A Glimpse into Grief

Last week I discovered that a dear friend’s mother passed away from a long illness.  After I shed a few tears for her, I knew it was time to finish this project.

It started as a personal challenge to use some blue scraps from a Judy Neimeyer quilt I pieced.  (I love Judy Neimeyer’s designs, but sheesh there’s a lot of waste & scraps at the end of the day!)  I decided to make it another exercise in “free-piecing,” so I just started sewing pieces together & played around with various layouts.  Nothing inspired me.

Then a little later, we found out that our neighbor’s son was found dead in his apartment, no sign of foul play, just died of natural causes at the age of 26.  After sitting with his mother one afternoon, I came home full of emotions.  I had that nervous energy one gets & got out the pieces to this project again.  It came to me what this project needed to be.

That day, my neighbor had the realization her son wasn’t coming back.  That he truly was dead & that meant all the little interactions one doesn’t often think about won’t be happening anymore.  He will not be at Sunday dinners, he won’t be calling or texting, he won’t be leaving things at their house anymore.  It’s these situations we grieve- the loss of the future.

To me, these feelings always came with a deep, stabbing pain.  Piercing jabs that cut through my skin to my soul.  I hadn’t felt these in nearly 10 years since my mother died & I was surprised how quickly I remembered them.  I wanted to express this pain in this quilt.

So in this quilt, we have a portion of the pain.  Just a glimpse of what I was feeling.  Start at the lower left hand corner & work your way to the upper right corner.  Feel the engulfing darkness.  The swirling pain.  The innumerable short stabs that can overwhelm to the point of exhaustion.  The greater chaos the further away you travel.

This is my grief.

One thought on “A Glimpse into Grief

  1. Hi Robin! I have just finally gotten around to sharing your blog with my sister who loves to quilt. I know she will love this site. I also just read about your grief quilt, and even though it is an expression of your pain, I think it is beautiful. I love the artistic feel and your explanation of the process totally takes me through pain and grief. Great job! You are a very talented artisan. Paul Ahrens

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