Julie's Crochet MandalasForMarinke 1

julie crochet mandalasformarinke 1

These three crochet mandalas for Marinke come to us from Julie (@bikerwife on Instagram), who describes herself as an “imaginative introvert playing dress-up in an absurd place known as the real world. Passionate about coffee, crochet, black cats, motorcycles, and gadgets.”

Julie's Crochet MandalasForMarinke 2

Each of her three mandalas comes with a dedication and message. The one above is “in memory of Theo”. She writes,

“Theo died in an auto accident which was caused by someone who had self-medicated his depression with alcohol and cocaine. His suicide attempt involved turning his car into oncoming traffic with the lights off. He was badly injured, two people in the car he hit died, and two others in that car were also badly injured. He ended up having a stroke before his trial date and was sentenced to jail for an offense he could not remember committing. #depressionIsDeadly

The variegated pink yarn in this mandala is from an unfinished project Theo began shortly before her death.

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The precious mandala above is for the lost babies. Julie writes,

“Many women, including myself, know the pain and grief of a lost child who never grew large enough to be born into the world. Some miscarry before even realizing they were pregnant. It is important to talk about the loss, even if it wasn’t the right time to bring a child into your life. Those lost babies take a piece of us with them, and the wound needs attention and healing.”

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And this last one (above) is for remembering Wink.

“The creativity of Marinke was such an inspiration that it is not surprising that people who never met her were affected by her death. I enjoyed her posts and identified with the use of creative endeavors to help counteract the effects of depression. Like many, I have known long blue periods that may well have been clinical depression. Looking back, a visit to a medical professional would likely have benefitted me greatly. I might have had different tools and greater success in dealing with my emotional state.”

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Each of these mandalas honors a different aspect of grief and depression and the impact of suicide on our lives. There are so many different aspects to this condition. Thinking about that, I remembered Humanthology, a site that my beaux used to work for that was all about sharing stories from different perspectives. So in the category relevant to suicide, you might have a mom writing about her pain in losing a child to suicide, a teen writing about suicidal feelings, a psychiatrist writing about suicide from a clinical perspective … I love the concept because the truth is that there is never one person impacted by suicide; every person radiating out from that person is impacted in a different way. There’s a whole story there comprised of each human affected.

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One anonymous author writes about “those left behind“, writing in part, “A few years after his death, all the unanswered questions remain. We will never know why. We will never understand why he felt there was no other way. He left this world and ended his own pain and suffering but what he left behind is pain and suffering for everyone who loved him. He is gone but he took with him a piece of his mother. She will always feel empty inside and question whether she was partially to blame.”

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Interestingly, a husband and wife have each penned their own versions of how they met … a romance that began in the tragic wake of their mutual friend’s suicide. The husband writes, “Our story kills lighthearted conversation. It makes people uncomfortable and makes them search for adages that can be related to our relationship.” The wife writes, “With support from Scott, I pulled myself out of the deepest depression of my life and went back to college the following year. I graduated in 2002 and began a career that I love. In 2005, Scott and I got married. We had memorial flowers on the altar for Wade along with our family members who had died.”

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One man writes about his hero, his grandfather, who lived a long life and then died by suicide before his 80th birthday. He writes, “I don’t tell this part of the story very often. But when I do people ask me if I have any type of “survivor’s guilt” based on the fact that my Grandfather killed himself. I tell them “no” and I mean it every time. If you knew my grandfather, it made sense. He was suffering. His wife was dead. His brothers were dead. Nearly all of his friends were dead. And he was tired of being sick. So tired of it. He decided to fix his problem, which is what he did throughout all of his life.”

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People on the site also shared stories about suicide attempts or feelings in relation to gender transitioning issues, domestic violence and bullying.

Julie's Crochet MandalasForMarinke 7This post is part of the Mandalas for Marinke remembrance project


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Kevin Mathews Reply

    I find my very fortunate to know Julie, as I too have dealt with very severe depression and other issues. I feel blessed that God was gracious enough to give. Me a wife and 2 beutiful daughters. I’m not sure how people make it without Christ but I would like people to know though.. Christ all things are possible. Psalms 46:1 has helped me plenty I will not spoil it look it up… Much love to all and to Julie the pleasure is indeed mine… Love …

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