Here is the next of the beautiful, inspiring, special contributions coming in to the #MandalasForMarinke remembrance project. I am grateful for each and every amazing contribution. You are invited to join; learn more here.
Beautiful Crochet Mandalas
I love the immense detail that’s gone in to these tiny thread crochet mandalas. They’re the full mandala patterns worked in thread crochet with exquisite attention and terrific color choices. I especially love the yellow, orange and pink sunshine-y spoke crochet mandala!
Meet the Maker
These creations are from the wonderful Jenny Brown of Hi, Jenny Brown. She “is a crochet pattern designer, yarnbomber, and charity crocheter living in northern New Jersey with her best friends (including her husband) and a “reasonable” yarn stash.
She shared the beautiful message:
“Thank you, Wink, for all the joy and inspiration your beautiful, colorful, creative patterns gave to me and so many others. – xo, Jenny”
Words by Wink
In January, things were beginning to get tough, and Wink wrote:
“Did you hear that? It’s the winds of change… A lot of bad things have happened to me lately, which are making me appreciate the little things in life. When I feel down, I go outside and soak it all in, and it usually makes me feel better. I can truly enjoy looking through my lens and seeing frost on tiny parts of plants, flowers, and rocks. It helps me cope, and it helps me stay in control of my creativity, which is one of the first things that goes out the window when I feel down.”
One purpose of this project is to raise awareness about depression so each post will end with some facts, thoughts or quotes about depression, suicide and/or mental health. Today let’s talk about the survivor’s of someone else’s suicide.
The Compassionate Friends is an organization that helps people after a child dies by suicide. They discuss how it’s common to have many different feelings and reactions and offer these suggestions for coping:
1. Talk about your child’s death with family members and discuss your feelings of loss and pain. Talk about the good times you had as well as the times that were not so good.
2. Give the gift of tolerance for all family members to grieve in their own way allows each person to feel validated in their own unique grief experience. Keep in mind that everyone’s grief journey is as unique as the relationship they had with the child that died.
3. You may find it helpful to write your feelings or to write a letter to your child, this can be a safe place for you to express some of the things you were not able to say before the death.
4. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to let your friends what you need when they ask, they want to help.
5. Consider becoming involved with a self-help bereavement group such as The Compassionate Friends. Through sharing with others who have walked a similar path, you may gain some understanding of your reactions and learn additional ways to cope. Seek professional support and family counseling if necessary.
6. Give yourself time, time and more time. It takes months, even years, to open your heart and mind to healing. Choose to survive and then be patient with yourself. In time, your grief will soften as you begin to heal and you will feel like investing in life again.”
Out of the Darkness offers this additional information:
- Maintaining contact with other people is especially important during the stress-filled months after a loved one’s suicide. Friends and relatives may feel uncomfortable and unable to offer consolation. Take the initiative to talk about the suicide and ask for their help; it will also help them.
- When you feel ready, share with your family and friends your feelings of loss and pain. Understand that each family member may be grieving in his or her own way.
- Children experience many of the feelings of adult grief. Remind them that they are still loved by sharing your thoughts and feelings with them and asking them to share theirs with you.
- Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays may be stressful reminders of the suicide. Plan these days to meet your own emotional needs and your family’s.
- You may need to feel guilty for a while before you can accept that you are not to blame and that you are only human, with human limitations.
- It is worth trying to understand the feelings of the deceased, but no one gains when the struggle to understand the suicide becomes the only activity that seems worthwhile.
- It is important not only to be able to go on with your life, but eventually to enjoy life again, without feeling that enjoyment is disloyal to the deceased.
- The survivors of any death need comfort, support, and trusted listeners with whom they can discuss their grief. The stigma of suicide and the shame, guilt, and blame that people feel can isolate suicide survivors in their grief. Many survivors find their relief in support groups, where they can voice their feelings and learn from the experience of others.
- Individual counseling with a mental health professional or clergy member is another option to help survivors through their grief process.
All contributions to Mandalas for Marinke are welcome and will help raise awareness about depression while honoring her work in the same way that this great contribution has done today. Details to join here.