Quilting has power to heal grief

If you have been reading my blogs the last few years you know my husband died in January 2020.  I walked away from my quilting in mid 2019 and did not return to sewing until later in 2020.  My grief and sadness was too deep for the fun of quilting.  For me, quilting always makes me feel good.  There just wasn’t any feeling good for awhile.

During those dark days, compounded by COVID hitting 2 months in, I took to journaling and writing free verse poetry.  I couldn’t find books that helped so I turned to my own writing.  I have just published a book about these first years after the death of a spouse:  “A Year of Sadness and Grace” – Life after the death of my husband”.  It is available in Kindle version and the paperback should be available soon.  The best way to find it on Amazon is to search on my name:  Sharon Koppel.

I’m not interested in making money but rather in sharing about this personal experience, hoping my experiences can help others.  My first purchases will be a dozen books for my local hospice organization.  Whether male of female, whether the loss of a husband or a wife, many of us will face being a widow (or widower).  This experience is like remapping your life, often in new ways because it is never the same.

When I finally entered my quilt studio in late 2020 I nearly wept, just feeling the goodness all around me.  I knew that part of my healing would happen here.  And it has.  As part of my “new life” I decided in 2020 not to make custom quilts for awhile.  I needed to be able to explore quilting in my own directions instead of those of someone else.  I made one exception – an order from a spouse for a wedding anniversary present.  I remember writing that day in my journal that while I might not have any more anniversaries, it felt right to make this art quilt for someone else.  I knew in that moment that I was on my way to returning to life.

If you have traveled this road, my heart goes out to you.  No one really understands it until you live through this kind of loss.  Thank you for listing. 

3 Responses

  1. I too turned to my sewing haven after my husband died. I made 100 child size quilts that year. All given to charity. It was very therapeutic!!❤️‍🩹

  2. Sewing has been my saving grace, so many times in my life. It has given me purpose and direction when I was adrift. The Zen of sewing, particularly quilting, has a calming and therapeutic effect on my thoughts. Sharon—your beautiful creations reflect your kind soul. Eileen

    1. Thank you for your kind words! There is something zen like, I agree, about working with fabric, different colors and piecing it all together into something beautiful that affects your soul. I find myself still, almost 4 years out from my husband’s death, setting aside whole days for just messing around with fabric.

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