Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Personal Loss and Waiting for Sadness to Soften

Last Friday, my family lost my maternal grandmother.  She was a really wonderful, loving person, and we've been feeling the loss keenly.  It was sudden and unexpected, and while that is a blessing in some ways, it came as a shock.  I know that time will mellow the sadness, but you still have to put in those tender days, one at a time...

Though I've given crochet doilies to a handful of people-- and they've expressed what I'm sure is genuine appreciation of the time and work that goes into them-- Granny was one of my most enthusiastic doily recipients, and I'm sure I'll always associate thread crochet with her.  It had become a tradition for me to crochet a doily or two for her birthday and Christmas gifts, every year.  There's a pang when I remember that she won't be here to unwrap one this May, but I'm trying to focus on the happy memories instead.

The day after Granny passed away, I spent a few minutes (trying to grasp some sense of normality) looking through one of those quilting magazines Mom gave me, back around Christmas.  Almost the first thing I saw in it was a letter from a reader who had sewn memory quilts from the clothes of her mother-- one for each of the adult grand-daughters, based on the topic of the eulogy each had given.  The last one was themed on one of her grandmother's favorite sayings-- "Home again, home again, jiggety jog."   

Granny used to say, "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig," when we turned down her driveway after being away, shopping or such.  It may sound strange, but it really did feel like I was meant to see that right then, and I tried to take some comfort from it.  A confirmation that all was well-- that she had gone with joy and peace to her spiritual home, where she was greeted by loved ones already there.  At the very least it was a reminder that this experience is one we all endure, sooner or later.  Loss, sadness-- but also an eventual return to the happy, everyday routines of life.  Bittersweet memories softening surely sweeter, until you can face them without tears. 

This morning, my mother told me that she wants to be sure we set aside some of Granny's clothes to sew into a memory quilt.  (She and one of my aunts sew beautiful quilts, and you may remember that I'm just beginning to quilt, too.)  I thought immediately of the magazine-- and "home again, home again, jiggety-jig"-- and I couldn't quite trust myself to speak about it, so I just nodded in agreement.  It's a good idea.  Granny would have approved.