Sunday, February 19, 2012

A lot

I was having lunch with a friend the other day when she paused for a minute and said: "wow, you have a lot on your plate right now." I could feel a look of panic - that deer in the headlights expression we all know - come across my face as I smiled and replied, "yes, I know." Work has been especially busy this month - in a good way, but overwhelming nonetheless. And it helped me take my mind off some overwhelming things on the personal front, too.

My father died three and a half weeks ago. He had been ill with dementia for a long time, and the man I knew as my father ceased to exist years ago. But my father died, and that hit me harder than I had expected.

I have spent the last three and a half weeks debating how I wanted to talk about this on the blog, if at all. 

On the day he died, before the reality of his death fully hit me, I thought about writing up one of the FO posts that are long overdue. But pretending that nothing had happened felt inappropriate. Because something fundamental had shifted in my world, even though life continued like normal for everyone else.

I've thought about trying to write about what I've been feeling. How I've felt numb, how I haven't wanted to read testimonials that other people have written about my father because the emotions that they brought up have been too raw. How I felt like an interloper at the celebration of his life because much of the focus there was on a part of his life that happened before I was even born. But this is incredibly personal and not something I necessarily want to broadcast for everyone to see.

I've thought about not blogging at all. Just stopping and not writing any more because I don't know quite what to say. My world shifted. Yours didn't. How do I address and acknowledge that?

I'll try this:

My father died. 

There's so much more to it than those three little words but they'll do for now. 

Let me show you one of my favorite projects: a stranded colorwork sweater that I designed and knit up as a gift for my father when I was still in college.

I still have all of the leftover yarn from this project (Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering - there's quite a bit of it) and I'm going to design and knit some sort of jumper or dress for tadpole. There's no way I'd be able to have it finished in time for her birthday in two weeks so she'll get her inauguration into the grand Tinks and Frogs tradition of receiving the promise of a handknit as her gift. Somehow I don't think this will work too well once she's old enough to understand the concepts of birthdays and presents so I'd better take advantage while I still can.

Where do we go from here?

I have four FOs to show you - Catkin, Stripe Study, Millwater (a lovely infinity scarf), and another pair of my favorite Gentlemen's Shooting Stockings with Fluted Pattern. Mr. Tinks and Frogs has a promised sweater design that I haven't talked about yet. I've made progress on Girasole. I'm organizing the stash and there will be some yarn giveaways.

So expect some random posts as I try to catch up and move forward. I haven't felt up to commenting on blogs for the past month but I'm getting there. I wasn't even reading them for a while (it felt like cheating to read where I normally comment when I knew I wasn't in a place where I could write anything in return) but I've taken that up again in the past week and I'm almost caught up.

It's a process, right?


Kealii said...

I've been following your blog for about a year now, I'm so sorry for your loss, just wanted to offer my condolences and prayers for you and your family.

Katie said...

I'm so so sorry. Take care of yourself, & try to relish in the good stuff.

Linda M said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and I do understand the cosmic shift in your world. Everything is tilted differently now and it is really hard to get used to the new normal. As Katie says above - take care of yourself, love your family, and try to relish the good stuff. All we can do is move forward one step at a time from where we are at the moment. I'll keep your family in my thoughts.

Bev said...

It's hard. You think you are prepared to lose someone when you've already lost them mentally, but you find out you're wrong. You can't prepare for what it feels like to lose a parent. It gets easier, but it stinks. Take care of yourself.

kristenmakes said...

Hi Rue, I am so sorry... Nothing can prepare one for something like this, and you've been really brave sharing this with us. My thoughts are with you and your family, I can see from the picture that your father knew how loved he was, and he must have really treasured that jumper.

Estella said...

Rue, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. My father in law was slowly dying for 5 years and when the end finally came we all felt like the rug was pulled out from under us. You grieve for years and then you find a huge hole in your life. As others have said, take care of yourself during this time. Sending hugs.

Jacey said...

The sweater you made for him is incredible. It blows my mind that you designed and knit a fitting sweater for another person. Amazing, Rue!

I know I can't fully grasp what you've been going through, but I've been thinking of you. I think this post is exactly the best way to start again in your space. Like you said, it's a process.

Also, I can't believe Tadpole is almost one!

elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry, Rue, I can't imagine what you're going through. Take your time, write when you feel like it. Sending hugs!

Kathy said...

I'd meant to write to ask if everything was okay and now I feel especially bad for not having done so. I'm very sorry for your loss. Your Dad looks like a very jovial, good natured person. Dementia is a hard road to travel but completely different from the physical loss of someone passing. May you find courage to bear this difficult time. xoxo

Susan said...

Blessings to you and your family. Take care of yourself and take time to be sad.

duni said...

i am so very sorry to hear about your father. take all the time you need, whenever you need it. truly.

Sandra said...

you've had to deal with losing your father twice, and that's not easy. I lost my Dad 16 years ago, and it still hurts. The jumper for Tadpole will be a wonderful reminder of a part of her that she will only know from pictures and stories, but she will get the best of him that way.
Take your time, and do what you need to do for yourself and your family.

beardedknitter said...

Deepest sympathies. My grandfather passed in December and was the first close death I'd really experienced. It threw me off for a while, and I can only imagine how it's been.
Let me say, though, that I'm glad you didn't opt to stop writing altogether. I like your blog too much for that!
Hope things continue to get better.

ikkinlala said...

I'm so sorry.

lauren said...

Rue, I'm so sorry to hear this. Sending lots of love your way.

Jennifer said...

Rue - I'm so sorry for your loss! He looks like a wonderful man. Hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry ths comment is so late. I am so sorry for your loss. My father-in-law died just after you published this post. He also suffered from dementia and although he no longer knew any of us, his death came as a huge shock. We love him and miss him every day. I can't imagine how much more awful it must be when it's your own father. Sending you good thoughts from Holland x