Crafting through Griefcomments (12) January 12th, 2009
The nights are the hardest.
I put my cat, Mac Daddy, down last week, and I can hardly bear to get into bed, knowing that I can no longer spoon him. Melatonin and Ambien have forsaken me, my mind races all night, and I keep finding crumpled Kleenex in and around the bed. When I went to wash my face, I found white salt clumped on my eyelashes.
Obviously, I’m heartbroken.
I don’t know what to do with myself. I have loads of work to do, but my mind is a fog. Trying to read a book just results in me reading the same paragraph over and over. I developed writer’s block. My friends are doing their best to keep me occupied, but I can’t deal with more than a couple hours at a time, and I sure as heck can’t go out in public (salty eyelashes and all that comes with that). US Weekly, Rock of Love Bus, and pretty much every magazine, website, and TV show I usually enjoy seem callow, shallow, and pretty meaningless. I even, gasp, got bored with Facebook.
I figured I’d craft.
I prewashed some duck canvas and spent a good half hour trying to press it smooth, thinking I’d sew a market tote. Then the idea of measuring and cutting out the pieces overwhelmed me, so I folded the fabric and set it aside. At least it’s ready to go.
I then turned to knitting, another trusty companion. I rummaged around in my three knitting bags, looking for projects in progress or inspiration for a new project. With the Obamarama shawl and Christmas presents completed and blocked, there wasn’t much left. I ripped out two projects: a hat that, in my current mood, seemed fugly and a scarf for a man I’d rather not focus on right now. I grabbed a bag with the beginnings of a sweater, but following directions for shaping wasn’t going to happen.
I eyeballed my massive stash, wanting to work with a yarn that was just as comforting and plush as Mac Daddy’s fur felt and as pleasing to the eye as his furry face. I reached for a Mountain Colors silk/wool yarn and paired it with a hat pattern so familiar that it has become mindless. As I get absorbed in DVDs of The Tudors Season 2 and the John Adams miniseries—shows that will take me far away from my empty apartment—my hands have an activity to replace petting my little beast. Through my craft, my hands can stay busy as I try to calm my mind. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll sleep a little bit better tonight.
What have you created during times of grief?
What crafts do you find comfort in?
For more on Mac Daddy, check out my blog.