But Without the Fever

I have suffered, over the last week or so, what I’ve come to think of as a “grief relapse”.  It feels like having malaria, the initial illness was terrible, but over time I’ve gotten better, and then once in a while, out of the blue, here it is – surfacing again as I try to go about my business.  Sometimes I don’t know what causes it – and sometimes I have a pretty good idea. This time, I know the exact moment.  I have loads of my mum’s clothes. We were almost the same size, and when Erin and I went through her things, I took home a lot. Some of them I will never wear, I know that, and others I’ve been starting to put on from time to time. Easy things – the occasional pair of shoes, a tee shirt… I’ve been wearing her summer robe, I feel like her when I wrap it around me, and I see how my body is a bit like hers, and it has been a comforting connection. Then there are the big ticket items – things I took not just because they remind me of her, but because they’re lovely intersections between the style she loved and the style I like. Mostly we had different styles, mum and me. Mum loved interesting and bold clothes, and I’m a little more restrained, but I think she would like that I’ve tried to be nervier since she died. Tried to take some of the advice she gave me all my life.  (A little colour by your face wouldn’t kill you dear.)

From time to time, I go into the closet where I’ve got her things, (the things of hers that aren’t mine yet) and I look at them and see if I’m yet in a place where I can put them on. Last week, as the weather turned, and fall set in, and it got to be cooler, I went back to the closet, and I looked at her stuff, and I saw a shirt I really loved, one that’s mostly her, but a little me, and I actually smiled thinking of her. (This is, by the way, big news. Feeling the grief give way to happy remembrance in moments has been a tremendous relief. Everybody said it would happen eventually, but I thought you were all liars.) I reached out, and took the hanger down, and as I brought it towards me, the smell of her hit me. In that moment, I can’t describe my feelings, except to say that I missed her terribly.  It still seems impossible to me in those moments that I won’t ever see her again. I pressed that cloth to my face and inhaled her, wishing desperately for the real thing, and I wanted her back. For one wild moment, I wanted to call out to her, and I think I even said “Oh Mum come back” as I dissolved.  Then I hung the shirt up, pulled myself together and blew my nose, and the moment of crisis was over, but it was just the moment that I relapsed.

It’s lingered – the feeling of simply missing her. We’ve staggered through another holiday without her, this Thanksgiving a little easier than the last one, when we were still so shocked and freshly wounded, with no practice at filling in the mum shaped hole in our worlds. Our Anniversary came and went, without my mum dropping off a gift or calling, and in a terrible blow – two of the plants I moved from her garden to mine dropped dead without so much as a warning.  (I blame the raccoons, which is sort of fitting. My mother hated the damn raccoons.)

These relapses, when they come, are hard on my productivity. it’s like moving through mud (which is a big improvement from trying to move through cement, which is what it was like in the beginning, so I guess I’m hopeful that things will keep changing.) Everything takes a little more energy, like something’s been added to my to-do list every day.  Put in laundry, send email, miss mum, organize retreat, pick up groceries, miss mum, pack for Rhinebeck, go to Bike Rally meeting, miss mum, drop off mail, buy Elliot shoes, miss mum…. it just takes up so much time, like having a whole other job.

The fog is receding now, the work of it, anyway, and I’m settling back down. (Not ready to open that closet again though. Think I’ll give it a miss for a while.) The blanket (man is it ever taking forever) is still on the needles…

I can show you the finished shawl I knit while I was in my cast though – I think of this as my broken wrist shawl, though it’s properly called “Love and Darkness” which is appropriate I think, since it’s a present for Christmas for someone I love, and I knit it while working through a personal bit of darkness.

It’s normally the sort of thing I’d be able to bang out in no time at all, but one handed, even on big needles (5mm) and out of big yarn (the very delicious Fleece Artist BFL Aran) it took the whole time I was in the cast – one very, very tedious month.

I’ve come to think of this shawl as the thing that put me behind on two deadline driven things – the blanket and the shawl I’m starting this weekend, more about that tomorrow.) And despite it being linked with a period of real frustration, I absolutely love it.

I hope you’re all well, and sorry for the radio silence. It was kinda like I had malaria.

(PS. I continue to waffle around writing about missing mum.  I feel like I’m always going on about it, and even “in real life” I edit much of my talk about her. Last night, speaking with a friend, I mentioned it briefly, scanning his face the whole time for signs that he’s sick of it, or that I’m not fun, that it won’t be nice. I didn’t see that, but I worry about it so much that I keep it to myself, as much as I am able.  I’m a person who’s pretty good at sorting things out on my insides anyway. That said, several times over the last year – when I’ve been somewhere, like Knit City or a class, one of you will approach me, and say that it’s been helpful to you to hear about what this process is like. That you lost someone around when I did, and that you feel less alone and more hopeful when I write about it.  So, I’m trying to set aside those other feelings sometimes, and give in to the urge to write about it when I am able, and I want those of you must surely be sick to damn death of… well, death… that I’m sorry, but those of us in the mud have to stick together a bit. I’ll try to balance it with yarn. Peace out.)

299 thoughts on “But Without the Fever

  1. Stephanie, the Shawl is lovely. And as for your comments about being reluctant to speak about your mum, never let your worry stop you from speaking out about her. Not to speak about those we love who have died is to give the impression that they never were, or that we didn’t care deeply for them, and that would be a mistake.

  2. Dear Stephanie,
    The loss never leaves you, it just gets easier to bear. I lost my father 40 years ago this past August. I was a little kid. I still cry. Don’t think you have to hide your grief. It’s learning to live another way. I think I have a certain perspective on life because my life changed and had to deal with it. There will still be good times, they just look a little different.

    • Monique, you have said beautifully what I was struggling to. I still get for my dad, too, and he not uncommonly pops up in my dreams. Special people should always be missed.

      • Couldn’t agree more! My mom died in a car accident in 1962. I was 8. It sucked. It still sucks. I went through thinking I should be “over it,” but that’s garbage. Of course I miss her. My grandmother lost her first child to diptheria weeks before the vaccine came out in 1927. She never got over it. She died at 98 with a picture of her baby in her room. She moved on, continued living, obviously, but it stays with you. It just does. It’s the cost of love.

  3. Be gentle. Be patient with yourself. Grief well it takes as much time as it takes. There is no right way. It still hits me at weird times and places four years on. Thank you for sharing this very personal journey with us.

    • My mum passed almost eight years ago and there are still times I am overwhelmed with missing her. It does get easier, you learn to get used to a world that is a bit different and you smile at some of the memories and you cry at times. Be gentle with yourself and know that we understand and the balance you strike between yarn and writing about your mum will be the right one, for you….you bring a great deal of happiness/joy/fun to a lot of people.

  4. Steph, I’ve written before to say what a help your writing been to me since I lost my dear Mom just shortly before you lost yours. Now my two dogs are gone too (at 15 years old each). I am lonely and missing them all. I do get visits in dreams, though, which usually help. Except when I wake up and they’re not with me. Please do keep sharing your experience of grief–and you may be compiling them into another book that will help enormous numbers of readers. Blessedly I still have my husband and my sisters, and a son and nephews and nieces, who give me a reason to carry on. So do you, dear, and also the enormous happiness of a grandchild’s generation. Please keep on writing.

    • oh, I agree so much… a book would be an incredible gift to so many who have faced (or are facing) similar loss.

      please know, Stephanie, that we don’t get tired of hearing your thoughts on your Mom. in this, as with everything, we love that you share your heart with us. it’s the main reason we’re drawn to you. you feel like our sister, our best friend… we love you, and we don’t want you to feel you have to shelter us from any piece of you.

      • “please know, Stephanie, that we don’t get tired of hearing your thoughts on your Mom. in this, as with everything, we love that you share your heart with us. it’s the main reason we’re drawn to you. you feel like our sister, our best friend… we love you, and we don’t want you to feel you have to shelter us from any piece of you”

        This is exactly what I came to the comments to say, but written so much better than I ever could.

        • Me too! I (luckily) haven’t faced a similar loss, but am still honored by your willingness to share your life. Your openness is part of what makes you a wonderful writer. Even for those of us who aren’t currently experiencing grief, your story is still important to us.

          • Me three, and I’m sure that goes for the rest of us. I don’t come to your blog with expectations, I come to connect with the little bit of you that you’re generous enough to share with the rest of us: funny, sad, frustrated, determined or joyous. We’re here for *you*, so be the “you” you are and don’t censor yourself on our account.

        • Everyone has said it and seconded and thirded it, but i wanted to add my agreement for numbers’ sake just so you know it’s not just a handful of people who feel this way. It’s most of us.

  5. My mother passed when I was 21 years old, which was 17 years ago now. There are still things that set me off, though they are far less frequent now, though they’re harder to predict. And what hasn’t set me off in the past might set me off tomorrow, and vice verse.

    It’s all difficult and it’s been made more difficult by this notion that we’re not allowed to grieve however long we need to. I have my own grief schedule, thanks; I don’t need to adhere to whatever schedule you’ve laid out for me.

    With all that said, you continue to do you, Boo.

    • I resonate with this so much. My mother died when I was 19, and it’s been about 24 years. And just exactly as you said, there are still things that make me miss her like air one day, and another day I might only feel a little wistful.

      Anyway, I just wanted to share that your experience sounds so very much like mine. ::solidarity fistbump::

        • Me too. My mom died when I was 21, which is 26 years ago. And I also am struck with grief at times. I just miss her. Thanks for sharing. Stephanie I really can relate to you being afraid your boring people. I felt that way, sometimes I still do. Because for everyone else, life keeps going, but you’re stopped in time, stuck in cement, as you put it. But they want to know and want to share what you’re going through. It always helps me when I imagine I am my friend on the other side of the table. Would I want me to hold back?
          I want to say again that your sharing has been a gift. Thank you.

          • My mom died Christmas Eve the year I was 16, which is 50, yes 50 years ago. I still want to tell her things, seek her counsel and have the joy of a person who loves you like a mom. But it is much smoother now. Please don’t censor yourself. We love sharing the part of you that you share with the Blog.

  6. Please don’t hold back writing about your Mum or your grief. Your post today touched me deeply and helped me as I trudge through my own depression. And the light and darkness pattern –how even more lovely the light spaces are because of the dark squares! Your knitting and writing are both such a blessing❤️

  7. Yes, please keep talking about it. My mom just got a terminal cancer diagnosis in September; hearing about this terrible process that we all have to go through has gone from “helpful in the abstract” to “shit shit shit, helpful in a concrete way”. Thank you for sharing.

  8. My dad passed in ’94 and every now and then I swear I smell his pipe tobacco. When I do, I’m instantly back in that mix of grief and nostalgia that accompanies all losses forever. <3

    The shawl is stunning.

  9. The memory filled smells… when my grandmother passed away almost two years ago, my parents cleaned out her house and gave back to me the things I’d given to her over the years. In particular a scarf and a shawl. both of which I immediately sealed in plastic bags in hopes that I can open them up in the future and still smell her walking by.
    Sometimes I’m in the grocery store and I smell lavender soap and I stop and soak it all in. Lavender was her favorite. I try to smile and dig up a good memory of her, but often I just want to sob right there in the soap aisle.
    And so so many times in the year since my grandfather died, I have said “darn it, I wish you could come back! I have a question about this plant and that plant and that other one I want to buy, but I need advice before I go sticking it any old where in my back yard. I wish you were here to help.” And I tell myself that he left us knowing that we now have the tools to answer those questions without him. we may not know the answers just yet, but with his help, we learned how to find the answers.
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us about your mum. She was a wonderful lady who departed this world too soon.

  10. I don’t know how helpful this will be but here is how I see it:
    We are women who have lost our moms and we are demonstrating to our daughters how to some day survive being women who have lost THEIR moms. It would be wrong of us to teach them to carry on like nothing had happened. Because when we are gone, a huge chunk of their lives will also be gone and they deserve to get to feel that right out in the open. I read an article about how this person wouldn’t tell a waiter that her own food was prepared incorrectly but would TOTALLY tell the waiter if her friend’s food wasn’t correct. And while I absolutely believe that we should stand up for ourselves, if it makes it easier on us to stand up for our daughters, then we can do that.
    I am currently teaching my daughters how to survive the breakup of a 12 year marriage AND the loss of a mother simultaneously, and while I hope that nothing like this ever happens to either of them, if they do have to endure two personal tragedies at the same time and something utterly wrecks them one day, I pray that I will have amply taught them how to be completely ok and utterly devastated at the same time.

    • So beautifully put, it really resonated with me. Thank you for taking the time to write this. (And to you, Stephanie, keep writing about it, too!)

    • I was holding it together after reading Stephanie’s post but your words brought the tears. We want so much to spare our children any pain, knowing they will someday live with the pain of losing us. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Oh, Hon. Come sit by me. You tell me everything you want to about your Mum and I’ll tell you about mine. She died (gah I hate using that word) in May this year and Your writing has helped me get through some of the worst of it. A few weeks ago I asked on Rav if grief is like a low grade depression. And everyone said yes. One thing that helped a bit was a change of scenery for a few days. Family went on a trip and it helped bring me out of a period of being stuck. As does getting further along on the probate stuff. Mom and Dad’s anniversary on Sept 1 was tough and the holidays are looming. Which reminds me I need to set up our family “altar” for All Saints and All Souls Days. That helps too, having a special place to put the pictures and honor those we loved. Hugs.

  12. You are not alone in this process. I know you must be sick of hearing this because I’m sick of it being told to me.
    I lost my brother last year. It was unexpected and I was the one that found him, which adds another level of grief. He was the last of my family, yet another level of farewell.
    My dear friend, who has gone through this process in her life, tells me that grief will find you, no matter what you are doing at the moment.
    As you have done, I had to clean out his house, dispose of his things, and choose what I wanted to keep, knowing that I could change my time at any time about what I wanted to keep.
    like you, I managed Christmas, birthdays, and the anniversary of his death ok. And I mean that; just ok.
    I have a theory that I’m applying to my life, now in my mid- sixties. I think of our lives as a weave on a loom. My sorrow and grief will not change and I think that it’s a deeper color in my weave. Not darker, not black, but deeper colors…more russets, and dark mustards and if I go through this transition well, that of course other losses will occur, and ….grin…lovely additions of new life will become strands. Not in my family, of course, but in my circle of friends who are having additions to their lives. Pets, grandkids, new interests; all get added to my weave. And…. my weave must continue to add those colors- no grays, charcoals, or black.
    Please keep writing about these things that deepen us and hold us together.

    • When I reflect on the events in my life, births An deaths Anne everything in between, I will remember your weaving metaphor.

  13. My father died 15 years ago, and it hit me yesterday that I am closer now to the age he died than my mother is (12 yrs younger vs 15 yrs older). His loss still hits me every now and then, and its always out of the blue, often triggered by a smell or an image or a food that he would love. We all either have or will lose a parent – I think the Blog is more patient than you think with talking of your Mum.

  14. I just want to say I’m not sick of hearing about your mum. Sometimes I cry when I read those posts, because I miss my dead too. Post about it when you want. Anyway it’s your bog.

  15. No need to apologize whatsoever! We lost a nephew, who came back from Afghanistan, to suicide last year, and our Mom just this past August 2nd. The grief can be so overwhelming, but for those of us left– sometimes the only thing we have is to hold onto and uphold each other. Thanks for letting us hold onto you through sharing your story–we will support you through your grief with our understanding and “knitterly” friendship:) (Love the Light and Darkness Shawl!)

  16. Please continue to be yourself. I’ve always loved your family posts best, even when they were sad. I can understand the feeling that people might be tired of hearing about your mum, but I can’t imagine us, The Blog, feeling that way at all. For me, The Blog feels like a big family, and listening to family is special. And never can be tiresome to me.

  17. Please keep writing about your grief journey, and know that so many people empathize with you. You and your Mum were so dear to each other, and there will be many waves of grief for the person who loved you so deeply and is now gone. My mother died 11 years ago, and I miss her a lot — especially earlier this month when my daughter got married. Had a few good cries in the week leading up to the wedding, but laughed and danced and sang when the big day came.

  18. Stephanie, please keep writing about your Mom for us. My mother is 96, and has a 1 minute memory. I will really worry when I call and she doesn’t know my voice .
    Forgive me if this is TMI… When my dear friend was dying of cancer at age 45, I asked her if she would come back to me after she died. She said if she could come back to anyone she would come to me. On the morning of her funeral, she did. I thought at first it was my daughter standing there. She would have looked the same in the dim light of my room I realized that it was my friend when she moved between the chair and the wall where there wasn’t any space, and left.
    I agree with so many of the above letters to you. You have been in my life for years now, and I appreciate you more than you can know.
    Your shawl is amazing! I can’t even fathom how you did it with one hand.

    • My mom is 94, legally blind, and now can’t hear very well—most likely because she refuses to let them remove the wax build-up in her ears. Even though she cannot understand me on the phone unless she knows what I am going to say. Our conversations consist of me telling her what the temperature will be overnight and that I love her. Those she can understand. I am 600 miles away and it is breaking my heart. My dad passed 6 years ago, which meant she had to move into assisted living near my brother.

  19. Stephanie,
    There are no time limits for grief. It is what it is and each of us acts differently. Triggered by different things at different times. No guilt for sharing amongst your blog friends. We are here for you and never tire of the stories you tell of your mum. I want to give you a big ol’ Knitterly hug right now and if I see you at Rhinebeck, I will.
    The shawl is beautiful!

  20. Hi Stephanie,

    I’m a loyal reader and fan though I never comment…I figure I’m just one of many that will get lost in the shuffle (even though I know you do your best to reply to folks)! I have appreciated reading about your mom and the things in your life that you let us readers in on. I, too, lost my mom, though a long time ago. I was 20; I’m now 43. I still miss her, though time has healed things such that now I relish any memory of her I can find. I’m a mom now too, of two daughters (ages 5 and 9). I love reading that you, a full-fledged grownup who has grown children can still miss your mom when she leaves you. I was a young 20 when my mom died and it was rough. I’m not sure if what it would be like now. It took me a long time to go through my mom’s stuff and now whenever I come across something she had or bought or had a hand in in any way it’s even harder to get rid of. (Which is why my basement is the disaster that it is!)

    This is my lengthy way of saying, keep talking about her, keep remembering, grieve when you need to, and it will get better. Talk about her to those you love, and it will help keep the memory of her alive.


  21. The first year is really hard, especially the first annivesary. The tenth anniversary of my dad’s passing is coming up in a month. It takes a while, but eventually I found I could let the memories come without too much upset. No, you don’t talk about your mum too much. We’ve (the blog) fine with it. She is/was a really classy lady.

  22. Dear, dear Stephanie, please don’t stop writing about the things in your heart. Remember that if someone doesn’t want to read them, they can choose not to. But if you don’t write them, those of us who need to hear them will miss out on so much. I agree with those who have called The Blog another family. Families deal with things together. We hold you in prayers, send you positive thoughts and want to be supportive as you proceed to live the life that you have.

    The shawl is beautiful and how you managed to knit it with your injuries is amazing to me. Another line to draw – grieving and living through our grief. Scent is one of our most evocative senses. My mother has been gone for twenty years now and scent is one of the strongest memories. Another thing that hits me is when I find something with her handwriting on it. Grief doesn’t go away, but we do begin to heal.

    • The scents, yes (of baking bread, apple pie, etc.) but – oh – the handwriting. I have a lot of her recipes and when I pull them out to make something of “hers”, I feel that pull on my heart.

      I also have her 2 double boilers and when I make lemon pie with those pots – wow – she’s right there with me – even after 16 years.

      There is healing in seeing and using those things.
      Chris S in Canada

  23. Please don’t feel like you have to hold back, or not write the things you need to write.

    It’s been almost 18 years since my grandpa died. Seeing his pictures on the walls doesn’t get to me… but recently I came across something with his handwriting on it and that did it, there I was crying over a VHS tape in the back of the closet.

    Much love to you.

  24. No, honey, you don’t talk too much about her, about grieving. Besides being a hymn to her, it is for all the ones we’ve lost.
    Sharing her and your grieving self is helping us all heal in our own ways. Community helps. Thank you.

  25. There are reasons they are called cliches – because they are true. And yes, it will get easier over time (the smile when thinking about mum) and soon you will be able to open that closet door and smile even more and think about the good times when you saw her wearing that shirt or sweater or shawl. And we don’t mind hearing about it – it’s cathartic to talk about your feelings.
    The shawl is beautiful by the way!! Who knew you could knit with (what felt like) one hand held behind your back. You are amazing.

  26. Write about you Mom if it helps you. In a crazy way, it helps me to read it. I still have my Mom, but she is 92 and I know I am on borrowed time. I look forward to your posts because the authenticity of your voice resonates, no matter what you are writing about. I’ve never met you, and may never meet you, but I know you so well, and love you so much, because you let us into your life. You are a knitting inspiration, a laugh out loud comedian, and a role model as you do so much to help others. We are here for you, and the Blog is here for us. Thanks!

  27. Agree – keep writing. I am so fortunate to still have my Mom at 87 (she not me) and your comments remind me to be grateful every day – I feel like I already was but reading your blog makes it even more focused. Thank you for sharing…

  28. You are among friends here. We are a safe sounding board and writing about your mum is a healthy way to deal with her death.Talk to us as much as you need to.

  29. Amazing shawl and done in a short time under difficult circumstances!
    As for the grieving process of losing a loved one, I can say, “Welcome to the human race.” We love people and we lose them. It’s universal, and it’s painful. You have lots of company. It hurts for a long time, but every time you are feeling the feelings (as sad and miserable as they can be), you are actually healing. Be gentle with yourself.

  30. Don’t keep it bottled up. My son-in-law never talks about the mother he lost, so consequentially his children know almost nothing about their grandmother (who would have loved them dearly).

  31. Stephanie, when my sister’s baby died, we found out that grief is a lot like labor, only ot works in the opposite direction. Her labor started out with light contractions, short and far apart, and as time went on (as you know these things do) got harder, longer and closer together. Grief starts out with hard, fast and long contractions and they gradually get lighter and briefer, but I am sure that everyone’s grief is as different as every birth.
    When I read about your mother’s passing last year, I immediately sat down to knit my mom some socks. And then knit my mother-in-law a pair.

  32. Thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie. As someone who has not yet lost my parents, or my in-laws for that matter, your writing about your mom helps me to remember to cherish them as much as possible while I can.

  33. Thank you for sharing. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who gets stopped dead in her tracks, sideswiped by grief that’s circled around for another pass.

  34. Your feelings are your feelings. Your blog is your blog. We’re here with you because we choose to be here with you.

    You can stop apologizing.

    • Hear, hear!
      Grief is a part of being human. Please don’t gag parts of your humanness for fear we will reject them – or you.
      Yes, knitting is our common ground, but grief is common to all humanity, sooner or later. (And it’s not as though you swore on your mother’s grave never to knit again.)

    • Just to add another “yes” to Presbytera. A brief glance through the comments shows that you’re helping hundreds of people articulate their own grief– and even if you weren’t, this is still YOUR place to write what you need to write.

      And, frankly, I love reading about your mother, and I always have. She sounds wonderful, and your descriptions make me smile and choke up at the same time.

      Keep on writing what you need to write, and don’t apologize!

  35. I remember al the times people listened to me when I lost my father. Friendship got me through the loss. I will always listen with love to anyone grieving. This is what we do for people. Please do not try to keep it inside. Sharing your grief will help you through it.

  36. Stephanie,
    If this isn’t a safe place for you to share your feelings, then what place is? We, The Blog, a collective, are here for you.

    Grief is real, and it isn’t something that can easily be put into a box and shoved in the back of a closet to be ignored. So, please, do not feel guilty or selfish or unsafe sharing your feelings with us. They are *your* feelings, and getting them all out is supposed to help you heal and move on (not in a bad way where you forget, but in that good way where fond memories overcome the sadness), and that takes time. You writing helps us get through some of our own feelings, whether they are because we feel for you, or we are reliving our own grief, or trying to appreciate what we have while we still have it.

    So, write on, and we will continue sending you all the love, support, and virtual hugs that we can.

    • Stephanie,

      Talk about death all that you want to. Those who have been through it understand, and the rest will and your words will help prepare them for that eventuality.

      I love the shawl. I have arthritis so smaller needles and lighter weight yarns often are uncomfortable to work with. However, that shawl looks doable and beautiful.

      Thank you for sharing.

  37. Let me just wipe away a little tear.
    The process you are describing is universal, but still different, for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to cope. You do it your way, as you can slowly figure that out. Thank you for opening your heart to us here on the blog.

    I lost my dad 33 years ago, and I still miss him a lot.

  38. I agree with everyone who says it’s your blog and you can write what you want.

    My father-in-law died unexpectedly just two months ago. I now think back to some of your posts from the past year and see parallels to our lives now. In my experience, grief isn’t talked about enough. It gets tucked away in an effort not to bother people. It helps me to read these posts, both with my grief and to understand my husband’s.

  39. We all have our own mud, and we come here seeking yours. It makes the world a bit less lonely. In all of the years I have been reading your blog, not a single post has ever made me feel bored or think that you shouldn’t have shared. You’re the kind of writer I aspire to be, and the kind of knitter I wish I could be, don’t change, share any time you like. x

  40. Please keep writing! We all need to show our children how to grieve, and that it’s OK to come out the other side, still grieving but whole again. I had no idea how to cope when my father died 23 years ago. I muddled through alone and it was awful When my mother died a year ago, my siblings and I were there, together, and it was so much better. Not easy, but not alone.

    Now, I hope I am giving my children a example of courage as we all face my husband’s family decline. But it doesn’t work if we are silent. If we don’t share our fears and our grief, we make them bigger and more terrifying. And that starts with us, showing our children how we feel so they can figure out how they feel.

  41. Please do not feel like you ever need to stop talking about how wonderful your mother was or how much you miss her. You are very lucky to have had such a close relationship with her — something that not everyone is lucky enough to have — and you are never not going to miss her. Your grief will get to the point where isn’t not so debilitating, but there will never be a day when it goes away altogether. I like to think that it’s a way that our loved ones stay in our lives even when they’re gone.

    Be kind to yourself.

  42. No, you’re not boring us — you’re simply being honest. Don’t feel bad about your reaction to your mom’s shirt. Scent is a powerful cue for memories and emotions; so is music. It isn’t surprising that the smell of her shirt made you think of your mom. You’ll probably think of her every time you smell her favorite cookies or cologne, every time you hear her favorite holiday song or the theme to her favorite TV show. It’s normal. It’s a sign you’re human.

    The shawl is lovely. Can’t wait to see the blanket and the “new” shawl!

  43. No worries, Steph – you are always charming to read, on death and every other subject. The Blog just plain cares about you. xo

  44. I lost my Mom just a bit before you lost your Mum. And I feel like we’re on the same path – shingles – yes, on my head, the weekend of her funeral…; uncle with lung cancer, another uncle who died. The heart wrenching chore of going through All. The. Things. that my Mom saved in their huge house…and feeling her presence so much through all of that. And while trying to help my father cope with the grief and loss – and make big life decisions about selling the house and maybe moving…he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He’s fine with a great prognosis, but there were two major surgeries and he lives in a city with none of us there so we have spent a lot of time on planes this year to be with him through this all. So sometimes I feel like I’m ok and other times I feel like I want to crawl into bed and stay. And other times, I just want to say “Enough. This is enough for now.” That all said, it does help to read the experiences of someone else in a similar place. Thank you.

  45. Please keep writing. In the last 3 years I lost Mom, Dad, the cat and the dog. I am finally seeing someone to deal with the big black hole I crawled into. Please keep writing what I can’t say yet.

    • I am sorry to hear of your many losses and I’m glad that you are strong enough to seek help, to look for the way out of the darkness. Blessings and light to you.
      Chris S in Canada

  46. Write what you need to write. Feel what you feel. Friends are here for you. Grief is a process, and it is different for each one of us. I lost my dad 44 years ago, and it’s still a process, albeit very different from what it was and has been. Hugs to you.

  47. I think the ‘mom thing’ is like the ‘kid thing’. It does not matter how old your children are, they are your ‘little’ kids. And no matter how old you are, ‘your mom’ is ‘YOUR MOM’ and it doesn’t matter if she is physically with you any more or not. Thank you for letting me feel the tears for my own mom.

    • That’s sure the truth. My older brother died from metastatic colon cancer a few years back, and he was only a week or so away from being 55. I still remember my mom tearfully telling me, “You have to understand, he’s my baby.” She was 82, and all three of her kids have/had grey hair and bifocals, and we’re all still her babies.

  48. My mum died in 1983. She was 34 and i was 16. The oddest thing is that her wallet still held the faintest linger of her perfume for years, and even now, I still like to imagine I can smell it. It’s such a precious thing. Our grieving and missing processes are not linear, they aren’t finite and they are something unique to each of us and we are allowed to be OK with whatever form it takes. My love to all the motherless daughters who are sharing this most devastating of journeys.

  49. It might help to find a grief group. It can be a safe place to discuss your feelings. Grief is different for everyone you have to find what works for you. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prays.

    Jamie Reft

  50. My mother died six years ago and there are still days when I suddenly NOTICE that she’s gone. I’m beginning to realize that grief is more of a life-long journey than something I’ll get ‘through’ or ‘over.’ There are good days and bad days and horrible days and there’s no one single right way to do it. Peace to you.

  51. Grief is the price we pay, and is in direct proportion to how much we loved. After awhile it becomes more discreet, but it’s always there.

  52. Never feel you need to stop talking about your mum. I’m another voice in the chorus of people who finds those posts so, so helpful. I lost my beloved dad three months ago, after he was diagnosed with cancer last year, and reading about your grief helped me understand a little better about what was coming, and gave me comfort that there is a way through it (even if it didn’t feel that way to you when you were writing them). And once again today you’ve vocalised something I couldn’t put my finger on- why everything I do seems to take so much longer now. Thank you for talking about your mum.

  53. Write away, dear woman. I will only say that, as someone who lives with low-grade depression, this is a lot what it looks like when it flares its head. If things do not generally start to improve and you continue to feel underwater, it might be worth having a chat with your doctor. Sometimes a short-term boost via medicine can really help and it will not diminish your grieving process or your love for your mum. But write, write, write. Your words are always welcome, no matter the topic. No matter how many times we’re on the topic. You do you.

  54. Please, don’t feel like you need to hold back the reality of your daily life and experience for the sake of what you imagine to be the intolerance or low bar to ennui of we, your readers. What I most appreciate about your writing of life and knitting is the rock hard base of the real. Even for the most reserved among us, sharing grief and sadness can lighten the burden. You’re a doll. Hang in there.

  55. I always love to read whatever you write and I appreciate your honesty and openness and am sending you warm, healing thoughts.

  56. When I read your post, I thought how intelligent and brave you are to keep many of your mother’s clothes. My father died 10 years ago and the pain never goes away. There are many things I regret, like not having kept the letters that he wrote to me for over 40 years as we lived a continent apart. It never occurred to me that he might die. When we were disposing of his things, I kept some items from his desk and his garden and woodworking tools. I handle or use these things daily and take special care of them. Keep writing. We understand.

  57. The shawl is lovely, and I hope the blanket quits slogging along and gets done before you know it!

    Do not worry about writing of your pain and loss of your mum. Mothers are very special people, and we’ve known them all of our lives, you know! It is generous of you to share your struggles. With the mostly one-sided conversation of a blog, it is hard to realize how deeply you touch so many people. All of us are in different places, and sometimes the words aren’t meant for you (meaning any one of us), but for someone else (and/or to move through the grief process for yourself). As my Dad used to say about people complaining what’s on the television, “It has an on/off button, you know!” Those who are bored of your talk about your mum can just skip reading the rest of the entry. No worries. That said, I am glad that a bit of the fog is starting to lift, and you are seeing brighter moments and the chance to remember your mom with a smile instead of a tear.

  58. Today would have been my mother’s 77th birthday. She’s been gone for 19 years now. It does get easier but there are still days where I miss her so much that it takes my breath away. Today is one of them.

  59. Howdy Harlot
    You are going through what imagine I will go through, except you are doing better than imagine I will. Boyfriend says he will have to carry me around in a bucket. Dad lives with me full time and Mom lives her half year. It’s going to be bad. Lead on Harlot.

  60. What first sucked me in to your blog was that you write about life. So whatever you’re writing, I’m reading. (And I’m glad I reread this before hitting post as the always entertaining autocorrect had changed “blog” to “bologna” which would really have sent a mixed message.)

  61. Hugs and love. 29 years after loosing my dad “suddenly” it still sometimes whacks me over the head when I least expect it. This year we lost the younger of my two cats suddenly at the start of “that weekend”. It’s thrown me for an emotional loop that I’ve not felt in years. Sticking together in mud, tears, hugs, love, and yarn.

  62. I went through so many of these stages but at the age of 23, without the benefit of the wisdom and the self-assurance that comes with age. I still have those “knock you on your arse” waves of sadness, the guilt for talking to my friends about her, and I remember the days when I didn’t have the ability to tuck it all in and just be ok… and if there’s one thing I can tell you, it’s that talking about your mom is so important. And if someone cares to know you, then they will care to know what she meant to you. You’ll continue to have a relationship with her, albeit, lopsided, and consider her throughout your life. You’ll review and reflect on life lessons and the impact she had on you as a mom and a grandmother. You’ll be happy, sad, sometimes quite put out, but also glad to have had the mom you did for as long as you did. Continue to talk for as long as you want. No one minds.

  63. The shawl turned out well…and though it may forever mark a period when you felt handicapped, you should feel proud that you overcame the issue.

    This October marked the 25th anniversary of my father’s death. And the end of September was the 4th anniversary of my Mother’s death. The loss is bearable, but it is still a loss. And, if you don’t share your memories of your Mom, she will fade away.

    Mud is fine, now and again, as long as you don’t spend the rest of your life there.

  64. I totally understand this whole business of censoring, not wanting to bang on and on about the grief. I lost my mum when I was 26 with 2 small children and a 13 yo sister who only ever had a sick mum and not the vibrant creator and singer and reader and embroiderer I had known and that helped me a lot. Having the best bits of her so to speak. Though in reading you, the grief finds its way up inside me again and I start to cry. For all of us motherless girlies who never quite get over it.

  65. I always like to read what you have to say. Go ahead and miss your mom. I still miss mine and it’s been 38 years. But it’s with nice memories now that make me smile. She was gone so young i try to be the mom and grandmommy that I think she would have been bad she lived longer. You’re doing ok. Keep sharing it with us. Xo

  66. Stephanie, I am honored to read about your missing your mother.. It dredges up the process I went through of missing a husband when I was 35, he died too young from cancer.. It was 30 plus years ago and my life has totally reorganized, but it never leaves you.. and it’s good to know others have this gut wrenching experience…. And the shawl is lovely. PS my Canadian citizenship papers should be in the mail next week- thanks to my Canadian parents, may they RIP

  67. My mom died almost 23 years ago. One of her things that I kept was her huge canning pot. I didn’t open it for YEARS…seriously probably 15 years, when I decided to make some strawberry jam. When I finally opened the lid of the old blue speckled enamel pot, there was a lot of stuff inside—canning jars, lids, and two old rags she had used to lift the hot jars out of the boiling water bath. I picked them up…and THEY SMELLED JUST LIKE HER. After all those years…it was so unexpected…and thrilling at the same time. I shed a tear…but mostly I made a lot of strawberry jam with her somehow beside me. I still have the rags, though her scent has dissipated. But what a gift it was for those few moments when it felt like she was right there.

  68. It has been 31 years since I lost my mom. I am now older than she was when she passed away. I still miss her at different times of the year. The grief can be unbearable and unexplainable. I, for one, love your posts…they are a beautiful tribute to your mom and the process you are going through at this time. They always bring me back to when I was 25 and trying to figure out how to live without my mother. Since then, I’ve been through 1 divorce, a second marriage, stepchildren and now have a teenage daughter…I still miss my mom…and your posts remind me how much I love her. Please keep writing about her.
    Much love,

  69. As was said before, it’s your blog and we choose to be here. Please write about things that are important to you. I felt like you do now when my DH died 17 yrs ago. I was so afraid of losing my friends and support system by going on and on that I kept a lot inside. I truly believe it is healthier to let it out and the friends who encouraged me to do that are very special to me to this day. Take care.

  70. Thank so much for sharing your grief and coping. My mom just celebrated her 90th birthday and your writing always reminds me to appreciate her and cut her sone slack as she grapples with aging. Thank you again.

  71. The shawl is beautiful. And I think it’s fine to talk about your mum. It’s still early days. I remember feeling a relapse near the anniversary of my own mom’s death. I didn’t know what it was until my sisters mentioned that they were going through it, too. And then her best friend said he was feeling it and we all realized that it was normal (albeit painful). That said, I think whatever you feel is what you feel. It’s not good or bad–it is what it is. Hang in there.

  72. Thank you so much for writing about your mum and your other lost friends. It really means a lot to me to hear about how your sadness is playing out and I’m also here to share in the memories of her. I started coming here for the yarn and now I get so much more. I am grateful, every single time you share your journey with us.

  73. My dad has been gone 3 years. I still have the same relapses, just less often. I can remember funny stories and laugh now, too. However, I can’t do any of the crafts or projects I wanted to with his old flannels or t-shirts. I understand that ” smell ” you speak of. Keep talking and sharing. You’re among friends here.

  74. You put into words what I have felt and what I still feel about losing my mom. Speaking from your heart is something I, certainly WE, will not tire of. Sharing the grief helps us all heal. Thank you.

  75. My mom died a little over three years ago. She was elderly and very ill. I have her beloved sewing machine on which she made her wedding dress. I have her applesauce colander and her 1950’s mixmaster. Most days I’m okay with my memories of her but when we sing one of her favourite hymns at church, that’s when I feel her absence the most. Everyone else is singing and I’m standing there with a big lump in my throat. Not being able to pick up the phone and have a nice long chat (with her doing most of the talking) is really hard too. Please keep talking about your mom. We are here for you.

  76. Thanks Stephanie, and thanks everyone else for the ideas, love, solidarity, experiences you write here. I haven’t read all the comments today … they are too much for one sitting! Got a bit dizzy at all the lives weaving together (to use one writer’s word). Kindest regards to all of you. And what lovely pieces of work are in your photos!

  77. Don’t ever feel like we’re tired of hearing about your mum. Talking about her keeps her close to you. When my granddaughter was stillborn, others were afraid to bring up her name but I wanted my daughter and her family to know I remember Eliana every day. She did exist and it feels better to name her than to act like she never was. If you pay attention, you will see your mother in your everyday activities, a song, a color, a scent, they are all signals and signs she is still with you but on a different plane. Sending healing prayers to you Stephanie.

  78. My father died, suddenly and very unexpectedly, around the same time as your mother. (I don’t remember precisely; it’s sort of all a blur.) It’s been very helpful to me, to read your posts about your grieving process. It helps me not feel so alone. Please keep posting as you’re able.

  79. Stephanie- it is about you; when you need to talk about missing your Mom, please do. The way to grieve is not written in stone and there is no timetable. – you do what seems right for you at the time. I lost both of my parents when I was young- 10 when my Dad died and 23 when my Mom died. The loss that was hardest was my 4 month old son, Ben, to SIDS 28 years ago. At first, my husband and I spent our emotionally energy comforting others until we realized that was crazy. With time, we worked through this- taking the volume off the shelf, dusting it off and cracking the cover (ie. sniffing the clothes) a little at a time when we could handle it. With time, we visit it less often, it gets a little less painful, but we know it always sits on the shelf. Please continue to share your Mum memories with us.

  80. I love your writing, always. Your honesty in sharing your grief journey has helped so many people feel they aren’t alone…and for someone like me, who is fortunate to still have her parents, gives the reminder that life is so short, and so precious. I have always enjoyed that you have always written about real life – and loss is an undeniable part of life. Thinking of you.

  81. I just lost my mom a few weeks ago and have been wearing a few of her clothes. It is oddly comforting. I appreciate you sharing your stories and grief with all of us. It is so very human and we all support you in the process. Thank you.

  82. Never apologize for what you are feeling.
    Many of us have been where you are now, and the rest of every one we all know is going to be there, hopefully not too soon.
    I’m still missing my mother fifty years later. And yes, I’m still talking about her.

  83. I’m a lurker. I’ve only posted a comment to you once or twice. I met you once, in Vancouver, years ago now.
    What I want to say is this… You write so beautifully of your loss, what It is like to wade through your grief. I love that you can speak of death the way you do. You have put into words what I have experienced and felt, for more years than I can count.
    I lost my first loved one when I was 17, when I had no idea what grief was. The shock of it was unspeakable. Since then, I’ve become all to familiar with the death of my beloved.
    Thank you for being so open and honest and real on this journey.

  84. Grief is what it is. It ebbs and flows. It never really goes completely away, it just becomes something you learn to live with. Like a new appendage. One you didn’t want but got stuck with anyway and now you have to learn how to incorporate it into your life in a way that it doesn’t cripple you, though you can never fully ignore its presence.

    Keep writing about it, Stephanie. It’s real and it’s raw, and a whole lot of us can relate to it. Twelve years later, I’m still ebbing and flowing, though the frequency of the cycle is lessened.

  85. Dear Stephanie – this is a process that everyone who looses someone close will go through. The passage of time and talking out your feelings helps ease the pain considerably. My mom died suddenly 41 years ago, and I still miss her every day – this experience has affected me and my siblings in how we look at life and death. If it helps you work through, please write your feelings out…it also helps those of us who lost a loved one and will help someone else who will someday go through this. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  86. Hi Stephanie, writing is part of how you process. That is something you have taught me about yourself – writing is process. And process is part of mourning. Grief is the inner experience, the sensations and emotions and memories among them populate that inner experience. Mourning is the active movement of grief, its expression, the process by which the ‘cup of grief’ is regulated so that it does not flood over quite so intensely, quite so often. A person can grieve for years and never mourn. Write. Write and write some more. It is not your issue were a reader to have a reaction. That reaction belongs to them, not you. In your writing you model the pathway you are experiencing as you journey through this territory of grief and loss. Minefields when least expected. Grief bursts. A surprising ‘how can the world have the gall to carry on.’ Actual physical fatigue. Cloudy thinking and gap-y memory. Lack of joy and maybe even a bit depressive – there’s actually a fancy word for it: dysthymia. It is real. The process of mourning is the journey through the territory. And when a person hasn’t traveled this particular journey in this particular territory when this particular pathway is not pre-known, you are basically walking forward into the dark, illuminating your passage with every step you take. As much as it sounds like it feel just plain crummy, by my read you are doing a brilliant job of bring presence to your process and that brings restoration. You are doing beautiful work. Travel gently.

    PS – I have to touch the leaf to post – new growth! Confirmation!

  87. I usually lurk, but I just wanted to say that it is absolutely OK to talk about this. This is what you are going through now, and there is no expiration date when it’s got to be done by – your timeline is yours, and, speaking only for me, I’m here to read about the intersection of what’s going on with you and what you want to share, and right now, this is it. Take care.

  88. Not sick of hearing about your Mum. My Dad passed almost a year ago, and I just found out I am going to be a grandma, and my mother will be a great grandma. After the ‘Wow, that’s awesome!” the first thought was “Dad’s missing this.”. I don’t know if it ever goes away, and I don’t know whether to hope it does, or hope it doesn’t. Talk about your Mum as. Much as you like, and many hugs to you and yours.

  89. You invite us into your living room and we come for a visit. Go ahead and talk about whatever you need to on any given day and we will provide our support in a kind and loving (and perhaps funny) way.
    If we cannot handle the topic of the day (for whatever reason) we will thank you for the tea, gather up our knitting and go home. No worries.
    Keep talking about your Mum – it will help with the grief.
    Blessings and light to you.
    Chris S in Canada

  90. Please, let us all talk about our grieve about lost family and friends.
    Because when we don’t and contain ourselves, they’re lost more !
    And by talking about them and about the grieve we feel, we give room for other people to grieve also.
    So at the end we’re a more feeling and better world.

    where we became a world in which we only share the nice and happy things?
    The instagram and Facebook fake happiness ?
    Putting our real feelings deep inside us and not teaching our offspring there are dark clouds on each blue sky?
    But if we wait and keep our eyes open we will see the silver linings ?

  91. When I found her smell I was so relieved. I thought she was gone forever. We had done laundry a few days before she died so most everything was washed of her scent. I frantically searched the house for something that smelled of her and when I found it I howled with relief and grief. “Oh thank god. There you are.”

    Scent is such a power sense. I was so glad and grateful to find hers when I did. I was relieved to find that truly tangible real part of her still alive in the world. Her scent is now gone from the world but while it lingered it brought me comfort (and heartbreak).

  92. Please don’t ever hold back on talking about your mum. You write about grief so beautifully and it’s helpful for so many people.

    But also it’s helpful for you and that’s what we, the blog, want.

  93. I have some yarn that I inherited from my Nan (before I knew I’d be a knitter) and now and agaiin, I open the ziploc bag it’s in and I can smell her house. It’s beautiful.

  94. Steph, I have not lost anyone recently, but I am absolutely not one bit sick of reading about your mom and about the grief. One, I am glad you have us to share it with, and two, I am storing all this wisdom away in a corner of my heart for when I’ll need it (we all will, some day). Don’t stop. Hugs, Ivana

  95. Hey Steph, be easy on yourself. It does get better. My dear mum died five years ago and from the moment you started writing about your’s, I felt that you were putting into words all the feelings I had and still have. I’m quite good with the pointy sticks, but far less confident with saying what I feel, It’s like you’ve in my brain and sucking it all out. Whether you write about her or not, you are an amazing voice for grief.

  96. Do not apologise for speaking of your Mum. Bottling feeli gs up isn’t healthy. It gets less difficult over time. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Many of us have been there so have plenty of mud-friends to reach out to and who are there for you.

  97. We all need to talk more and listen more about death. It is an integral part of our human condition. It is normal to grieve in many different ways—same job, a variety of approaches. We can enrich our understanding by listening and sharing our stories. Thank you for sharing yours. It is an important contribution to humanity.

  98. Please never think you speak of death, or your mum, too often. It’s so helpful to hear how someone else is processing their grief in case there’s a morsel of helpful thruth for our own grief. And we should always speak their name.

  99. There will always be that gap, and at times, it does get easier. But even after 20 years, I still ache for my Mom. And then I catch glimpses of her. Sometimes, it is in my children, even though she never met the youngest. And I wear her wedding ring, so sometimes when I knit or sew or crochet or wash dishes, I am surprised to find that I am looking at her hands. Amazing. Go on and miss her and talk about her. Memories are what make us who we are. All of them. Good and bad, joyous and sad.

  100. One of the many things that I appreciate about you, Steph, is your authenticity. In a hyper-everything world, I love that you gently tell your truth without sugar-coating it. I believe that it is healthy and creates space for others to own their authentic experiences and feelings too. You’re doing us a service when you’re honest. Big hugs to you, fabulous lady.

  101. Stephanie, I always like to read about what’s going on in your life, including when you talk about your grief over losing your mother. I can relate to so many of the things you write about, even grief. Because the grief is part of who you are now. In time it will fade into the background, and you’ll be able to remember the many ways she was part of your life without being overwhelmed with missing her. Although sometimes it’s gonna pop up and grab you, like it did this time. When it does, go ahead and cry, for as long as you need to. Anyway, consider yourself hugged. The Blog loves you, Stephanie, and we’re here for you, whatever you want to write about.

  102. Grief is sneaky. It’s not very linear. I am also recovering from losses and trying to appreciate the heck out of my Mama while she is still with us. I believe in feeling your feelings and letting stuff out, so carry on, McDuff!

  103. The last 9 years of my life have been one loss after another, starting with my brother and most recently my father in June, with too many friends and family in between. Likening grief to malaria might just be one of the best analogies I’ve heard about grief. Grief doesn’t have a timeline or a deadline. Share what you feel comfortable sharing, but don’t bottle it up to save someone else from how you’re feeling.

  104. Oh, please don’t worry about sharing your melancholic moments. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling relief in knowing that others share those feelings and you express then so perfectly. I don’t think I understood the true meaning of the word ‘melancholy’ till losing my mum five years ago. The feelings I’ve had since her passing are like nothing ever understood before, to me anyway. No denying, its a long road, and there are many bumps, much love to yours xx

  105. I’m sorry you’re still hurting, but glad that she was such a wonderful person that she’s worth the hurt.

    Yeah, scent is a bitch like that. It can be a real gut punch when you’re not expecting it. Something to do with the brain processing it in a deep, old area also responsible for strong emotions … Sorry you got run down by it, doll. *hug*

    Never forget that you’re 50% her, so there’s always some of her with you, by definition. I think that about my dad often.

  106. It’s not good too bottle up too much of the grief over a significant loss. I apparently excel at a stiff upper lip and bottle mentality. What’s not processed gets stored and then something comes along and shakes that bottle even years later and you get to process it then. Talk all you need to, we understand.

  107. Your mom was such a big part of your life, how could you not have her in mind often? I know that the urge to go ask my mom about a book title, a precise definition of a word, the ‘real’ story of a childhood incident only fogging recollected, a recipe imperfectly transcribed, comes along and I’m knocked low by realizing that I can’t do any of those things any more.
    Write what wants to come – we’re here, and reading, if not always commenting.

  108. Most of us here came because of the knitting. We’ve stayed because of your honesty, your humour and your fabulous way of writing about life…and knitting. A lot of us are experiencing similar losses and joys. Don’t edit yourself, we’re in it with you, growing, hurting, learning, laughing and cheering you on.

  109. Steph,

    The loss never leaves–it just gets easier. That being said, 5 years after my mother’s death there are times I miss her so much, my dad too.

    I get the smell. I got sheets from my Grandma after she passed. I was so happy–they smelled just like her.

  110. Sending much love and many hugs. I lost my Dad in March. Some days are easier while others are hard. Keep talking and keep sharing. Those who matter will understand.

  111. As I read the posts about your Mother, it makes me think how amazing it must have been to have such a relationship with her. As devastated as you are by her passing, I keep thinking what a special relationship you two had, and I wonder if you know that not everyone gets to have that kind of relationship with their mom. I love my mom, she is a good person, and I am caring for her in her old age (she’s 91 on Oct. 20). We have always gotten along and have always been close. She is my friend as well as my mother. But the kind closeness you have with your Mom is really extraordinary. Bless her for being such a remarkable person and bless you for knowing and recognizing that. I don’t know the “right way” to cope with a loss like that, but I think you are doing it. Your posts about your Mom and your Family are among my favorites.

  112. Don’t ever worry about sharing too many thoughts about your mother. It will be 2 years in January that my Mom died and I think about her every day. There’s always something that pops up that I want to share.

  113. I am approaching the first anniversary of my sisters death, I am dreading the next few weeks as I relive her final days, we knew she was going to die but the reality was and has been so hard to cope with. Your thoughts and feeling you have expressed about your own loss have helped me, please don’t ever feel you can’t share your journey with us.

  114. I look at it this way, this is your blog and your grief. Clearly there are others who are right here with you. Censoring yourself is really not necessary. It may even be cathartic. Never doubt, you are a wonderful human and we all love you just the way you are.

  115. I lost my sweet mother this past July, just a few months shy of her 90th birthday, so I totally understand how you feel. Until March of this year she was a feisty, spunky little old lady, someone I thought was invincible. I called my mother most days on my way home from work, and now I go to the car in the evenings, and a wave of grief overcomes me. Still getting through the mud.

  116. My Mom has been gone for over 15 years and at times it still hits me how much I miss her but mostly what comes up are sweet memories and remembrance of how much I loved her.
    The depth of grief at her passing shocked me. I had no idea it would rock my world so F****** hard or for so long.
    Reading your words lets me know that I wasn’t alone in my feelings and reminds me how the grief has changed over the years into something much kinder and more bearable.
    Thank you for your words. Keep talking about your experience and your Mom. Your fellow mud dwellers will always understand and support you. XXOO

  117. Dear Yarlot (as my daughter has nicknamed you),
    Your writing is amazing regardless of topic. If it helps you to write about grief or your Mum, please do. I know I love every post you make and I would far rather have a “grief update” than radio silence.
    Although if you just CAN’T that’s fine, too. Slogging through mud is difficult, even if it’s easier than slogging through concrete.
    In short, the Blog loves you and wants to know everything you want to tell us.
    And the shawl is lovely but the blanket is stunning. Only you could make a shawl like that while wearing a cast!!!

  118. I lost my own mom almost exactly a year before you lost your mum. Which means I’m slightly ahead of you in the grieving process, but not that much, really. I appreciate every word you write about your own experience with grief — because it validates my own experience. I do try to keep my grief to myself . . . as an attempt to Not Burden Others. But it’s there and it’s real and it sneaks up on me when I least expect it. So there’s that. And thank you. XO

  119. I understand. Completely. My mom passed tragically and suddenly in 1983. Of the few items I have left from her, I have her wallet still. One whiff and she’s there.

    It is comforting all these years later.

  120. If you still feel the need to write about your mum, do it. Even your grief is a beautiful thing to share. I haven’t got a mother like yours, and even sharing your sadness is a little window into what it was like having her for a mum. Wishing you peace and healing.

  121. Stephanie, take all the time you need and we will be there for you. Sixty years ago my brother died suddenly and utterly devastated our family. My parents never mentioned his name and we weren’t encouraged to either. This was very wrong on their part and interfered with the grieving process but they thought it was the right thing to do! There were eight kids and some were quite young. I’ll never forget one brother asking me (years later) who was this guy who made such an impact on all of us but we were never able to speak about? Speaking and remembering our loved ones is totally normal and healthy.

  122. Death is always a dark, muddy place. Eventually, moments of sharp joy break through. Memories like my grandma coming to breakfast having forgotten her blouse , but thankfully not her bra, rift this bleak, bitter time. Keep trudging forward.

  123. I lost my first husband more than five years ago, and suddenly I was so aware of how little anyone talks about grieving and even less about suicide. And I think we’re all worse off for it. So I’m open about my process, and how suddenly a grief ninja can come from no where and ruin an otherwise totally normal day. No one has ever begrudged me, and often they thank me for speaking out, saying they feel the same way. Talk about her all that you need too, and hopefully the people who hear you will feel better about their own grief. Or if their’s is yet to come, they’ll be more open when it does. Because it’s only a matter of time before everyone loses someone dear to them, so why not share what is a universal experience?

  124. Please keep writing about your mom. You perfectly articulated the exact same feeling I’ve had over the last two weeks. Missing my dad terribly while seeing another of his birthdays without him, the anniversary of his celebration of life, and a beloved camping trip that he can’t enjoy with us. It hurts.

    Biggest of hugs. Thank you.

  125. Shortly after my Dad died I realized my young daughters had stopped talking about him. I asked them why and they said when they did I cried. They were sad to see me upset so they decided to not discuss up my Dad at all, which really did make me sad to hear. I explained happy tears and sharing memories. Now we have kept him and my Mom alive for us and future generations by shared memories. Even hard times need to be shared along with the happy ones. Those of us who have been through it understand and are here for you.

  126. Dearest Steph,
    I have been thinking about you and feeling a kinship. 24 days after a massive stroke my Mother passed on the 12th. No one but a knitter can understand the comfort knitting gave me sitting next to my beloved Mother as she made her way to the other side. I have a grandson coming this December, his blankie is filled with laughter, love, strength, tears and heartbreak. Much like his little life will hold. We women of the wool have a strong bond. EZ put it Succinctly; “Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises”
    Not sick of you honouring your emotions and wonderful Mum.

  127. My only comment on grief and loss is to keep talking about your mom. If people get sick of it, it is their problem not yours. Other people will move forward more quickly than you will. Society wants us to move forward quickly and heal quickly. Tv has taught us that people die and grieve and move on all in one episode, then they are happy well adjusted people. It just doesn’t happen that way.

    One of the things I did when I lost my husband was to spread myself around to many people. So not one person had to deal with me all the time. It helped. Grief is going to come in waves. Sometimes those waves are ankle deep and you are okay. Sometimes they are 8 feet tall, and you are drowning in tears and emotions just trying to keep your head above. And it will be that way for a while, a long while. I lost my husband 3 years ago, and I still get hit with waves of grief. It’s less now, but they still come.

  128. Please share on and feel the support of those of us who know you from afar. Wish I could give you a hug in person, but since I can’t remember that the blog understands and loves you.

  129. Don’t. Stop. Writing/sharing!

    I can identify in so many ways and so many times the feelings you so eloquently express. Most of us do not possess your talent for putting feelings into words. My husband of 45 years passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sept 5, 2016. I didn’t dream until January 2018. I realized I stopped knitting and picked it back up at that same time, 17 months later. I felt like I was on the beach with my hands and feet bound. The sky was blue and warm but I couldn’t enjoy it because the tide was coming in and I knew I couldn’t survive. But I did, because the tide went out again. I still struggle with his absence but the tide stays out longer these days, it does (and will always) occasionally still come back. I send my hugs to you and to all the others that have expressed their stories of loss here too.

    Never apologize for something that is not in your control. As much as you’ve been a help to us, let us be a help to you. I’ve found that listening is the best gift a friend can give.

  130. My mother missed her own Mum until Alzheimer’s stole her future. Then she grieved bitterly, as if it had just happened that week, instead of decades before. After almost a decade, I still fight off tears just missing her. The only good side of that is knowing how lucky I was to be the daughter of such a wonderful woman.

  131. Your blog posts are beautiful and moving. I want you to write about your mum and death and life as much as you feel compelled to. We are all here because we want to read your take on things, and I’m not so sure that it really matters what the topic is. We support you.

  132. Sometimes I have grief relapse too. It might be my Mom or my Grandma. Usually it happens when I think about an activity that they would have enjoyed.
    It’s OK. The hole will always be there, we just learn to live with it.

  133. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and experience about your mum’s death with us. I have not yet lost someone so very close to me, but at 46 I am acutely aware that it is pretty much inevitable that I will eventually. My experience will undoubtedly be different that yours, and yet I feel that knowing about your experience will help, somehow, when it’s my turn (a bit like reading and hearing others’ birthing stories helped prepare me for my own births, unique as those were from anything I’d read or heard). I am humbly grateful for your willingness, for the courage it takes, to be open and vulnerable in such a public forum, and I send you as much love as the universe will transmit to support you in your journey.

  134. I relish reading your words about your Mum because I lost mine five days after you lost your Mum. Grief is universal, yet it’s personal to each person because all of our experiences are unique. Be open about it, share what you can, and know that you have countless shoulders to lean on, countless ears to listen.

    I do need to share this one amazing story. One year and one week after my mom died, my husband was in the hospital (this was just last month) – he had a routine surgery on 9/7 but the next morning developed a clot in his throat and nearly died – it grew rapidly and he was rushed to the hospital etc. etc. He’s doing GREAT now. But that was a scary few days. On his last day in the hospital he had a visit from a doctor on staff. She walked in – “Hello, I’m Dr. McCarthy. How’re you doing?” My mother’s maiden name was McCarthy. Then my daughter, who was sitting in a chair next to her dad’s bed, saw the doctor’s name tag. “Mary” – my daughter whispered it to me and we both got big tears in our eyes. That was my mother’s name. It was almost like she herself had walked into that hospital room. She was telling us that everything was going to be okay. I think I wept for 10 minutes right there in the room.

    It’s moments like this that just take my feet out from under me, yet make me so grateful for what we have. Keep wearing your Mum’s clothes and celebrate her every day – you’ll miss her forever. But know that you’re in good company.

  135. We started losing my mom to Alzheimer’s long before her body gave up, and it was so hard to accept that she and I would never do all of the little things that make life fun. She was my fiber shopping companion, coming with me to every festival and inevitably encouraging me to by way more fiber than I needed (but as much as I wanted!). Her body finally gave out earlier this year, and all of her children comforted ourselves with the thought that she would have hated the person she became in the end, as her personality slowly disappeared. In spite of that, as Rhinebeck comes around again, I still can’t bring myself to go because I know that I’ll automatically turn to her to ask which color I should get, and hear her voice telling me to get both, or course. My comfort is that each time I look at my yarn and roving I remember when we got it, and all of the discussions on what to make with it. So she’s never gone, she’s just become part of the stash!

  136. Your blog is a window to your amazing world where Mum was an integral part of the story. As is Tupper, and Janine, and Joe, and the girls, and Eliot, and so on. They all matter.
    I lost my grandmother in 1970 and miss her dearly to this day; there are times (less frequently than not) that the pain will stop me in my tracks. As with every comment shared, we’re here to cherish and support.
    What Presbytera said – Namaste and amen.

  137. Oh gosh. Write about it. We will all be there if we haven’t been already. It is comforting to know how others grieve. It is a lesson for us all that there are things going on with others that are not always on display that affect life and doing things and even knitting. We can remember that and be a little kinder to each other. So share. I promise we will be here with a hug and a kind word. If anyone is snarky enough not to have a kind word about your loss, let me know where they live. I’ll takecarrathem for ya!

  138. Aww, man…as soon as I read the words “her clothes”, I thought to myself, “oh goodness, she smelled them, didn’t she.”. My mom left this world back in 1994, 4 years before my first son was born, and I saved one of her shirts that makes me feel really close to her. I swear it smelled like her for years, long after it shouldn’t have.

  139. Thirty years ago I lost a daughter shortly after birth. A woman who I barely knew showed up at my door a couple of weeks later, and during a cup of tea she shared with me her story. She also had lost a child, 40 years prior, and as she talked she melted into a flood of tears. She said the reason for her visit was to let me know I wasn’t alone, and the pain will diminish but never go away and not to worry, that these feelings are normal. Back in her day she was encouraged NOT to mention it, and she wanted me to know how wrong that advice was. She’s gone now, and I hope she knows how much I appreciated her visit…I make the effort now to reach out to others going through it and have been told many times it helped so much.

    Foor a good year I was numb, having only energy for my three year old, I allowed tears and talked when I needed to. I then discovered my husband (now ex) was having an affair and had to shrug the grief off my shoulders and get on with my life…I’m now married to a wonderful man who cries with me, and very much welcomed the spirit of the little one who moved here with me.

    Please know that it’s healing to cry, to talk, to mourn. Others did it for me, and I’m paying it forward. The blog loves you and mourns with you. We’re here whenever you want us 🙂

  140. Never apologize for how you deal with your grief. It’s individual. It took me six years to take down my husbands housecoat that hung beside mine on the back of the bedroom door after he passed away. When I could no longer breath in his scent I parted with it. Sigh.

  141. Please keep writing about it. One of the things I love best about your blog is how you talk about Life, especially the way you wrote about your daughters as they were growing up and the things you’ve written about your mum. I know that we only see a tiny sliver of your reality, but it feels honest, and that’s a spark of human connection I value immensely. Thank you for it.

  142. Please, please, please feel free to speak freely about your mom. Especially to us. We all love you and as far as I am concerned you can write pages and pages about how much you miss her. It’s ok. Really.

  143. I think it’s good you talk about your Mom. She was a very big part of your life. It’s very healthy to talk about her. I’d worry if you didn’t. It’s not good to keep thing inside you! If people don’t want to hear it, that’s their loss. Take care! xo

  144. You probably don’t need one more person telling you that we’re here for you to share your grief with, just as you share your yarn with us, and that we aren’t tired of hearing about your mum — that we’ll never be tired of hearing about your mum. So tell us the good and the bad, because as they say one of the only things you can rely on in life is death, and we will all go through the horrible, horrible process of losing someone we love. We know because it is something we share — and we don’t because we each lose someone differently (even when it’s the same person we’ve all lost).

    Sending you hugs and hassle-free knitting time…

  145. I didn’t real *all* the replies, so forgive me if I just echo some of them, but this all sounds perfectly normal to me. My husband died 12 years ago, and there are still, infrequently, moments when I’m just swamped with sadness. I still talk to him. But those moments grow ever more infrequent, and mostly I just remember good times, and times when his wisdom was just amazing. We all do grief our own way, there is no “wrong” way unless one gets stuck in the horrible pain.

    My husband suffered in the hospital for four months before he died, despite everything I could do for him, and it wasn’t until 6 months after he was gone, and I was nightly going through every detail of that ordeal in memory, that I realized that yes, he did suffer terribly – but he only had to go through it once, whereas I had put myself through it hundreds of times, and that this did no one any good at all. It didn’t change anything, it didn’t heal anything, it just made me miserable, and that he would definitely have some *very* pointed things to say about that. And then the healing began.

    Be kind to yourself, share what you need to and you are able to, and don’t worry about what you “should” do. You’re surrounded by love, not only from your family but (see previous 110 posts) by people around the world. You’ll be fine.

  146. People have expressed this already, but I had to add my voice to the support. Please continue writing about absolutely anything you feel like. Not only on grief and death (which we all either have or eventually will go through, let’s be honest) but on anything you wish to share with us. You write so wonderfully, and with such humor and realness, I enjoy all of it, and you’ve brought me to tears on several occasions because you just are able to talk about real life so perfectly. Also, I (and many many others) just genuinely want to know how you are doing, whether it’s good or bad. Please please keep writing, about all of it! Warmth and hugs to you!

  147. I have lost close loved ones so many times I thought I would go crazy and that no one wanted to hear what I was going though…But they have had similar experiences and sharing the grief has ended up being sharing the love.

    Please do not censor yourself, we are all friends who for the most part have not met physically but genuinely care. We all share this human condition of grief and love and loss.

  148. You write so beautifully and so poignantly about both the highs and the lows that I just plain love to read your writing. It’s thoughful and well organized and it often makes me cry (with either joy or sadness). It also helps me to remember to pause once in a while to check in on myself and how I’m feeling as I am very adept and just running along ignoring what’s bothering me. As ever, I’m so sorry for your loss but I truly feel so blessed that you share your personal journey with us.

  149. Not sick of it. Never sick of it. We only get one and yours was (is) a treasure. Your words confirm ours and bring sweetness to painful places in our hearts.
    Glad you had a terrific mom and you shared her with us.

  150. I lost both my mum and dad in 2008. I do not think I will ever let them go. Well I don’t want to. But once in awhile one of the other (sometimes both) come to me in my dreams. After a dream like that it is always bittersweet. I still treasure it. Helps just a little. My hugs to you.

  151. I have learned, painfully, that the loss is less in missing the loved one but more in learning how to live without them. What to do with the two hours every Saturday morning instead of the “catch up” phone call that ended the week. How many fewer places there are to set at the table on special occasions with key guests being absent. The spaces and gaps are the continual ache – absorbed but never accepted.

  152. Stephanie – I don’t see anyone saying WHY smell is so closely associated with grief. I wasn’t aware of the reason when my dear strong grandmother was finally allowed to leave us. I was “doing well” until the day we grandchildren were allowed to take our pick of her “leftovers.” I opened a box and a whiff of her perfume hit me. I was instantly in tears. I wasn’t even aware of it: it was like a cannonball had hit me. Turns out that the smell processing area of the brain is snuggled right next to the memory processor. No time lag – what we smell is what we feel. Eventually, as those smells wane with time, so does the debilitating grief. You will be able to get a whiff of your mother – and smile. I hope that day comes soon for you. All the best.

  153. Dear Stephanie,

    Grief has no timetable. Feelings can come on suddenly and without warning, trailing behind random bits of information we’ve stumbled on: our loved one’s scent, their favorite song, their favorite clothes. Sorrow emerges from deep within us, a part of the brain without a sense of time or logic. You should talk and write about your grief and continue as long as your heart demands it

    Grief is exhausting, physical work. Take good care of yourself. Continue your yoga, sleep well and eat well. Permit yourself to have fun without guilt. Obviously, you are in all of our thoughts.

  154. The other day, I was watching the Red Sox baseball game, and burst into tears with an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to be with my Dad. He passed away in January 2011. I took a little vacation to visit him, my mom, and some friends the October before he died and ended up spending most of my time with him, which included watching a lot of baseball. We’d chat, I’d knit, he’d eat ice cream. I was later so grateful that I took that time to be with him, because a couple of weeks later he was rushed to the ICU and never left the hospital until he died. That October was the last time I saw my Dad “normal”. For some reason watching baseball this month has brought back those memories and I would give anything to have him here again, just so so could sit and watch a ballgame with him. So, to me what you describe is normal and expected. The grief eventually largely goes away but can come back at the most unexpected times. You will learn to live in your new reality, and there will come a time when your memories of your mom will lead to a smile almost all the time. You can’t force it, it will happen on your own time. In the meantime, I think many of us here have been reading your blog since the beginning and feel we know you and care about you (I hope I don’t sound like a stalker) and if you can’t tell us how you feel, who can you tell?

  155. I love hearing about your mum. I hope you keep writing about her however you do. I am very grateful for you writing about your grief; I feel like I’m learning how to be a better friend and it makes me think about people I’ve lost and the things I love to remember about them that’s harder as time goes by.

  156. Last Monday, my neighbor who until four years ago lived two doors up the street passed away. The next day, the mom I grew up two doors down the street from on the other side of the country, the one who would laugh when Wendy and I would run from one house to the other, asking the moms what’s for dinner and then getting our moms to invite the other over to wherever the food was more enticing that night–that other mom. Her husband was taken by ambulance to the ER, and she, 87 now, had a heart attack and died. He’s still hanging in there, but without her after 67 years, I don’t know…

    Coming here and reading this was so very very lovely and quite needed. Thank you, Stephanie. You speak from the soul and bless the world.

  157. I was so relieved to see your post. When more than a week goes by without hearing from you, I worry that some new awful thing has happened, and you’ve had more than enough for quite some time to come.

    Since my father-in-law died my husband rarely brings him up, so i do. I talk about my mom all the time. She was more than my Mom, she was my closest friend, and my best adviser. Since you wrote about your Mum in your blog, I feel like we got to know her a bit, so I like when you talk about her.

    Unfortunately, I think you’re experiencing your new normal. Sometimes everything is fine, and you’re living your normal life. Other times, staying in bed all day seems like a better way to go. Unfortunately I’ve had to get used to that droopy feeling that usually comes along when we have milestone family events. This year we’ve had a new baby and a wedding, so that’s been exciting with a healthy touch of sadness.

    Thank you once again for having the words to describe what so many of us feel.

  158. When I had a major loss, someone shared an analogy that was so apt. He said it’s like you put a new coffee table with sharp corners in a room that you regularly pass through. At first, you bump your shins into it every time you go into that room and it hurts terribly. After awhile, you develop a new path through that room that avoids the table. But once in awhile, maybe in the dark, you walk into the table corner and it hurts as much as ever. As time goes on, you’ll bump into your particular “table” less and less, but it can still happen and it will still take your breath away. Hang in there, it does get better.

  159. I agree with the other commenters – keep sharing about your mom as you’re able. My dad died 15 years ago, my mom 3 years ago and my closest friend 3 weeks after that. I haven’t stopped missing any of them, and don’t expect I ever will. I wish my dad could have known our older son moved to Nashville and worked in the music industry, I wish my mom was here to meet our younger son’s fiancée, and I wish Pam and I were planning our trip to England. As a community, we have more than just knitting in common, so keep doing what you do.

  160. One of the things I’ve always loved and appreciated about your writing is the bits of real life you include. You show how think and feel about the important things, and that is really valuable. I remember when I was pregnant and reading some posts you wrote about motherhood and your relationship with your girls I thought things like “I want to be a mom like that someday”. We all learn from each other’s experiences and from self-reflection and writing is good for you, don’t hold it back if you need to process. We’re here to listen.

  161. Steph, you grieve how and when you grieve. There are no rules for it. I’d much rather hear your ‘voice’ including the grief. I’m sure others feel this way, too, but when you go quiet i’m assuming your grieving, most likely. Your mum was and is a grand woman. I wish I’d known her personally and I love knowing her through you, including through your grief. Share if you wish or not but there’s no need to hold back on my account. sending love.

  162. My mum died in July. I made a plan to use her largely felted or slightly moth-eaten cashmere jumpers to make a blanket. I was fine and being really practical until I got them out of the bag. They smelled of her and although she was so old, so ill and totally worn out, I wanted her back. Not like she was in July but back a few years, when she was strong and capable and positive and always made everything better.

  163. Sometimes songs that were popular when you were younger will bring back memories of friends and what you did together at that time. Smells (soaps, shampoos, perfumes associated with a particular person) are like that too. They can make you feel sad, content, happy or loved, depending on the time in your life.

    My mother died more than 3 decades ago, and when I was going through a rough patch 10 years ago I needed to feel her close to me, so I bought the perfume she always wore. Spraying it on my pillow made me feel the warmth and comfort of her love. Every now and then I wear that perfume to carry her with me throughout the day.

    The time will come when you will be comfortable re-experiencing the smell of your mum, you’re just not ready for it yet. As so many others have said, everyone’s grieving process is unique and goes at a different pace.

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  165. Stephanie, posts like this being open about grief are incredibly important. It is a part of everyone’s life at some point, but it blindsides people when they first experience it, sometimes. Current culture doesn’t give us much room to grieve properly. Maybe there was something in visible outward signs of grief like wearing mourning… not as something ostentatious, but as a marker or reminder for others to slow down a bit, tread carefully and be kind. Anyhow, thanks for being authentic and vulnerable enough to share your real self. It’s ok to have moments or days or weeks like that.

  166. I’ll add my “amen” to all these comments that I appreciate you sharing this piece of you. I’m not “in the mud” in the same way of grieving a lost parent. But, when I read your words, because they are honest and true, I feel more human. Being able to connect with someone else in that way (even mediated by a screen) is a gift. Thank you for sharing it with me, with us.

  167. I wondered how your second Thanksgiving without her would be. The first of everything, you are still so wounded. The second time it comes around, you aren’t as shell-shocked. That’s when it hits you that they really aren’t coming back (at least that’s how it was for me after my husband died. The second year without him was kind of worse than the first. Reality, you jokester.) Grief is a long process. You think it goes away, but it doesn’t really. You just learn to live with it, like a really odd cat that you’ve taken in despite yourself. We are here for you when you need to talk about your mum. As much as you need.

  168. Steph, please continue to write about your lovely mum and your feelings about her. As is apparent from the many comments, no one is bored by it and many are helped by knowing they are not alone in their grieving.

    My mother passed away in July rather suddenly despite having had dementia for quite a long time. She hadn’t really been “with” us in the past couple of years as the dementia robbed her of her ability to know her family and to communicate with us, but having her truly be gone from us has been incredibly difficult at times. I tend to think my grief and missing her isn’t as acute as if she had been younger or healthier until her death, but then there are times when something makes me think of her and it’s like a stab to the heart. I find myself crying again and wishing I could have a do over of those last months and weeks with her.
    Keep writing whatever is in your heart and feels right to share. It helps us who are experiencing similar things, and if others don’t feel like it’s something they can relate to at the moment they can read about your knitting and skip the parts they don’t relate to right now. Sadly, at some point they will because we all have to walk through these dark valleys in life and it’s nice to have some companions along the way.

  169. It actually DOES help to hear your journey. I process grief differently but I am looking at a dear family member who will be embarking on the same journey very soon. With insights I have gleaned here, I think I will be much more help to her when her beloved passes. Thanks, as always.

  170. Please, please don’t stop writing about it Steph. Those of us who have lost our mothers are going through the same thing and it helps so much having someone else verbalize it. Because we too, are looking at the faces of our friends thinking we talk about it too much. Then we must turn inside of ourselves to look for comfort. Image how wonderful it feels for us to be able to look to you as well. Thank you for this. I am eternally grateful.
    P.S. It does get better, however, these relapses will continue and there is never any warning when they will come about. It’s been 8 1/2 very long years for me.

  171. We are your village, lean on us, for support and love. Your Mum sounds remarkable, she raised a strong, talented and funny woman. My Dad passed 12 years ago and I now smile when I think of him.

  172. reading your posts is like visiting with a friend. And a friend has highs and lows. Don’t feel that you can only show the highs, the lows are part of the package with any friendship.

    I could very much relate to the smell of your mom’s shirt bringing back all the pain. Of course it does! Every now and then I have dream so vivid, I swear I hear my grandmother’s voice calling me, it startles me awake. I imagine the feeling is similar for you.

    Keep writing about what you are thinking and doing, whether that is planning a blanket or spinning some lovely wool, or missing your mother.

    lastly – are you sure the plants are dead, not just dormant? They might come up again in the spring…

  173. Stephanie – never apologize about talking too much about your mom and missing her. It’s been over 20 years since my mom died suddenly, and I miss her every day. Some days it hits me like a brick, most days it’s a small thing. Grief works differently for each person. Be gentle to yourself. Hugs.

  174. I, for one, am here because I like you, what you say, and how you say it. That includes the difficult stuff, the painful stuff, the oh-crap-this-is-happening-again stuff — it’s all part of who you are, and it’s so generous of you to share that with us.

  175. Gosh! You have so many comments, wow! I am sorry that you are in so much pain. I understand. It helps to journal about it, too. My mom and I had the same birthday, and it is a very sad day now. She died three years ago. I find that it helps to go to a new and inspiring location and to do something different. I have a lot of her clothes, too. I can relate. I wear the sweater and socks that I knit for her. I need to donate the other stuff. It helps to release the energy, I think.

  176. You will never stop missing your Mum. My mum died 20 years ago this December and I still miss her. My children didn’t really know her – they were 4 and 7 years old respectively at the time. We lived in different countries and they only saw her twice a year. But I look at Moyra, her grandmother’s namesake , and I see her in her eyes and her grounded wisdom. And I see her in my son who has her musical talent ( skipped a generation ) and is the splitting image of her father.

  177. I lost my mum more than 5 years ago although it often feels like yesterday. I don’t have anyone who can relate in my real life so I’ve found it comforting hearing you describe those familiar feelings somewhere that feels safe. Even though we are at very different stages in our life, I feel understood when you write about your mum. Almost like we are in the same club that no one wants to be in.
    I’m the same age as your Meg (I’m also named Meg) and I would read and re-read your blog when my mum was sick. Reading the blog feels like checking in with an old friend. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad.

  178. Steph – as long as you have feelings of loss, I will never be tired of hearing about them.

    I know you’ve said you sort of consider the blog to be your living room on the internet. I also think, though, that we as readers choose to come here. We have a choice to not read an entry if we see it’s about something we’d rather not read about, and we have the choice to check back later. This is your space and you can fill it with whatever you like.

    I like to think that we are your friends. And friends listen to feelings. Your mum was very dear to you, and it’s perfectly natural that you be very affected by the loss of her. We care about you very much, and we’re here for you whenever you need to express any feeling you have. Or at least I am…

  179. Dearest Stephanie, Please write about your Mum as much as you want to. I love hearing your stories about the wonderful person she was and your beautiful relationship (which I don’t have with my own mom) and like many others of the Blog have said, your honest words help us with our own processes of grief. DivaDar at 11:43 in the comments said “A person can grieve for years and never mourn.” My beloved godmother, who is 83, lost two of her 3 children when they were in their forties. One in a car accident -fast – and one 3 years later to brain cancer –slow. About five years ago she began having a lot of anxiety and then memory problems. She’s being treated for dementia. She doesn’t trust herself to remember things, sleeps a lot, doesn’t like to be away from her husband of 63 years, but also has “good days” where she seems normal. This past week one of her doctors said she thinks my godmother doesn’t have dementia, but that she never mourned her two lost children. She was being strong for the grandchildren and for all of us, all these years. Now, she is actively mourning, and it doesn’t necessarily leave room for other activities of daily life. All this to say, you go through the process at your own pace and in your own way. And if you want to tell us more about your process and about your Mum, we are here to listen. Sending love.

  180. 12 years and counting, sometimes the mud comes off, sometimes the mud stays for days. Just depends. Sometimes the mud is piled high, sometimes the mud is not there.

    Peace and Love

  181. I didn’t understand grieving until I lost my mom in 2015. It still grabs me unexpectedly from time to time – like last Christmas at a concert when they started singing Good King Wenceslas and I started sobbing like a baby because I remembered my mom playing that song way back when. Memories are funny things – sometimes we smile when we think of them and other times the grief bubbles up in us and finds an outlet. P.S. I too kept my mom’s robe and it comforts me to wear it.

  182. Please don’t feel badly about acknowledging your grief. It is very real and it may help you get through. I wish I were more like you in that you allow yourself to feel. In the past, I’ve shoved it down and got the job done. I managed to go through four years of numbness before catastrophe struck and I lost it. You are human. You are special. Your Mum is a very big part of you. It’s ok to heal at your own pace, we don’t mind. (Love the shawl btw, might have to cast on one for myself!)

  183. With so many comments, I cannot imagine that you will see, let alone read, mine. But here it is anyway. DO NOT stop talking about your grief. If you fear your friends are getting bored, find a therapist (perhaps you have, in which case, just ignore this) to whom you can go on and on about your grief. Holding it in can be deadly. Both literally and figuratively. Let that stuff out.

    Your story about your mum’s shirt brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of a scarf of my mom’s that somehow was buried in a box of my dad’s books. When I was searching through the box at his request, her scarf came floating out. 3 years after her death, it still smelled like her, and it was one I had given her years ago. I wept, and was glad all at the same time. It was a little unexpected visit. I wear that scarf all the time now.

    Sending you love.

  184. Dear Steph, please do stop apologizing, please. Will you, if I tell you that you are helping me tremendously? I lost my Dad some in April of last year and also still miss him. And feel rather silly at times. At almost 55, are you supposed to be that sad about losing a parent? Can’t help the way I’m feeling, and seeing I am not the only adult grieving for a parent does help me. Am I making sense? Anyway, I wish you lots of better, easier days in between the hard ones.

  185. It’s all good, your yarn news, your Elliot news, and your grief news. You are going to work through in your own time, we who have been there know, there is no time schedule. “To each his own.” Wishing you peace.

  186. Please don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t write about your grief. You are so good at putting into words what so many of us go through. And you’ve described the BLOG as a living thing- we get so much from you, you are allowed to get something from us too. Give yourself permission.

  187. Thanks for writing about loss and grief. We lost my father last week, unexpected, though he was 95. It helps to know the grief comes and goes.

  188. Your writing helps all of us who have suffered the loss of a parent or other loved one.

    Thank you for your beautiful words. Your descriptions of what triggers a painful memory are vivid and real.

    I recently came across some recipe cards of my mom’s which she typed on small bits of paper and then added some notes. I was able to look at these and smile at last even though it has been over 20 years since her death. Finding them was a gift.

  189. As you gently remind us when we argue amongst ourselves in here, this is your space, your living room. If we choose to visit you here, we know our friend is still sad because she lost the one person she had known (and who knew her) her whole life. Who knew her better than we or anyone else can know her. So we must be just as gentle with you, and remember that all of us know grief one day or another. And know that we would receive the same gentle understanding if we were sitting on that chesterfield beside you.

  190. Keep writing about what you are experiencing. You are saying what we are all feeling, no matter how long ago our loss, or how complicated the relationship that preceded it. Grief doesn’t have an expiration date; it moves on its own timeline. it helps us all to realize that we are human and real, and that those we missed touched our lives so.

  191. Oh, and the memories! My dad died a few months before I graduated from university. Many (!) years later, when my son graduated from Ryerson, he surprised me by wearing one of his grandfather’s ties under his gown. My husband took a lovely photo of me crying in our son’s arms as I recognized it. That was a happy/sad circle of life. They would have LOVED each other’s puns…

  192. Dear Steph-
    She was your Mom. This is your grief/process. AND this is your blog. You get to write whatever and whenever you want. If it helps you, do it. Do what ever you believe helps you. I know you are helping those of us whose lost our loved ones around the same time as you. In my case, my aunt and my mom with in 6 weeks of each other and both very much mothers to me. You also help me feel less weird about my grief and how it came out.
    I am going to use your blog reply to tell my story.

    When I lost Mom and Auntie in late spring 2017, I had so many people supporting me around the funerals. So many people with cards and flowers and a ton of plants. Cards can be saved in a box or tossed. Flowers eventually die, which was fine, but then I was left with all these house plants. They were beautiful and the people who gave them were so well intended. But I felt over whelmed with these new house plants. Don’t get me wrong, I like house plants, but we live in a small house and nowhere to put them. I felt like these gifts of comfort, were gifts of burden and taunting. Like the people giving them were saying “OH, so sorry about the loss of your loved ones, here is a lower life form to keep alive. Better luck with this.” I know that wasn’t true, but that was not what I felt. I was angry at all the plants. I re-homed them all, except one. A huge prayer plant that taunted me. It was from my staff and co-workers. I felt weird about getting rid of it. So I ignored it. It drooped. I felt guilty and watered it and it sprung back to life. This went on for months. Plant about to die, I revived it and resented it for being here and my loved ones were not. Finally, my husband, wrote a note in the voice of the plant telling me it was okay to let it go, it was okay to be angry at my loved ones for leaving me and to let the plant go. That was my breakdown. It was bad. Prior to this loss, I always struggled with anxiety and depression, but that put me over the edge. I sought out help. Not only did it help with my grief, but I wasn’t aware how depressed I became (the walking through mud thing) and how much I was not participating in my life. The partial out patient hospital program I was in really helped. I feel stronger and more able to handle the grief that I will have the rest of my life. Don’t be afraid to seek out help if you need it. You don’t always have to be strong. Sometimes the strong know when to find a soft safe place to fall.

  193. After my mom died, I was lucky to have a friend come to her home with me to sort the clothing. Cleaning out her house was awful, but the clothing was the worst. I didn’t save much – a vest and a handbag that I’d made for her, and some scarves. I also saved this kinda ratty terrycloth robe that she always wore. I wear it now all the time, especially when I’m blue. It’s like having her hugging me.

  194. The writing you’ve done about your mum is some of your finest writing. Please don’t apologize for it. Promise me you will write about her and about you missing her for as long as you need to. I promise you I will keep reading.

  195. I skipped all through the comments just to say… in the words of my mom (gone 20 years now). F*ck ’em. She wasn’t prone to swearing but in cases like this she would definitely say that.

    Not that I think anyone is sick of it or think you go on about your grief and your mum. And if they do F*ck ’em. She’s your mum. You want to take, write, sing, holler, yodel about her you go on ahead and do it.

  196. One of my best friends died suddenly 8 years ago, far too soon, since she was just 28 years old. Once college ended, our key group of friends (4 of us) never all lived in the same place, but some how we were constantly intertwined in our daily lives through IMs, group emails and more… losing her was literally the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Even now sometimes it feels like she’s only been gone a few months, even though my life has completely changed in the 8 years since. My husband never met her, and my 2.5 year old daughter certainly never did either, but I talk about my friend in the hopes that each feels like they share piece of her too.

  197. Post about missing your mum as much as you damn well please. You’ve made us laugh enough times when we didn’t expect to–you have the stage. Go for it.

    I remember smelling my beloved mother-in-law on a sweater of hers a year after her death–knocked me right into tears.

  198. All of the above. We come here to read what you have to say and to listen in on your world and to see your beautiful work. Full stop.

    Personally, I would love to hear more about your mum. If you care to share. My own was awesome personified. I could talk about her until…forever. It’s bonkers how a simple smell will bring on the tsunami. Mom has been gone so long that now I seek out the memories and the grief, like feeling for a bruise so you know it’s still there.

    See how your work affects us?

  199. I feel like an alien eavesdropping on a beautiful and (to me) foreign dynamic…my mum and I love each other, but we have NEVER been able to find our way to being at peace with each other in a healthy, sustainable way that wasn’t just conflict-avoiding…I’ve come to terms with the fact that my mother loves me, she just doesn’t like me much.

    I can only imagine how the loss of someone who built such a huge space for love inside you, who wasn’t like you exactly but still was 100%+ FOR you, would leave a devastating echo once she was gone…but the thought of that love, that lovely, echoing chamber steeped in having been so well-loved that you’ve known how to love forward into other precious lives…THAT is wonderous. I hope it will eventually feel like a banked fire, a gift to warm you your whole life long…

  200. Dear Stephanie, I look forward to reading your blog entries exactly the same as I look forward to reading a letter (or an e-mail) from a good friend. Which means you are a friend of mine, which means that I WANT you to let me know how you are doing and what you are feeling, not just what you are knitting at the moment. Thank you for mentioning how grief will drain your energy: this has been my experience but no one else had told me that it happens to them too, until you did. Thank you, for every word.

  201. Oh, Steph, please don’t stop writing about your mum. I read your postscript and thought about my last week. My beloved husband died 2 months ago after 11 long years of decline and I spent last week at a writing retreat with 15 of the most fabulous women friends imaginable. For the first time since August 14 I cried, really cried. Something deep inside unknotted while I was in the safe harbor of sympathetic friends’ arms and I can feel that the tears will finally come when I need them, when a sweet memory comes to call. They let me talk about Don, about his last week, about his last day, about my last year. Friends listen. The Blog will listen as often as you need us to.

    Lovely shawl.

  202. It’s all been said before but please know that those of us who have suffered major losses totally get your grief. Especially the part when it strikes when you think you’ve “got this”. I’m also one who sorts a good deal of life internally but sharing is good also. Do it whenever you need.

  203. I can’t remember where I saw this recently, but talk about your mother’s clothes reminded me. It was a quilt made out of a father’s flannel shirts. The person said it makes her feel like her father is hugging her every night with it on their bed. Tossing this out there in case it resonates with you or others as well. Blessings of kindness and peace.

  204. I am of an age where I have lost many people; grandparents, parents, a sibling, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, have all passed over. But I have found what helps me. I don’t think of them as gone. Instead I think of them as having moved really far, far away and for right now I won’t be visiting them. But someday I will. And that is okay.

  205. Talk about it as much as you want. My little sister died in Feb. She was living with me and went to see a friend for the weekend. The day she was supposed to come back the police came to my door instead. Then l had to go and tell my mother.
    The first holiday season without her is looming, and reading your experience has definitely helped me along.
    She and l loved Xmas together so much, l don’t know how l will get through this.

  206. Thank you for sharing your grief journey. I lost my daughter in May (stillborn at 21 weeks) and this whole month has felt like a grief-malaria episode for me. Reading your description helped me feel so much more normal. Please keep sharing. You are doing good work.

  207. Dear Stephanie –
    Please don’t fret about talking about your grief and missing your mom. I find myself missing my father or grandmother still at times and it’s been 20 years. Just today I was missing a dear friend who died 17 years ago. I think it’s part of life, this grieving of and missing those close to us. It’s ok, talk about it in the blog as much as you need to. We’re here to listen, witness and support you, even if we don’t make a comment.

  208. My Mom died January 31, one week after her 86th birthday. I miss her every minute of every day. Your writing makes me know that I am not alone, even though I know I am Very Alone. Don’t stop.

  209. I know just how you feel. My older sister died unexpectedly ten years ago. I loved her so much. She was a wonderful classical guitar player. Dad gave us all a video he had made of her playing at a concert. The film starts with her walking with her guitar in hand to the stage. The sight of her back, which I draped my arm around (I’m taller than her) so many times always does me in and I am still not able to actually watch her play. It will come, but just now I can’t move beyond the feeling of her back under my arm.
    Love and strength to you.

  210. Dear Stephanie, never feel like you can’t talk to us about you mum. I know that feeling, of, oh, am I going on too long about my husband’s death again? God I’m the most monotonous person on Earth. And it’s hard, and it sucks, and sometimes some people *are* praying for you to move on to a different topic (and that’s its own little hell, it’s funny how the people who get it aren’t always who you’d expect but they quickly become more precious than diamonds, or water in the desert. The people who are never praying for you to change the topic, the people who are trying their best to figure out how to help you).

    But you never have to worry about that here. Because this is your Blog and we are your Blog and we love you and we’re here for you and it’s always, always, always okay. And for some people it will be water in the desert, and diamonds, and that is a gift you’re giving us. Honest talk about grief is hard to find, and I thank you for sharing with us. It’s a relief, to know I’m not the only one still moving through mud, though it’s down by my knees now, not around my neck.

    But it comes in waves. I’m having a tough day today, I’ve opted to telecommute so I can cry unimpeded. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I’m malingering. But I’m not. This is hard and it takes as long as it takes and sometimes you get hit by a rogue wave of grief. Smells are hard. A lady housesitting for me washed the last load of my husband’s dirty clothes, though I had told her expressly *not* to (this was about four months after he died). I was devastated when I saw what she’d done. That little bit that she took from me, that I can never get back. She was only trying to help, and thought I’d be pleased. She was shocked when I had a hysterical crying fit instead.

    Anyway, long story short (too late!) I hope you are gentle and kind to yourself. This is so very, very hard. You are recovering from an emotional wound. It’s real and it takes time and I don’t think it’s ever really all done, just you make some progress, here and there. You get ambushed by a smell or a look or you just never know. You’re not alone, for the little bit it’s worth. We’re here for you.

  211. Stephanie we never get over the loss of a beloved parent – for women I think it’s even more devastating when it’s your mother. My mother has been gone almost 3 years and I was extremely emotional at my daughter’s wedding shower on the weekend that my mom wasn’t there to share it with us. My daughters and I all wore a piece of her jewelry to remember her and have her there with us in spirit. My mother herself regularly talked about her own mother who died in 1950. I, for one, don’t get tired of hearing of your journey and appreciate your willingness to share. Our grief does turn to remembering the happy memories but we never get over missing them.

  212. 4.5 years ago my mom died very suddenly of previously undiscovered cancer while we were on a trip together. The next years while I was in the valley of the shadow I read your blog and you were having such fun on trips with your mom. I was so jealous and strangely afraid for you, I hoped your mom would live to be 107 at least. If I couldn’t have my mom, I came to a place where I was glad there were many people who still had theirs in no small part due to your writing. Keep writing. It’s never too much, it’s never going to be to much, you’re the support group I should have joined 4 years ago but didn’t. Bless you and know you bless all of us.

  213. Please don’t censor yourself. My mom passed away about six weeks ago. As she was sick, I thought of you and your blogposts, and some of what you have written has been my touchstone.

    Take care.

  214. Stephanie, Thank you for sharing this. My Mom had a stroke on 10/15 and died on 10/19 and, even though I know she was miserable those last few days and I wanted peace for her, and she was 93 and ready to go, and yes, I KNOW I was lucky to have her for so long, I cannot believe I will never see her again. I’m in the cement and it’s good to know mud is coming. Your post came at just the right time for me (not that it’s about me!), but really. Thank you.

  215. I am one of those that finds your writing very helpful. My mom passed away in 2010, after ten years of terrible illness, just as I was celebrating my first year as a new mom. Despite taking care of her for a great many of those ten preceding years, knowing full well that the inevitable would one day come, it was still a huge shock to my system. I fooled myself into thinking I was dealing well with my grief after she passed, when in reality I wasn’t processing it at all and in fact quite depressed. I sought a few counselling sessions and had an a-ha moment when my therapist said that if you don’t feel the pain, you can’t feel any joy. It’s eight years on now and while I may be through the cement, even the mud, I’m probably still somewhere in tall grass as even now, grief can sneak up and tackle me to the ground. In the past ten months, our family has moved house twice, one of those being a cross country move. Amid the expected stress of all that entails, I’ve had to confront what I affectionately refer to as ‘the box’. The box of things belonging to my mom that I haven’t dealt with in eight years. The box of her clothes, her photos, her memories. I’ve avoided it for exactly the reason you described in your post; the scent on her clothes. For so long after she died, it levelled me. But the house we’re in now is much smaller than our previous home, and I cannot avoid downsizing anymore. I dealt with the box. And it was ok. Of all the expensive and wonderfully stylish clothes she had and wore during her life, it was the comfortable pj’s she wore in her last years that I kept. I sifted through them and decided on which ones will become part of a memory quilt. Next on the list is the photos, which I have a plan for. Only those that she is in will I keep and arrange in a book instead of a box. I found so many cards she sent me after I moved out east with lovely, loving things written in them. Eight years on and I still cry, but now there is more room to smile and remember the good. And it feels really good to talk about her.

  216. Sending hugs, Steph. Please talk about your grief when you’re able and it helps. I haven’t lost anyone, just got off the phone with my mom, but there are some big changes in my life and I’m working thru them and it helps to know I’m not the only one.

    When my dad died, immediately after his funeral, my stepmother cleaned out his closet. My dad was a big guy, and my skinny little daughter wanted one of his shirts that came to her knees and she could wrap it around herself 3 times. She wore it for a couple of months because it “smelled like grandpa.” We finally had to wash it. Altho she still has it, it no longer smells like grandpa. My youngest sister took my stepfathers robe for the same reason… Many years later, when we were cleaning out the attic, we found that robe and it still smelled like he did… and we all sat around the living room crying and laughing like ninnys… “Remember when?” Grief never totally goes away… I think we just get used to it.

  217. I just lost my dad 2 weeks ago to lewey body dementia, he was 76. My mom has Alzheimer’s. I don’t know what’s harder; loosing them suddenly or in little bits and pieces. I completely understand the conflict of missing your mum and wanting to feel close to her by loving and cherishing the things she loved and cherished, yet not being able to do so all at once. My mom, who has been in assisted living for 2 years, loved, collected and even wove a couple Navajo rugs. I hung one up today.

  218. Like many others, I’m responding because I have become a member of the inevitable club of those who have lost their mothers. My mom passed away in September three weeks after a cancer diagnosis. Your writing has helped me so much. I ventured into her closet last night (to find some things I had knit for her) and can completely identify with what you described. The “grief relapse,” the feeling the weight of grief as a second job — all of it. Thinking of you, Stephanie, and everyone here who’s lost someone special. We were so lucky to have them while we did, and that’s why it hurts so much more when they’re gone. Peace.

  219. Thank you for sharing your grief with us. The price of great love is great loss. Not anything to apologize for. You are so fortunate to have had such a close relationship with your mom. We lost a young boy who was like a son to me 3 years ago. A day doesn’t go by without a thought for him. I have made an effort to try to remember all the wonderful times with joy but it doesn’t mean I don’t still cry.

  220. 2.5 years since my Mom died. It catches me every now and again – right now I’m going through a stage of feeling like I wasn’t nice enough to her/around her. I probably was, but right now, all I can remember is being snarky. This too shall pass (I hope).

    Write it out! either in the blog or elsewhere. And friends don’t mind – they are either empathizing because they have grieved or are learning how it can be done via you. It’s all good.

  221. Stephanie, your writing about grief incredibly beautiful and necessary. It is also mindful for those of us who have been there in the past. My mother died 20 years ago and my father, whom I was closer to, 10 years ago. And this week I sat on the floor of my closet rummaging through boxes of various papers, and in a notebook I took off my father’s desk because it had information about relatives I would need to contact, I found 5 lines — a poem? whose? — about how he did not need the promise of heaven, because he had found it on earth. It had clearly been written in the last weeks of his life, when he was fending off various illnesses. And it was soothing in a strange way to see this reflection in his hyper-familiar handwriting.

    We love you for more than the yarn, as I’m sure you know

  222. Stephanie, please don’t ever worry about writing about your grief or your mum. I lost my Dad 2 years ago and I so understand what you’re going through. Believe me it does get easier but there are still those moments that hit you like a sucker punch and the grief is fresh again.

  223. Please
    Keep us posted when your thoughts about your Mother come up.
    We want to hear them
    For me, grief comes in waves.
    The shawl is so lovely- Mazel Tov!
    All the best

  224. Steph, there are so many replies, and I am so late, that you might not even get this far rading them… hoever… first of all this is -your* blog, you write in it whateveryyou want to write about. Second, we read this blog to read about you. And personally, like to read about everything that you might think of to write about. No, I am not sick of of hearing abour your mom. We’ve all lost somebody who was (IS) dear to us, and we all must struggle with loss at some point of our lives… We might all do us in a slightly diffrent way, but knowing that we are not alone, helps us. I always believed what they said, that the pain will slowly decrease… but in my experience the pain only grew, for o long… for years and years. withe very day, the pain grew a little. It never went away. I might have learned to live with it, but it never gone away.
    I love to read your thoughtson everything. If it is your mom, then about her.
    Gorgeous shawl.

  225. Hi Steph,

    My mom died suddenly 18 years ago, when I was 37. I’m not tired of reading about your mom, and it brings back both happy memories of my mom and also grief at how much I still miss her. I’m so sorry that you are going through this, but please talk as much as you want. We’re all listening and caring about what you feel.

  226. I will never tire of hearing about your mom or your life, however it is. Grief is such a hidden thing in society, how strong you are to share it. My closest friend lost her mom 2 years ago and hearing you speak helps me better help her. Empathy and understanding is my weakness, I *really* need things spelled out for me, and you do that.

    Do you think it’s the changing of the seasons? In the fall I have a relapse into depression from a trauma of my past. You are not alone and you help bring us together. I’ve been thinking about your post since you posted it.

  227. Thank you for sharing your grief. It makes me appreciate my mom (still living) every time. And, it makes me think about the hole I would leave my kids (ages 11 and 15) if something were to happen to me suddenly. It reminds me to think about what I can do to help them become more resilient. Your words are a gift.

  228. I know “that feeling” of missing your mum. It does come and go. My mum has been gone 6 years now but I must say I still have moments of melancholy. Most recently on the anniversary of her death and last June when I had to make the decision to put my dog down. I cried like a baby last June while struggling with the mental anguish of loosing my pup. My sweet Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier had PLN (protein loss nephropathy) a terminal genetic illness particular to puppy mill dogs from that breed. I was side swiped with the diagnosis and 2 months her kidneys shut down and I was left with a decision that has become the second worst day of my life. I have my mothers winter coats I wear them and feel like its a hug from her. So when you wear something of your mum’s. Remember, she would have wanted you to wear it and she is giving you a hug each time you put it on. Find comfort in the material things that you have that belonged to her. She is giving you a hug!

  229. I’ve never commented on a blog before but after reading this post I felt compelled to. You should never worry about writing about your grief here. Through the years you’ve allowed us to share in the joys your family has experienced, and it follows that you would share some of the heart aches as well. I hope that sharing that grief with friends, even virtual ones, will help to bring you comfort and peace.

  230. I lost my father five years ago and what you have described in this post so eloquently puts into words exactly what it has been like. It is refreshing and reassuring to hear from someone that feels exactly like I do. Knowing that its not just me makes me a little less mad at the world for daring to go on 🙂

  231. There is nothing in the world like your mom — and even though people will tell you to be happy you have such wonderful memories, it is these very memories that become the most heartrwenching because they now serve as merely the sole survivor of what once was, with the “wonderful” part overlooked as what can never again be. It has been five years for me and it is as fresh in my mind as it was the moment it happened, and while I will never say it has gotten easier (how could it possibly become easier not to be with someone who could sit across from you for hours on end, listening adoringly to every boring word you have to say about your life, and then tell you how terrific you are?), I will say that you yourself become a different person, someone who now bears certain scars that are as unique as your mom once was. And if you are like me, you will find yourself searching for your mom in the kindness of strangers. My mom was so sincere and her face so pink with excitement when she was helping others that I find myself drawn to similar expressions in strangers around me and feel that my mom now exists there and in everything that is good and wholesome in the world. It is the only way I am able to find peace, it seems, and even though it pulls at my heart to see any reminders of what I lost, it sometimes brings a smile to my face. It’s the best I can do these days. Your beautiful tribute was part of that reminder for me, and I thank you for such a lovely remembrance, even the tears it brought with it, because once again I could feel my mother. And I can say, the best I can say, with the only reassurance I can now offer you (and yes, me, too) is that our moms will never ever truly leave us. I saw mine in your words today.

  232. Thank you so much for sharing what you’re going through. My family recently lost someone, and your posts are comforting. It’s an odd thing to say and to feel, but you’re able to put into words what we’re going through. Having the words pinned down on the page somehow makes them less jagged and less violent.

  233. Stephanie, I’m so sorry. I havent been here in years – I dropped out of lots of things. My feelings on the matter are that it doesn’t really get easier, one just gets used to it. And eventally, like after 10 years, you are so used to it, that maybe it’s easier. As I close in on 18 years, I’m still not sure. And of course with a fiull life like yours, new born people can take one’s mind off the sadness and bring in more memories with fondness.
    Love, marilyn

  234. My dad has been gone 5 years. This is the first year it hasn’t physically hurt. Just hits sometimes now with such sadness. It will be better. ❤

  235. I also can’t tell you how much I appreciate your posts about your mum. You’ve always done your readers the honor of inviting us into your personal life and I’m grateful that continues to be true. And I’ve felt less alone in my losses thanks to you.

  236. I so appreciate your sharing your feelings here. I did not know wha was wrong with me until I read this. It is the anniversary of my Mom’s dying (5 years) and I am having a very hard tim functioning. I put flowers on her gave today. I thought that would help. I did, but not enough. Now I know what is wrong, grief flu.

  237. Hello, Stephanie, Our stories are similar, although it seems your relationship was closer with your mom … mine passed, too, in 2017, and I turned 50 at start of this year … reading this is all giving me more of a place to put my lingering sense of grief. As it was, Mom’s death was followed by the big “eclipse trip” to the US, and life going full-on upon return. This year has found me avoiding dealing with it by taking over a small webshop in the Netherlands (selling “everyday” American brand yarns) … Now that I know you are here (I had read a book (multiple times, I confess) but just never searched for your blog), I will keep coming back to read how you have been dealing with this … Thank you for sharing …

  238. I loved this post and I wanted to comment to let you know. I lost my grandmother who also loved to knit just before thanksgiving last year, and I have the same feelings of “this is still hers” about a lot of things that I inherited from her. I’m still struggling with these holidays, and I know it is in part because I’m not planning them around her, like I used to. Your love for your mom is inherent in your writing, and I think it helps for fellow grieving people to hear they’re not alone. That little things like this just recur, and it is a sign that you loved that person so well, and miss them so much. <3

  239. Stephanie, we lost my husband’s mother in October after a very long illness and his father at the beginning of this month, January after a quite short illness. I know what you mean about worrying that folks are going to be sick of hearing about your mother, how much you miss her, your grief. I’ve quite often felt exactly the same way. Reading your thoughts has been such a comfort to me, and certainly many, many others. I hope you do continue to write your heart out, and perhaps take some comfort yourself that you are not at all alone in your feelings. Thank you for so generously sharing with all of us.

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