Ever since I started writing about crochet and health I have received the most touching emails from people who want to share their stories about how crochet has helped them through their own personal tragedies and difficulties in love. I love receiving these stories. I strongly believe that everyone has a unique individual experience of life and that sharing that experience benefits the individual who shares it as well as the people who hae the opportunity to hear or read that story. I am especially happy when someone allows me to go further and share their story with my readers because you never know how one person’s story will affect another. Today I am here to share the story of Heidi LeMay, a woman who lost her daughter last year and almost lost herself but is getting stronger and better each day thanks in part to crochet.
Here is Heidi’s story in her own words:
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw your book Crochet Saved My Life because I do say that crochet is helping me get through the worst time of my life. I lost my only child in July 2011 after her long and courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis & Diabetes. She passed away at home with me after 5 days of literally gasping for air. She was my entire life and we were never without each other.
I miss her every day and after being hospitalized myself from grieving and shrinking to 76 lbs, I have been getting help and have used crochet as some of that help. I was a single parent and all I knew was to take care of my daughter. Now I’m lost without her. Crochet helps me keep busy. It calms my nerves and gives me projects to finish. I have always loved to crochet and am glad that I have something to do and can make things for other people. The variety of things to crochet is endless. Of course, it will never totally fix my depression over the loss of my daughter, but it does help give me something to do.”
I am so saddened for Heidi’s loss but so glad to know that crocheting is helping her to move forward through this rough period of life.
Crochet for Grief
Heidi touches on several ways that crochet is helping her in the grieving process:
- Crochet helps keep her busy. When you are dealing with grief and other forms of depression your mind can easily get stuck in a negative cycle of rumination that makes the problem worse. Crocheting helps break that cycle of rumination and give your mind some breathing space. It gives you something to do to keep busy and yet is not difficult or exhausting in the way that many other keep-busy activities might be.
- Crochet calms her nerves. Anxiety is a frequent component of depression and grief. Crochet is repetitive, structured activity that often helps reduce anxiety and bring the nerves back to a more stable place that is easier to deal with. I have found this to be especially helpful at nighttime when insomnia may kick in and the world can seem like such a dark, scary, hopeless place.
- Crochet gives Heidi projects to finish. When you are grieving, it is hard to see a positive future. It is hard to believe that anything you do will ever come out okay again. Crochet offers a chance to set really short-term easy-to-meet goals in the form of projects. Completing those projects is a form of achieving goals and concretely showing yourself that you can move into a positive future even if it does not feel like it right now.
- Crochet offers her the opportunity to make things for others. Crochet is a tangible easy way that you can show your love to others. It is a way to give back to people who are supporting you through your grief when you just don’t have the words to say how much they mean to you. It is a way to give to others in tough situations if you crochet for charity. Giving handcrafted items to others can help you re-build your own self-esteem in the face of depression because even if you can’t function in many ways, you can still give to others. It is a powerful thing.
- “The variety of things to crochet is endless”. This is so true! And although Heidi doesn’t say it explicitly, I think this shows that she’s starting to feel some enthusiasm for life again, some excitement about the possibilities in crochet that will eventually lead to excitement about other possibilities in life.
Share Your Story
Has crochet helped you through a difficult time? If you want to share your story, Crochet Concupiscence is a safe space where you can do so. You can share your name or stay anonymous, whatever is right for you at this time. Just send an email with your story to me using the contact page on this site and we’ll work together from there.