, your family, and all of your mum’s loved ones are in my thoughts.

  202. It is a good time for beautiful things … and although your new normal will feel nothing like you’ve ever felt before, life will once again be normal.

    I am so sorry that you’ve lost your Mum way too soon.

  203. Grief takes time, and so very much energy. I was exhausted for… well, for a long time after my mother died, and I had years to ‘get ready’ for it. You’ll have ok days, and numb days and good days and horrendous days. I got better at missing my mother, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. Cherish your memories, laugh and cry as you need to. You’re in my thoughts. Peace to you all.

  204. When my mother died 6 years ago, I realized I just wasn’t able to knit. I mentioned this to a friend of hers (and mine), who had always been a source of wisdom for me. She said to me – “you must knit. You need it to help you heal”. And, so I did – and it did help to heal.

  205. Please have patience with yourself. Life seems so fragile right now and you’ll need time to adjust to your new life without your mum. I understand how you feel; I lost mine in 2003 and it took a long time to figure out my life without her.
    I’m sending all my love and lots of hugs. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mum. xoxoxoxox

  206. Dear Stephanie and family, my deepest sympathy for your sudden loss. No matter how it happens, the death of a loved one closes the door of their physical presence. From now on, you will have the memories that you each hold dear.

    Stephanie, an earlier writer referred to it as having a white screen. I always thought of it as a bubble. Inside the bubble, you grieve; you rage; you suffer this chunk of your being being ripped away. Outside the bubble, the sun is shining; people live, love, go on with their lives. Inside the bubble, you wonder how they can’t see how you hurt so very much. Over the course of the first year, the rawness of your grief finally becomes bearable.You spend your first family holidays without your loved one. You emerge from the bubble, and you move forward. The memories of that person become part of the fabric of the family, shared among many, and more comforting than painful.

    Bless you all.

  207. I’ve tried seven times to write my condolences to you, and each time sounds trite for such a deep loss. I am so sorry for you and your family. I wish I could say something more with greater depth, but words just fail to convey my sympathy. I am so sorry for your loss.

  208. It has been 20 years since my mother died. The feeling of absence never really goes away, but it hurts less as time goes on.

    Take all the time you need, and never forget the love.

  209. I’m so sorry for your loss. There really aren’t words that don’t sound silly or like what everyone already says. I remember walking around when my father-in-law passed wondering how all those other people could think it was a regular day and just do their usual stuff. It was so, well, just so much and so much of a disconnect from the world. I’m thinking of you.

  210. Dear Stephanie, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Know that there is no timetable for grief. Things take the time they take. Emotions ebb and flow like tides. There is an undertow that will surprise you from time to time. All of this is natural and varies from person to person. Keep going. When you’re ready (next week, next month, a year from now) there is a lovely book called No More Words by Reeve Lindbergh. I highly recommend it. It helped both me and my sister when our mom passed. Be kind to yourself. You don’t always have to be strong. Be gentle with yourself. Love, Ell

  211. So much that’s true and real and wise in comments above, in words from this vast, disparate collection of strangers you’ve drawn together over the years, all of us embracing you with sincere love in your immense grief. It’s incidentally also, for those of us who live with our own losses, providing a virtual embrace that I’m surely not alone in deriving comfort from. It’s you who makes this possible! We love you from afar, a kind of sympathetic background hum to carry within you; hugs to you from another faithful reader you’ve helped and who knows the ‘sensitivity’ all too well.

  212. Grief has it’s own reality. There is no right or wrong. Be kind to yourself… in the end it never goes away but it stays at a level that does not own you. You are loved!

  213. My father died when I was 16. I have no memory for MONTHS afterward. There have been other deaths since — my mother and two siblings. It never goes away. It becomes part of you. Life and the world go on and there is laughter and joy (Elliott’s cheeks come to mind), but it is always with you.

  214. You and your Family are in my thoughts and prayers . Thanks to your blog, you all are my extended family too.
    Please please take extra good care of yourself. As a Survivor of my Mother’s sudden passing 4 years ago I want to tell you: We have a word for this -Grief- but we could call it Tsunami- because it is a shock; it comes in waves; it takes a long time to recover; nothing prepares you for it. Family & Friends are the answer- just be with People when you can, don’t be with People when you need Solitude & keep a journal near to write when you wish.
    All the best to you
    Peg

  215. Sending love and understanding. Everyone’s grief takes a different shape and path. Words sound hollow but they are from the heart. I hope your knitting anf family give you some solace.
    The shawl is beautiful.

  216. The world ALWAYS needs more beautiful things, and that shawl is just a reminder of the beauty we can create in the midst of sorrow. Your gift of explaining what so many of us have felt is also a beautiful thing. Thank you. Peace and rest.

  217. I think when you love someone you give them bits of yourself as they need it- strength, wisdom, kindness. I hope it’ll give you comfort to think that the best parts of your mother are still with you and your family because she loved you so well.
    Take care of each other!

  218. When my husband died quite suddenly and unexpectedly, some well-meaning people told me that with time I’d get over it. Of course, that’s not true. Grief leaves a huge hole in your heart. For awhile you just walk carefully around it, and from time to time you fall back into that hole of pain. But what I’ve come to believe true is that with time you’ll build a bridge over that hole in your heart that enables you to look at that grief, see it and feel it but not fall into that deep, aching pain in your heart. Take your time, as long as you need. Bridge building is hard work. Hugs!

  219. Oh shit Steph. I’m SO sorry for your loss. You’re mom was clearly a wonderful woman and I’m just so glad you and Erin carry that forward. Lots of love.

  220. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I know your pain. I was exactly where you are now 15 years ago in August. I would love to say that the pain goes away…That you become used to it…That one day you will be at peace with it…But no. It sucks plain and simple. My mom missed my wedding, my brother’s wedding, her grandchildren being born…So much. However…there is one little glimmer of a silver lining I can provide you…Even though you can no longer call her on the phone…Reach out and hold her hand…Or give her a hug…She is with you. If you have faith…If you believe there is a better place waiting for us afterwards…She is there. Before, if something amazing happened to you…You needed to pick up the phone and share it, or tell her when you saw her…Now, you carry her with you wherever you go. You will feel her presence when times are good, and you will definitely feel it when times are rough. I have never dreamt more about anyone in my life than I have had dreams about and starring my mom since her death. You may feel lost and without navigation right now…But she lives within you now. You can talk to her whenever you want. You can be sure she is experiencing your joys and grief alongside you. She has not abandoned you…She has joined forces with you. In time, I hope you will understand what I mean. Godspeed and take good care.

  221. We only have one Mum…..it takes time….a lot of time,,,but you’ll get through it. Concentrate on your beautiful memories and lean heavily on your family…you will come through the other side. My sincerest sympathies to YOU and YOURS

  222. Sending you hugs.
    Tucked away amongst all my knitting supplies is a bag with a wee baby sweater that went with me 19 years ago to the hospital when my mom suddenly took ill and passed away. I have never been able to finish it. I am glad you could finish the beautiful shawl for your niece.

  223. This is my second post in this stream. I think I neglected to say how sorry I am for your loss. Every time you wrote a post that included your mum, I was a bit jealous. My relationship with my mother (never mommie or mom) was less than ideal. She has passed, but I can’t tell you how many years ago (maybe 3) or the day except that it was early October. I feel very guilty that the intense mourning one is supposed to feel never happened. So I guess I am saying you were her blessing and she yours. However, I still want to share things with my sisters and a niece whom I have lost.

    I have a knitting suggestion. Right now, you perhaps don’t have the desire or stamina or concentration to knit a “project”. Perhaps you could instead do little projects – like the many pieces of the Advent calendar for Elliot. And maybe make for each calendar a special token for their grandmother. And maybe one for your pocket – what I call a “pocket smoothie” to remind you and as a talisman or worry stone of her grace and love.

  224. It is beautiful. And I’m sending hugs.

    I don’t know how you get thru a loss like that… when my aunt (my other mother) died, I was far away and just pretended for a long time that I just hadn’t talked to her in a while… but it was only about 5 years ago (15 years after she died) that I stopped thinking, after reading every good book, “Aunt Roseanne will like this one.” And my mother-in-law has been gone 17 years and I still see something and think “Jean will like that.”

    Sending hugs and good thoughts and light.

  225. I don’t think the feeling is transformed; you are. There is a distinct before and after shared by only those who miss someone so dear. Things will start to feel less exploded, and then you’ll cry when you see chili on a buffet or a tall person in a gray cloth cap. Each one of us has her own path. Don’t let anyone tell you how you’re supposed to feel by such and such a date. It’s all yours — the pain, the love, the shock, the transformation. It does lose that cutting-edge sharpness that takes your breath away. After a long time you’ll think of her and smile without tears.

  226. I am so sorry for your loss – we are never old enough to lose a parent. Life won’t be the same again, there will always be that hole but you will always have special memories that will, in time, take over from the shock, emptiness and tears. You are not alone; we have all been there or are still there and I am sure we have all found peace and comfort in our knitting and the friends we have made through knitting. Keeping you in my thoughts. Bev

  227. This comment is three hundred and something. I’ve not read them, they are for you, but I can’t imagine anyone is not supportive. My mother was 93, almost 94 when she passed. Her body was tired and worn and she was ready. That did not make it any easier. There is no easy, there is just getting through it. At first it is minute by minute at best, but as time goes on the minutes stretch to hours, then days, then weeks and months and years. Will you miss your mother forever? YES! But you will heal because that is what she would want you to do. All you readers love you and care for you. Let us envelope you in our caring and help you heal.

  228. My experience, ten years ago this October, is that you do adjust, because you continue to live. but there’s a bit of a limp in your heart and so far, it’s still there. The big reactions (like breaking down in tears in the grocery in front of the ginger ale) get fewer. The love lives on forever. I wouldn’t change that for anything.

    • Why is it always the grocery store? My dad died 23 years ago on 9/3. I would continually break down at the grocery store after he passed. I was so overwhelmed that trying to pick a cereal was too much and I would stand and cry over the raisin bran. Thing is, everyone got it. They, too, had stood over the raisin bran or potatoes or a pound of hamburger and cried. People would just walk past and pat me. They knew. I saw it in their eyes.

      Steph, losing a parent is a tribe you never want to be part of but many are our members. Lean on everyone wildly and have radical self care and be nicer to yourself than you would your own best friend. The pain dulls but it takes a long while. And I was changed, but I think that type of grief will profoundly change anyone. Grief breaks you open and it takes time to put the pieces back.

  229. I think I understand what you mean about feeling “sensitive.” Others have had family members die, but your experience will be unique because it’s happening to you. How dare the world continue to turn when yours has crashed and burned! Been there. You are a survivor and will continue to be one.

  230. My mother was devastated when she became an orphan and I am well on my way to joining the orphan club with one parent gone and the other who doesn’t recognize me. It is not a club any of us want to join and it is the pits.

    I’m so sorry for this enormous loss. Breathing is enough right now. Just breathe, and eat. Eating is important. Do those things and slowly, slowly you start doing other things. Then one day you realize every minute was not spent thinking about the parent you lost. That’s how you move on. It isn’t that the pain stops, its just that you begin to join the rest of us again.

  231. I’m so sorry, Steph. When I was in college, I dreamed my mother had died and I was standing by her coffin saying, “Oh Mom, what will I do without you?” And she sat bolt upright and said to me, “You’ll manage.” She lived to be 96, dying suddenly one day while in the waiting room at the dentist. And I am managing! The other night I dreamed I saw her. She was wearing her aqua-colored suit and I could tell she was in a really good mood. I said, “Mom, hi! How are you?” and she said “I’m just great!”
    Hugs and kisses from me to you –

  232. My heart breaks for you Stephanie. I’ve been praying for your comfort from the first day I saw your post. Soak up all the love and hugs you can from your adorable grandson. Take all the time you need to heal on your terms. Sending love.

  233. The shawl is so beautiful. The space in your life will fill, slowly, with other stuff.
    Of course you couldn’t knit. Knitting is a happy thing.
    Look after and be gentle with yourself.
    G.

  234. Having lost my husband two and a half years ago (almost to the day!) in a very sudden way, know that shock lingers for longer than you might expect, but it’s there to protect you. Grief never goes away, it just changes. You’ll find a way to carry it eventually, and most of the time it’s in such a way that most people don’t see it. Eventually you make a sort of weird peace with it, like a stray cat that won’t go away. I still hear songs or smell smells and cry because they bring a memory rushing back, but I kind of like that because it means he’s still close somehow. It won’t always be like this, I promise.

  235. (((Hugs))) It will get better. Mostly. There will always be moments where you see or hear something and it all comes back. But there will also be moments where you see or hear something and just remember her fondly. The shawl is beautiful, just as the fact that you finished it. I still have unfinished projects from 2013, when my FIL died all of a sudden. He wanted to go to bed and just dropped dead. I stopped knitting for quite a while.

  236. That is when I know that things are truly at their worst for me. I remember being in the hospital with my daughter in NICU, I remember needing to have my knitting with me, but I didn’t, couldn’t knit a single stitch. I didn’t knit for a long while after her death. In those terrible moments of life, I find myself not knitting, but often just holding onto it desperately. Be gentle with yourself friend.

    • My sympathies on the loss of your daughter. Losing a child turns your world upside down. I hope you have more good days than bad ones

  237. My mom passed away just days before I was to arrive for a long-scheduled visit (I’m in OR, she was in MA). Although she had Alzheimer’s and I’d already “lost” the mom I grew up with and treasured, she still knew who I was, and her face would light up when I walked in. It’s been two years almost to the day, and while I do think of her every day, the rawness has worn off a bit with time and I can smile instead of tearing up…for the most part. I’m so glad you were able to be with your mom, as tough as it had to be. You’ll find your way back to a new normal on your own schedule, at your own pace.

  238. I’m still so very sorry that you are going through all this. It’s awful. All I have to say is that the feeling of the world being insensitive must be universal. The morning after my dad died, I had to run to the grocery store and I remember walking through the store and being so upset because everyone was acting so “normal” after my dad had died and everything felt terribly not normal. Every once in a while, when I am in that same grocery store, I try to send out some good thoughts to anyone who is there, who feels so not normal in a place where everyone else is acting normal. I’m sending those same thoughts to you.

  239. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. There is no more to say than that. Take care. Hold your loved ones and memories close to your heart.

  240. It will be a ‘new normal’ without your mum, and it will take a long time to get used to it. Mine has been gone 4-1/2 years and there are times when I miss her terribly and the pain is unbearable, and yet there are days when she doesn’t even enter my thoughts. My daughter, an only child, is 25… and I dread my own death more for her pain than for my leaving this life. It is the ‘normal’ chain of events, for parents to leave this life before their children, but it is a horrible rite of passage.

  241. Dear Stephanie –
    Oh this is such a hard time and I’m not at all surprised that you feel so raw and not normal yet. Grieving the loss of a loved one, especially of someone so special and dear as your mother, takes time and follows its own course. My father died suddenly 19 years ago and I just felt numb for several weeks. I would think of things I wanted to ask him and then remember he was gone. I miss him but the hole and pain have long diminished.
    I’m not surprised you couldn’t knit, but I’m glad you can again. I hope it will give you solace as you navigate your sorrow. And it is such a lovely shawl. Hang in there. It won’t always hurt this much.
    Glad to see you back in the blog. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  242. The raw feelings eventually develop a scab and finally a scar. You’ll always love your mum, and miss her but eventually you will smile when you think of her. It’s tough but you have your family, the blog and that precious little Eliot. Take your time healing. Your knitting friends are in solidarity with your sadness.

  243. When I lost my mom I felt like an orphan. Dad had passed 10 years earlier. It took a long time to set myself straight and find my new normal. She has been gone 5 years now and there are times it feels like yesterday. I’ve decided I’ll never get over loosing them. I have found a new normal, it’s bittersweet. I find peace and growth in happy memories. I think fondly of them daily and remember the life lessons they taught me. It takes time. I am still figuring it out. Take as much time as you need. We all grieve differently. Most importantly, remember her lessons. I remember your blog when you needed a fancy dress for a special occasion. Your mum made you purchase the undergarments to wear with the dress. My mom had passed when I needed a dress for my sons wedding. I remembered that tidbit of info and spent darn good yarn money on underthings, thanks to your mom. You will miss her wisdom. I find myself asking myself what would mom do. What would mom say. I find mom coming out of my mouth daily. It is really not such a bad thing. When it happens I smile and thank her for speaking her mind. I’m a better person because of mom. You will grow into a new norm. Bittersweet as it is. Hugs. My sympathy for your loss. But if you remember her daily. She is really not gone. She lives in your heart forever. ❤️

  244. I lost my best friend last year, days before my first wedding anniversary. He was my soul brother and all the things I couldn’t possibly paraphrase. It took months to find “normal” but what really helped, I talk to him every day. It may feel silly standing in the shower holding an out loud conversation with someone you can’t even see, but I feel him, I know he hears. Your mom would be the same. Knitting is meant for cuddles and comfort, even if it’s not quite done. *hugs from .us*

  245. Give yourself time to grieve, there is no set schedule to get through this. It will get better then one day you will wake up and your heart won’t seem quite so heavy. Take it one moment at a time. Peace to you and family.

  246. Grief never really goes away, it becomes a part of who we are. There will come a day (it may be a long way off) when the grief is bitter-sweet.

    I am adding my prayers to the many going up for you and your family.

  247. I am so sorry for your loss. The only thing more unendurable would have been to miss her love. Holding you in my thoughts as you grieve

  248. Stephanie,
    Your beautiful writing, your beautiful knitting, your beautiful family and your beautiful heart have all been a source of inspiration and healing for me, for many years, and I am truly thankful to you for all of those things. I am sending much love and wishes for comfort to you.

  249. I am so sorry for your loss. My mom died 20 years ago (9 months after my dad) and the hole in my soul is still there and I believe it always will be…Nothing prepares you for that day…the day you are an orphan (I am an only child)…but slowly a ‘new’ normal sets in and you painfully move forward…but she will ALWAYS be with you…her love and strength will always have your back…my mom loved butterflies…so every time I see one I know she is watching over me and I have a little bit of peace in my heart again. May peace be with you, my friend…I understand and hurt along with you.

  250. First of all, the shawl is beautiful and congratulations on finishing it. As for the loss of your mother, what happened when my mother died was that the passage of time did allow me to move forward. But this did take time and no one can predict how long the mourning process will take for any person. So please don’t place an arbitrary time period on yourself. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. Once again, I want to tell you that I am very sorry for your loss.

  251. One thing about a shock like what you experienced is that it is a shock to your body and mind and only time will heal you. Keep doing what you are doing. Don’t fret over things that don’t get done as quickly as you would like. Cherish those around you and the world you are in. You will heal. We are here for you.

    The shawl is gorgeous.

  252. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved it when you wrote about your mom. She seemed to cool and together. My mom died more than 50 years ago, when I was 17, and I miss her everyday. Nothing ever totally repairs the hole in your heart, but it does get easier over time. Spend time with your family now and know how much we care about you.

  253. Beautiful things to honor your mother sounds right. Everything gets so different in these times and it knits back together in a new way. Grief, in my life, changed time and a kind of tide of feelings came and went. You and your family are in my heart during this.

  254. I lost my mother 42 yrs ago when I was 15, and my sister 6 years ago this week. She was basically my mother too. Like everyone else has said , returning to normal is different for everyone .. and never there same normal , but a different normal. One day you will go a whole day without crying , then out of nowhere ten years later or whatever it will flood back. But gradually the pain is pushed back and all the loving memories fill your heart . Take your time to cry ,love your kids and grandson , and listening to the baby laugh is a miracle that can make you smile even when you didn’t think you could.

  255. You did a lovely job of attempting to describe the hole/change in life … that something that happens, and yet stays with you. It doesn’t totally go away, but it morphs and changes … It took me months (and then some) to think that I didn’t have to run to the nursing home. It’s been 3+ years, and sometimes I still have to jog my brain. Life goes on …. but you don’t forget, and the sad final memories do get replaced by good ones. That being said, you still get up and put one foot in front of the other. After all, you finished the shawl.

  256. With grief, you have to go through it, not over, not under…but you will come out the other side.
    Be gentle and patient with yourself, and know that everyone grieves differently, in their own way.

  257. I lost my mom 16 months ago. She and I lived about 100 miles apart for most of my adult life. We had marathon phone conversations about twice a week, telling each other every little detail of what was happening. Or sometimes it was just about sports. My mom was an avid sports fan. Since her death, I feel a huge piece of me missing. I have on a couple occasions caught myself thinking “I’ll have to remember to tell Mom about that next time I talk to her”. Then I remember that I won’t talk to her again on this Earth, and then the tears come. In place of our long phone calls I’ve filled my time with other things. I am knitting more. I recently read in a book, you never get over your loss, but you eventually find yourself in a different place. I’m making peace with my different place. I hope that you someday are also able to make peace with yours.

  258. Losing your mother is hard. Time will soften the edges, but in the meantime, be kind and patient with yourself. The grief will come and go and will hit at odd times, knitting does help.

  259. I can’t seem to find the right words and wish I could say something that would ease the pain even a little. Love, a hug, to let you know you are not alone.

  260. The wisdom and empathy in the comments brought as many tears to my eyes as the original post. You are surrounded by so much. I am so sorry about your mum.

  261. Hi, Stephanie,
    Sincere Condolences on the loss of your mum. Be gentle with yourself. Kiss the baby. Take all the time you need. Your Mum’s unconditional love made you who you are, so know that she lives on in you. One thing that comforted me was to wear her rings.
    When I would do things looking down at her rings, it was as if she was here. Sounds crazy, but it comforted me. Peeling potatoes still gets me.
    Julie in San Diego

  262. I lost my mom in a similarly rapid fashion (seven days in the hospital), and five years out, I would have to say that grief travels in a long string of loops. Remarkably similar to knitting. Stitch by stitch, friend.

    Warm thoughts to you.

  263. So sorry for your loss. I lost my dad suddenly almost 2 years ago, and I recall how I didn’t knit for weeks. Everyone who knows me well commented how it was one of the scarier parts of the whole ordeal – me sitting still without knitting. But somehow I couldn’t. I’m not saying it’s easy, but there is a path through, and in the end the beautiful work will flow again.

  264. Having faith…in what you may be asking. Why “have faith” and what is it anyway? It would be better to say have hope…that the pain will ease. That the sun will be a friend again. That the night will not be so dark and deep. That food will taste good again. That you won’t feel as if you are in the wide, lonely desert in the midst of the Saturday mall crowd. Hope..in feeling God’s presence again, and not feeling like Jesus did, when God left him alone at the most desperate moment of his life. Hope is real. Because of hope, we can have that faith…that life will again be worth living and that tomorrow will be something we look forward to again. Hope is…knowing that we humans are not going thru all this pain…alone. Yesterday was 9/11 and as I think of your loss Steph and all the pain, I think of all those who lost loved ones 16 years ago on that so bad day…..
    ….forgive me.

  265. I lost two mothers, forty years apart, after long illnesses, and am now, one year after the last loss, I’m walking through losing my dad, too. Grief hits when you least expect it, but it can be healing, too. Your Blog people are a wise bunch, and in reading them all, I am recognising a lot of myself. And I’m sure you will, too. Grace to you….

  266. My mom passed away in January, after a brief illness. It’s absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever been through, and still hurts a lot, but I try to take comfort in the knowledge that we loved each other, and told each other, and had a lifetime of wonderful memories. All of us who have lost parents know just where you are, and are sorry that you have to go through this. We’re holding you gently, and hope that our words give you some comfort.

  267. I’m sure everyone has said lovely things already but I will say something anyway: I’m so sad for you & your family. The only people I’ve loved that I haven’t grieved much are the ones who made it to 90+, because they really did have a good long run, you know? I came very close to losing my mother 16 years ago and it still makes me a little scared when I think about that time; I’m so grateful she’s still here. Much love and empathy from me to you & your clan.

  268. I lost a father, then a husband, and I teach a class called “The Ethics of Living and Dying” Kubler-Ross has identifed five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Not everyone goes through all 5, but the sequence is sure. Let yourself experience each stage as they come. No, nothing ill make it better…. but I promise… with time, it does not hurt so very, very much. It took me two years with each. HUGE HUG to you

  269. At first, there is this enormous hole that you fall into all the time. After a while, the hole remains and is just as big, but you don’t fall into it quite as often. You maneuver around the edges. You survive.
    Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the love of those around you. Don’t rush anything. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.
    My kindest thoughts to you and your sister.

  270. Stephanie, I wish you peace and healing at a pace that comforts you and allows you to celebrate the life of the amazing woman who gave you life.
    You had shared many stories about your Mum on the Blog, and she emerged as the most lively, adventurous and joyful human being. You were so lucky to have her, and you’ll continue to have all wonderful memories through eternity. Perhaps you willl write a book one day sharing Bonnie’s wisdom.
    If and when you feel it’s appropriate, I think many of us would like to know what felled your Mum so quickly. For our own sake and for others whom we love, it seems important to know, so we can be watchful for any symptoms or signs that a catastrophic illness may be lurking.
    Finally, I can report that even 11 years since my Mom passed, I still have days when I get up from a chair, intending to call Mom and tell her the latest, or ask her advice, or cry on her shoulder. It’s still hard, but not as bad as it was and I think that’s the best we can hope for. My sincerest sympathy for you and your large extended family.
    Lyn K.

  271. Dear Steph: You never get over missing your mother. That said, the hurt lessens over time. I still “talk” to my mother and know she is watching over me…and she’s been gone 15 years! We are very lucky to have had wonderful mothers in our lives!!! Continue to pass it on.

  272. Absolutely beautiful. Sentiment, strength and the shawl. Your words are so appreciated and often put into perspective something pertaining to my family, just as you have said “the blog” has been for yours. Bless all especially those like us missing our mum.

  273. Dear Stephanie: my heart goes out to you. I’m so so sorry you have lost your mother. Please allow yourself a lot of time to grieve. The hole in your heart won’t close in weeks, or months. Having lost a son, I can tell you that perhaps the hole will never close. You WILL be whole again, but never quite the same.
    Each time we are broken open, new awareness enters the broken places. You will understand what this means someday. In the meantime, take good care of yourself, and allow others to take care of you. Know that you are loved.
    I, too, lost my desire to knit. But one day I picked up my needles and started back in. Smiling, laughing, enjoying life, took much much longer. But know that we do survive stunning losses and the world begins to turn again. It just takes time.
    May love surround you as you walk this painful journey.
    Donna

  274. It hurts. Sometimes it will hurt less. I keep a bookmark of my moms with her name on it in my car where I see it every day, and it makes me smile. That ‘s when it doesn’t hurt. Please know that we are all sending you calming thoughts, and your extended knitting family is there with you and yours.

  275. Others have managed to summarise it much more eloquently than I can manage but I too found my knitting stopped whilst my mother was dying. In hindsight, I think we don’t realise just how much hard work knitting is when you’ve drained every reserve of everything that you have. Perhaps creating and constructing in the midst of loss is also a tough contrast to deal with.

    I also found that certain quotes about knitting on in a crisis – whilst quoted at me regularly – perhaps were not intended to apply in a tragedy or for trauma.

    Sending much love.

  276. Dear Stephanie,
    You are loved.
    I am so sorry for your loneliness and your grief. I hope that the words of the blog will comfort you and uplift you and validate you.
    The world has shifted for you. Thank you for expressing that shift so eloquently, for allowing us a glimpse into your life at this vulnerable moment. Thank you for that gift, we will treasure it.

  277. I’m feeling so much love and affection for you, all I can say is one day it won’t hurt so much. There will be good days and bad days but you keep moving forward and honor her memory by keeping it alive.

    I wish I had been knitting after my dad died, I know it would have helped. And I dread the day I lose my mom, though I know these are things we all must go through. Give that grand baby a hug and tell him stories about your mum.

  278. Life changes on a dime. My dear cousin experienced it recently just as you have. My dad’s passing was 20 years ago and yes, it does get easier – but not for a long time. I love my memories of him and that is what makes living better. Do your grieving at your own pace and don’t worry about us. Hugs from one of your readers who tries to remember to enjoy each day as it comes. I am so very sorry for your loss, Stephanie.

  279. It’s so hard, I lost my mum who died suddenly over 16 years ago and a day never passes when I don’t think about her. However one thing which kept me going was something very simple which my cousin told me on the day of the funeral. She was speaking from experience having lost her darling mum 3 years before. ‘You never get over it’ she said, ‘but you learn to live around it’. I didn’tbelieve her for a long time but she was right and you too will find a way to live without your mum. I recal knitting socks obsessively for quite a while, often in completely inappropriate yarns!
    Sending love, hugs and condolences from rainy Scotland. Axxx

  280. Dear Stephanie, I am coming up to the 18th anniversary of my mother’s death, and I agree with what many have said-the grief is like the ocean. It comes and goes in waves (still), and sometimes it is even a tsunami. There are still times when all I can do is shout “I want my mom!”, because I need her hug. Take your time in the ocean. We love you and will be your life preservers.
    Much love, Angela

  281. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother 19 years ago and I was in tears reading this and remembering. I don’t think you get over something like this but maybe that’s a good thing somehow. That means she was an important part of your life and you loved her. Hopefully you will find solace in you knitting soon. I find that I really can’t knit when I’m down.

  282. I am so sorry for your loss and your grief. Thank you for your lovely words and I hope that knitting is able to bring you some peace during this time. Sending love and hugs to you and yours.

  283. Your Mum seemed like such a great woman. I’m so sorry and heartbroken for you. I have no words of wisdom so I send love and best wishes instead.

  284. The collective wisdom of the blog is phenomenal. Love and peace, dear girl. I have to touch the umbrella – for shelter in your mum’s love

  285. When my nana died I couldn’t knit, I put Ina few stitches here and there but I couldn’t sit and knit for almost a year… even now it feels like finishing these things is like the completion of my grieving. It took so long to process all I had energy for was survival, my babies, and my husband took care of me. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  286. Stephanie – no woman is ever prepared for the loss of her mother. The fact that it was wholly unexpected and so very fast only makes it that much worse. This is the person who had the biggest impact on the wife, mother and grandmother that you have become. The person who was the repository of every story of your young life, and who never stopped thinking of you as one of her most precious gifts. Because you have been gracious enough to share so much of your life with us, we are grieving with you. I pray that eventually the hole in your heart will grow smaller, but feel compelled to tell you that it will never ever totally heal.

  287. Since the passing of time is the only thing that will really make life without your mum bearable, I wish for you a swift passing of time. However, I also wish for you to be able to enjoy the passing of that time. Lest your little Elliot grows up way too fast, your family grows older and wiser and surely you wouldn’t want to miss any of that.
    After all, life is a delicate balance of letting go and holding on.
    Peace~

  288. Reading this was like reading what happened with my mother 16 very long and sad months ago. She moved into our house with her poodle and was so happy that we made a new space for her in our home. She had a weird cough and I took her to the doctor. By her next appointment with the cardiologist she left that office in an ambulance. She was a fighter but had acquired this strange human metapneumovirus. It got into her heart and it took her from us 18 days after she moved in. She never made it home again. She so wanted her granddaughter Xandy to teach her how to spin. We were best friends and worked in photography together for many years. I still have waves of loss wash over me. I now work more with Xandy as the continuation of the mother and daughter family tradition. I work on the loss daily – I will never be the same.
    Thank you for sharing in words what I still struggle with.

  289. Knitting was my friend when my mother was in the hospital with a broken neck and wrist from a bad fall while hiking. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your lovely mother. Everyone is different, and you will find your way. Be gentle with yourself, there is no deadline for grief.

  290. I have followed your blog for several years without commenting, your Mum’s sad and sudden death has changed that. I just want to say I’m thinking of you as you find your way in this new place, without your lovely Mum but with so many people who love you and who knew and loved her too. I lost my Mum to cancer at 21, I’m now 62 and she’s still here with me in so many ways – good ways! Life will never be the same, and life will be good anyhow. X

  291. I’m so sorry for your loss. She will always be with you. Grief is a personal journey and can’t be rushed. I lost my Dad 8 years ago today and I still feel his presence and sense of humor every day. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  292. I’m tearing up after reading this – the loss of my Mom followed the same course. Sending love and prayers to you and your family <3

  293. There are no words to express my sadness at reading your post. I loved reading about the vacations you took together – the fun times you shared. My mom died in 2000 – and I will always miss her. As others have said – give yourself time – I jumped right back into my “normal” life after sitting by my mother’s side for over ten days and then having to go through her funeral by myself – my husband had just had surgery and my son was just ten and at home with his father. I shoved down my feelings and emotions to try and celebrate the big holiday that was just a few days away. Less than a month later my emotions went haywire – so be kind to yourself and give yourself time. If you need time away from us – so be it – I’ve been here for many years and I’m not going anywhere. Much love to you.

  294. My parents died 10 years ago, 9 weeks apart. You just get used to a new normal. My hardest part was 3-4 months later. I wanted to know what my mom thought about something and I went to call her on the phone and I realized that wasn’t possible. That’s when I faced the finality of their passing. Still hurts. My wish for you is peace.

  295. When i saw your email saying she was gone- I was so sad. I felt like I had lost a good friend. The picture at the beach is how I will remember her. And the next time you go there, I bet she will be there with you in spirit.
    Stay strong!

  296. Dear Stephanie
    I am a long time reader, but never posted. A small item about myself – I was a first year resident physician on the hematology-oncology service. For a month, I saw and touched so much illness and I am afraid to say, death. I took up knitting afterwards, in particular knitting for small babies of friends, to feel re-connected with life and to touch something soft that would go to new life. And I have been knitting ever since. My condolences to you and your family.

  297. Oh, I’m so sorry, you’ve always written about your mom with so much love, affection, humor, and a bit of a sense of awe — the world will be emptier without her in it. I’m so sorry.

  298. Stephanie, You will get through this, but in your own way and in your own time. Grief is unique to each and everyone of us. I know because I lost my dear Husband and soul mate last year, he had been part of my life for over fifty years.
    Some days you’re fine and think you are coping well, the next day you can’t even boil water and get it right.
    The void left by a loved one is never filled, we just learn to adapt to that space. We each in our own way learn to go on, living with the love they left behind.

    Peace and Love to you and yours.

  299. I am so sorry about your mom and that you had no advanced warning of what was to come. I lost my mom 6 years ago this month to complications from Alzheimers. When she died I had a mixed sense of sorrow and relief: relief that her suffering was over but sorrow that she was gone even though my true mom’s personality was long gone.

    My experience is so different from yours, but I can tell you that for me the hurt has faded over time. I still get sad thinking of things in my life I wish I could share with her, but the intensity of the pain is less.

    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  300. It never goes away, not completely, I think of her every day and wish I could tell her all the things, but it does get less painful. Things come along and rip it open again, but she’s my mum, I will always miss her and it should never be any different.

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  301. Stephanie – i am so sorry for loss. over the years i have enjoyed seeing your adventures with your mum. She must have been a very special lady. May you find comfort in the circle of your loved ones, sharing memories of your mum. KIMBER

  302. It’s too soon to expect yourself to feel normal again, and please don’t try to follow someone else’s timeline of when you should. Grief is not linear, nor does it follow a schedule, but it will get easier.

  303. My heart is still broken for you. It is difficult to lose your mum and you will always think ‘Mum would love this’ as I do. It never gets easier, but there will be days it is tolerable. Maybe you don’t cry when you think of her, but know she is smiling down on you. Watch for pennies. The year after my mum passed, I found at least one every day. I keep them in a special place with my jewelry. Even my kids find them, thinking ‘Grandma’s thinking about me today’. I love that. Blessing to you and yours.

  304. I join the others here, with true sorrow for your loss. My Mum died somewhat unexpectedly early two years ago (at 92, how really early was it?). I am struck by how many of the previous comments reflect exactly how I feel – that it’s a huge loss, that it hurts so much, and that eventually it gets a little better. Seasonally the loss shifts, sometimes there is relief that she’s not suffering, but always missing the “wait until Mum hears this” moments.
    Taking up a little each day helps – bike riding, knitting — it’ll get better, but take your time.
    Love to your family
    PS: I feel grateful for having read this post and having the opportunity to feel comforted in my grief by the other stories in these comments. Namaste

  305. Yet again I see parallels between your writing and my life.

    My father is about to lose his 17 month battle. I don’t think having this time has made it easier. I don’t think anyone’s experience with losing a parent is easy. In the book “When Parent’s Die” it says that losing a parent is exceptionally hard as you lose someone who loves you unconditionally.

    Thank you for showing me that there is a way through what is about to be thrust at me.

  306. SHARE
    He Was Grieving Over The Death Of His Best Friend, Until An Old Man Told Him THIS. Mind Blown.
    POSTED 2 YRS 126 COMMENTS
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    From the depths of old internet comments comes another incredible gem of a story. One user wrote the following heartfelt plea online:

    “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

    This is the best description of grief I’ve ever read. I hope it helps you. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    “I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not.
    I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents…
    I wish I could say you get used to people dying. But I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it.
    Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
    As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
    In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
    Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
    Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too.
    If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

  307. You came to North Carolina a couple of years ago and changed my knitting life. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother ten years ago. Grieve your own way. She must have been a wonderful mother, but you are a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. I will be praying for you and your family.

  308. Sending grace an healing thoughts and prayers to you and your family. My deepest condolences on the loss of your Mum. (We met at your book launch at Lord and Taylor in NYC many years ago).

  309. Although I love her dearly, I had a very difficult relationship with my Mother and felt like I “lost” her many years before she died. We may have fundamentally disagreed on some things however I could always ring her & have a great conversation.
    We would discuss politics, sewing, knitting, dog ownership and many other things. She was as sharp as a tack to the end.
    My Mother was an amazing seamstress, excellent knitter, great cook & I miss her every day in ways I could never have imagined.
    I think it takes enormous courage to feel & express our emotions. It is much healthier to allow ourselves to feel than to suppress & pretend that everything is just fine.
    Grief takes the time it takes.
    You will never be the same & why should you be? You have lost & that person can never be replaced nor forgotten.
    It does however get different. We can only be kind to ourselves & let it happen.
    May the love of your family & friends give you the strength you need in these difficult times.

  310. My deep condolences for the loss of your mother. Grief takes as long as it takes, and the first year will be hard. When my son was critically ill, I decided I couldn’t knit anything that would remind me of this period in time, however it turned out. I decided I have to give those things away. The last thing I want is to think as I’m getting dressed is, oh yes, I was knitting those socks while my son was critically ill (he recovered). They are forever associated with a sad time. The recipients don’t know that. (I do however have socks I knitted on trips that I associate with those happy times.) Do charity knitting for a while. You can knit and not have to be reminded every time you see the finished product

  311. Hugs for you and your family Stephanie. I don’t have your way with words but I’ve been there and understand. It hurts but it does dull with time. You can do it.

  312. My mother died December 7th 2002. My own Pearl Harbor Day. As a middle child never married my Mom was my biggest fan. Which is not to say she agreed with everything I did. She gave me some of the best advice and some of the worst advice I have ever had. But she let me make my own decisions and helped me live with them. I wasn’t blind to her faults, she wasn’t blind to mine. But we loved each other like a mother and child, like friends too. We respected each other, supported each other. I am the strong and independent woman that she and my father raised me to be. She got pneumonia after 4 pneumonia vaccinations. She had told me, 2 weeks before she died, that she missed my father every day for 13 years. When she finally agreed to go to the hospital, she told me,”they say I’ll go home Monday”. I knew she had a different plan. She died the next day before 10 a.m. I am sorry for your pain, but from what I have read, you have had, and are, an amazing mother. What blessings we have had. I wish you peace

  313. Dear Stephanie, I have had more than a couple dreams where I am visiting with someone who has passed. I hope you have that experience. So sorry for the loss of your mum. Take care.

  314. As you move forward, some days will be diamonds; others, stone. The ache and the emptiness remain, but grow less persistent. And slowly, you’ll find that you can breathe again without feeling like you and your world will shatter with each exhale. You’ll begin to feel your Mother’s presence in the minutia of your life, and know that she’s with you, even if you can’t reach out and hug her. Give yourself time to heal, and space to grieve. Be gentle with yourself, and know we’re here with you and grieve for your loss right along with you. Many HUGS to you and yours.

  315. My own experience suggests that those beautiful things become even more precious as the years roll by, simply because they were made at a time of great sadness. A shawl, especially, is like a hug when you can’t be there to do it yourself.

    I’m here adding to the collective hug that the Blog is sending you. X

  316. So much wisdom in the comments above..
    I’m sending you a poem that I came back to again and again when my mother died in 2014 – she would have loved that fact that it was written by a 17th century feminist, which sounds about right for your family too:

    Great Nature clothes the soul, which is but thin,
    With fleshly garments, which the Fates do spin;
    And when these garments are grown old and bare,
    With sickness torn, Death takes them off with care,
    And folds them up in peace and quiet rest,
    And lays them safe within an earthly chest:
    Then scours them well and makes them sweet and clean,
    Fit for the soul to wear those clothes again.

    Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, 1653

  317. Dear Stephanie remember that you are the product of your mother, 50% of your DNA is hers so she will always be with you physically as well as in shared memories. Love eternal.XOXOX

  318. Steph, grieving is a very personal process. It will take time, you will have to be patient with yourself and yes, there are days when you will think that you will never be “all right” or happy again. Slowly, life will become gentler, and you will find yourself at a better place. Meanwhile, yes, doing “sane” things even if your heart isn’t into it is a good thing. Am sending you as many positive thoughts and hugs as I can muster.

  319. What you are feeling is completely normal. That doesn’t make it suck any bit less, but it’s what happens. I can’t tell you much of anything that happened the first winter after my mother died–it’s just a big blank. And her passing was not a surprise, and was more of a sense that she had finally been freed from a body she was trapped in. Didn’t make grieving any less intense.

    You’ll get through, and talking about it is okay, and helps. Many hugs to you.

  320. Oh Stephanie, I am so so sad and sorry about your mum. I broke my femur and haven’t been at the computer until today, so my condolences are later, but still heartfelt. I’ve not been knitting, and understand the way you’ve been feeling. But I have been looking at my knitting basket the last two days, so I think it’s returning, the need to hold yarn and needles. I send love and hugs to you and to your family, in this sudden loss. Be easy on yourself. Do what you need to do, and let others help you. I’m learning that, too. Dear Stephanie, I am so sorry. Love and hugs

  321. I am so very sorry, and wish there were words that could actually ease your pain a bit. Know that you and your family are in my prayers and are loved by so very many.

  322. I am so sorry for you. I lost my mom about 40 years ago, and it was fast and unexpected. She was a hale and hardy 37 year old with 4 kids, myself being the oldest. May God bless you and your family during this time!

  323. My grandmother wrote this in about 1925, when her father died while she was in college. My brother discovered literally the day before we interred her daughter’s, my mother’s, ashes. All my sympathies to you and yours.

    First Grief

    Be not afraid, dear love, of this the night;
    All nights have ending, every dawn is sure.
    Think not that with one snuffing of the light
    Day dies forever. Worlds and suns endure.
    Because your eyes can see no color where
    The dark has dimmed the garden into gray,
    Are roses duller, or the scarlet flare
    Of wind-blown poppies cooler than by day?
    The world is all unchanged and will again
    Gleam golden to the sun. Nor will these hours
    When darkness veils all color, and your pain
    Gathers the incandescence of white flowers,
    Be all ungrateful to remember when
    The night is gone and day relumed again.

    Dorothy Tait

  324. Dear Steph, dear your family, my best wishes to you all, so sad. I feel with you, my very deep condolences.
    No words can descrieb the loss of our Mamis, pls feel very huged.
    I am afraid the day comes to me, I treasure every minute with my parents since a car accident 12 years ago. I am only 36, my parents 74 today.
    My love and thoughts are with you,
    Greetings from Berlin, Germany,
    Yours Svenja
    Dear Steph’s Mum, rest in peace :-*

  325. Don’t be hard on yourself and let it go the way you need it to go. It took my sister and I over a year when we lost our Mom…and one day we were talking and realized the world was still spinning, the sun was shining and well, you know. It was like we woke up from a bad dream…mom was still gone but we both grieved deeply during that time and found we now could move in our lives again.

  326. There is so much that is common in the experience of grief, and yet it is different for everyone. When my mother died suddenly, I spent six months in despair, shock, and anger. Then I saw photographs of myself, miserable, in the midst of a holiday party, and I said “enough.” It has been a long four years since then, but that was the turning point. Be gentle with yourself, and take as much time as you need. Or push through with fire and laughter, if that’s what feels right. So sorry for your loss.

  327. My life is divided into “when I had my Mom” and “since Mom died.” My Mom was sick for 18 months, but knowing it was coming didn’t make it any easier. I lasted two months at my job and then I quit (it was a job I was struggling with anyway) because getting out of bed every day took a lot of energy. I learned to focus on today, and as that got easier, I could focus on two days, then three, and so on. Take it slowly and be kind to yourself.

    • This poem was read at my Mom’s memorial service, and it’s still the one that comes to mind when I think about losing her. Like your Mum, my Mom loved the ocean and the open water. I hope this helps.

      Parable of immortality
      ( A ship leaves . . .)
      by Henry (Jackson) Van Dyke
      1852 – 1933

      I am standing by the seashore.
      A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
      and starts for the blue ocean.
      She is an object of beauty and strength,
      and I stand and watch
      until at last she hangs like a peck of white cloud
      just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

      Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!
      Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all.

      She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
      as she was when she left my side
      and just as able to bear her load of living freight
      to the places of destination.
      Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

      And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
      ‘There she goes! ‘ ,
      there are other eyes watching her coming,
      and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
      ‘Here she comes!’

  328. My dear Stephanie- I think of grief like an ocean. With waves that overwhelm and suck you down into its depths. But also lets you float and catch your breath sometimes. This ocean never fully disappears but as time passes the amount you spend floating is longer and longer and you can safely dip down for memories that comfort and connect you to your loss. I had two significant losses, my father-in-law and my dad 4 months apart several years ago. I thought I would drown in that ocean but I didn’t. We are made to grieve and we are made to survive our deepest losses as painful as even surviving might feel at times. My very deepest condolences for the loss of your mom. Hold on to all the comforts you can and you will find your new normal again in time. Love, Marianne

  329. I’m so sorry for your loss. It will get better, but it will take a long, long while to feel normal again. Grieve in your own way and your own time. The shawl is lovely.

  330. Prayers and Hugs. So sorry to hear about the passing of your Mum. I lost my Mom a few years ago and still miss her today. It took me a long time to realize she is no longer here to see or hug or speak with. It takes time. I am so glad you could be there with her. She is thankful for that. Prayers and hugs. Take the time you need. Talk about her and share the memories. It does help.

  331. Your post brought back so many memories. We lost my mother over ten years ago. the grieving process was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had moments of high function and other episodes that left me feeling overwhelmed with sorrow over her loss. My only advice is to be kind to yourself, stay close to your family and friends and celebrate the small moments. It is the stringing together of those small moments that helped me. it will get better but you will always miss her. it is the price of love.

  332. Oh, Stephanie, my heart aches for you. Keep breathing, keep loving, be kind to yourself. I hope you feel all the love coming at you. xxoo

  333. Dear Stephanie, I’ve been away from my computer for awhile, and could not believe your loss. My sweet husband of 49 years also died on August 31, just about three weeks ago, too. I feel as though he’s just visiting the hospital again, or out somewhere – but definitely not dead. I’m numb, until someone says something, or I read the poem one of your blog members posted (we had it on his memorial cards), and the tears begin to flow. I miss him so…
    You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers as you work through this loss. I am so very sorry!

  334. I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish you comfort and peace, and happy memories of your mom. I lost my mom in 2008, I returned to knitting in my grief after many years away. Your work is a touch of beauty in the sadness, I hope.

  335. The day you posted this was the day my Daddy died, shockingly, unexpectedly after a three week illness. I don’t knit, I wish I had learned. I understand it to be soothing. My friend sent me this link today so that I will understand I am not alone, someone else is feeling just how I’m feeling right now. I told her today that I can’t find my fun-loving self anyehere. She just isn’t here. She assures me we will look together for her when I’m ready. Thank you for helping me not be alone. The shawl is gorgeous, what a gift you have. Blessings I send to you…

  336. It has been almost 7 years since my mom suddenly got sick with a blood cancer. No cure. She almost died that week in the hospital. One year later she did pass away. We had time. She suffered that year more than any of us even know. My daughter decided to join our family 9 months later. I was able to tell her she was going to be a grandma. My daughter is the only thing that has kept my dad sane. 6 years and I still think about her and it is hard. Not the mind numbing crying while is sit in the shower because no one can see my tears kind of crying. 5 years after I hung a picture of my mom where I could see it every day. I couldn’t handle it before then. 2 years out I could talk to others about it. It sucks and it always will.
    Take time and be kind to yourself. We are here for you.

  337. I’m usually never one to comment, but I lost my dad in January and what you wrote rang so true that, as I sit here with tears in my eyes, I couldn’t NOT write. The same lack of desire to knit happened to me, the same emptiness. There’s nothing I could type that would make this better, but I am so sorry for your loss and (I know you already know this) you are not alone.

  338. I am so very sorry that you’ve lost your mum. The love of a mother is one of the most beautiful things in this world and when you’re away from their presence, the loss is an intense one. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

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