Will you sit with me a minute as I collect my thoughts and work on Gather? I am missing my friend and am a little numb, so I’m going to show you photos of knitting and act like it’s a healing therapy.
And you know that it is. It’s just not an immediate balm. Gather is perfect “thinking knitting.” This is not a taxing stitch pattern. It’s easy to memorize, rhythmic and soothing. I will probably associate it with this time in my life- and not in a bad way.
I am self-reflecting more than running through memories of my grandmother. That surprises me. I know I’m not the only person who re-evaluates their life after losing someone they love. I have grieved before, but I don’t think I’ve ever questioned the way I live my life like this at the same time. I’ve spent the last week being quiet and listening. Sometimes I leave home to walk, at least when it wasn’t raining. Otherwise, I go about my normal daily thing, only occasionally hit with the reality that she is really gone. There’s a split-second, deja vu of the moment the hospital called me and I feel sick all over again. Then I come to myself and realize I’ve stopped knitting and have been staring off into space for quite a while. I’ve been through this before. I know how it works- that the rough edges of it will soften.
But something is different now. An era is over. Everyone from that generation, most of my mother’s family is gone. What will a post- Frances and Oscar world look like? Certainly it will be darker, less authentic.
So, I’m walking for hours, sitting in the yard, knitting with the dogs, and thinking. I find that I am being more honest with myself than I had taken the time to be, previously. It wasn’t intentional, I just didn’t have the time to consider certain relationships/ social circles. I certainly didn’t have the energy to change my involvement in any big way. It’s weird that continuing to do what is expected of me would be easier than doing nothing. But I guess it seemed that way at the time.
Only, now I’m looking at those roles, in the light of loss, and some seem wasteful. Have they contributed to mine or my family’s lives in any measurable way? Was it worthy?
Strangely, I feel something welling up inside of me, like a tsunami of discontent. I’m not even sure if this is in any way related to losing a grandmother that was both mother figure and dearest friend. Maybe it’s just coming forward because I now have time alone with my thoughts.
And how have I spent my time, who have I been serving? Is it time for a change?
Maybe it’s time to remove my presence, one that may barely be noticed, from certain groups or responsibilities. Maybe I was just so in “servant mode,” from caring for a loved one for a few years , that I took on those responsibilities or relationships without hesitation.
I want to carefully consider where I spend my strength, a resource I now see as precious because it had been dwindling. If my life is brief (I am 2 years older than my mother was when she died.) then I want it to be filled with fulfilling my calling. Working a fundraiser while listening to hours of banal, ungrateful conversation isn’t living life more abundant. Neither is withdrawing emotionally to escape another person’s anger.
I want to pour myself into joy. It is precious and if I find myself in company that squelches that softly glowing gift, I need to re-think my involvement.
In short, I don’t want to waste time on unworthy things. Maybe that’s where my grandmother’s life fits in. Life on this earth is so short and precious. I want to spend my life living as I believe. I can only hope that it will be something like the blessing hers was to us.
I’m really not having an Eat, Pray, Knit, Love moment here. I mean, there is praying and knitting happening, but it’s just the thoughts in my head right now.