This exquisite crochet mandala comes for the Mandalas for Marinke project comes from Elizabeth, a “crocheting mama of 3, Air Force wife and postpartum doula, who writes,
“I turned to crochet as therapy for my postpartum depression and anxiety. It has helped me through some of the worst times in my life, and has made me a better wife and mother.”
“The outpouring of love and support for Wink and fellow sufferers of depression has been astounding. Thank you for this project.”
I agree. And a huge THANK YOU to all of the people who have participated in this project, by contributing mandalas, following along or offering any other spoke or silent support. See all crochet Mandalas for Marinke here.
Crochet can help immensely during grief including the grief of miscarriage and newborn loss. Last year I received a blog comment from a woman who crocheted to help her through the loss of a baby. She wrote:
“I had a miscarriage last summer (7 months ago) at 11 weeks. I was completely devastated. I read many, many blog posts about healing from miscarriage, and 1 of them suggested crafting such as knitting or crochet. I made my husband a huge knitted scarf. It helped focus me, and sometimes I cried when I was knitting.
My friends were making blankets for babies in the NICU, and I decided to make blankets to donate for bereaved parents. It was hard, because I bought yarn labeled “baby,” but I told myself it was to keep me from avoiding the pain of grief. More than productive, it felt important. It was spiritual.
I would think about the family, holding their baby in the hospital in the blanket I was making, and what I would say to them, what they were going through. I felt connected to this family that I may never know. I cried, and I spoke to my baby while crocheting. I think crochet provided a safer space to grieve. I brought the blanket to the doctor’s office, where I was depressed being around the pregnant women after my loss.
When I got pregnant again, I worried about the new baby, and I brought the blanket on the train and to the doctor’s office. Sitting in the office for sometimes more than an hour, I could end up ruminating about my fears, and the crochet helped me focus on breathing, staying in the moment, and the reality that there was nothing I could do, and that I didn’t know anything yet.
This weekend, I washed the cat hair and cat dander out of the blanket and little tiny hats, and put them in a plastic bag to protect them from our cat mistaking them for a squirrel. I edited the letter to the bereaved family, and I will give it all to the leader of the support group this week. I’m really proud of myself for finishing the blanket and hats, and for facing my grief in a healthy way (most of the time), instead of drinking it away or eating bad things. I got more rainbow yarn (rainbows are gender-neutral and more interesting than green and yellow), and I’m making another blanket, because the grief doesn’t go away, even with a new pregnancy. I think without crochet, and without using a yarn labeled “baby,” I would have ended up dealing with my grief in unhealthy ways.”