Saturday, July 1, 2017

Knitting, Grieving, and Making Connections

Alex frequently sends me articles about the health benefits of knitting, but it wasn't until recently that I really started to appreciate those benefits.

My uncle Billy passed away last week and as I usually do when we're going on a trip, I brought my knitting with me for our trip to see my family in Kentucky. Knitting at a time like this seems silly, but I didn't realize what a comfort it would soon be.

I'm currently working on Little Cabin by Caitlin Hunter, but really I could've been knitting an endless swatch of stockinette stitch and it would've still been helpful.

When someone I love passes away, I'm looking for a distraction and a break from feeling the weight of the sadness. Knitting provides just that. I'm counting stitches, I'm looking at charts, I'm reading directions, I'm feeling that back and forth movement of the needles. And it's comforting. I don't know why, but it's comforting.

Death brings up so many terrible feelings, and I'm not saying that we should avoid or ignore them. But sometimes those feelings are overwhelming and so painful. Knitting can bring a temporary peace and calm that can help us feel better even if it's just for a few minutes.

I was talking to Alex about Billy's talent as a mechanic and his love for old cars when Alex brought up an interesting point that bridged my knitting with Billy: my family is full of people who do things with their hands. Mechanics, electricians, sewers, crocheters -- we all love working those fine motor skills, and we're good at it. I never really thought about that before, but it made me feel that much more connected to other members of my family.

At first I was worried that every time I look at this sweater, I'll think of my uncle Billy and be sad. But I think it might just do the opposite: I think it will serve as a little tribute to him every time I wear it.

If you're interested in reading more about the health benefits of knitting, whether it's for grief, depression, anxiety, or anything else, check out some of these articles:

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashley. A lovely tribute to your Uncle Billy. ❤️


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