When Your Lap Is Empty: A Stitch Story

Grief is such a strangely empty, yet overwhelmingly present thing. That’s just it, too—what is grief? Is it a thing? A presence? An experience? An emotion? It certainly feels like all of them at some point or another.

What I do know is that, whatever it is, it is achingly universal. Yet, despite its universal nature, each time grief shows up, it manifests a little bit differently.

An Empty Lap

When Jane died, the couch was empty. When I miscarried, the future seemed empty. Then, when Little Bear died, my lap felt empty.

Still, when Jane died God filled my couch with Rosie. During the miscarriage, He filled my days with a puppy—my Gus boy. This time, He’s filled my lap with a quilt.

Little Bear came into our lives just before I started this quilt and was there for every single stage of it. From basting paper pieces to stitching blocks, from basting the quilt sandwich to hand quilting it, Little Bear was always by my side. And, then, just one week after its release into the world, she was gone. But, this quilt remains.

Grief is such a mystery. Just like quilting.

Why do we cut up fabric just to sew it back together?

This question answered my grief after Jane died. And, in some ways it is answering it again. A new quilt has been born out of the loss of my sweet Little Bear. In no way does it replace her tiny presence that could fill a whole room, but it does ease the ache ever so slightly.

Whatever grief you carry today, I hope the empty places are filled in part by the simplicity of pretty fabric, a needle, and some thread. Little Bear would want that for you.

This post was written in loving memory of our sweet Little Bear girl who passed away in September. As you can see, she’d want us all to just keep stitching.

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