our world this week: crafting as a coping mechanism?

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I’ve gone back and forth about whether to talk about our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week on this blog… The kojo blog is not a personal blog, and I like the idea of this being a simple, happy, place.  At the same time, since we definitely share fabulous personal news with you, I thought it’d be good to keep things real and share not-as-good news as well.

All of that backstory to tell you that my sweet husband’s dad died last weekend.  We’ve known it was coming (Mark was diagnosed with cancer near the end of my pregnancy with Burke two years ago and then told that the cancer was terminal a few months later), but it has still been a whirlwind week.  A not so nice whirlwind, in fact.

Even though it has been absolutely painful to watch Mark suffer these last couple of years (and much, much more so these last few weeks), and even though we have been praying that his suffering would end and that he’d be free to go be with Jesus, the realization that he is actually gone and that our ‘new normal’ is one without his godly, sharp, wise influence is more painful than I thought it’d be.

Yesterday afternoon, overwhelmed by the constant stream of people, emotionally drained and just plain sad, I retreated to our room with a bag of fabric scraps.  This might sound funny, but it felt so good to sit on our bed and cut out little blue and green fabric triangles.  The redundant snipping of scissors gave my mind the chance to wander to and fro- through the craziness of this last week to funny memories of pre-sickness Mark to our incredible network of friends who have taken better care of us through this than we ever could’ve imagined.  Several times I found myself crying at happy memories- maybe because we won’t have a chance to create more of them with him?  A few times I was giggling to myself at things I hadn’t remembered in awhile (like the way Mark-the-Foodie would plan all day for what he was going to order for dinner during our family vacations).  When I glanced at the clock, a couple of hours had passed, I had quite the pile of triangles, and I was so thankful for the chance to just sit and cut and let my mind wander.  Has that ever happened to you?  You started off with a crafty task in mind (aka- fabric triangle cutting) and it turned out to serve a quite more important purpose?

Anyhow, cheers to Mark and the life he led and the legacy he’s left.  If you think of it, we’d love it if you were praying for our little family…

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  1. I'm so sorry for your loss! I'm relatively new to your blog (I found you through Stumble Upon) but I love it. It's always hard to lose those we love, but I'm so glad that you have your faith to buoy you up through this. I know what you mean about craft therapy too…my mom has early-onset Alzheimer's, and on the days that it just gets to be too much the monotonous back and forth of knitting or embroidery always offers comfort.

    Blessings to you and yours during this time.

  2. I am definitely praying for your family. We all have ways of coping, and crafting is a great way to deal with loss. Good luck.

  3. I will defiantly be praying for your family. I use crafting as a coping mechanism all the time. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder several years ago and I use creating as a way to deal with the depression instead of using medication. Creating something from where there was nothing is very therapeutic for me.

  4. I had/have tears running down my face as I read your post. Kristi, thanks for sharing your heart. I am so sorry for your loss, but rejoice in Mark's gain- JESUS! I hope and pray that you all find comfort in that and that time with Jord and the girls will be a healing and fun time. Enjoy the next two weeks with lots of laughs, tears, crafts, and babies! love you and thankful for you for Jord.

  5. I am very sorry for your loss. I appreciate you sharing this with us, because like a good marriage a friendship is for the good and the bad. I will definitely keep your family in my prayers.

  6. I am sorry for your loss and I will definitely be praying for your family. My prayer for people that have just experienced death is that they can remember the smiles, the looks and the funny quarks of the person who has passed. I pray that you will continue to remember his "godly, sharp, wise influence" because God definitely intended for those to be his gifts. God bless.

  7. I too am sorry for your loss and grateful for the knowledge that your father in law is at peace with the Lord. I know first hand what a difficult time this is. My dad has been fighting/coping with cancer now for over five years. It is an exhausting and draining experience. Lean on your faith and keep crafting…it is a wonderful source of comfort for me, too. I'd be happy to include you and your family in my prayers.

  8. There's a time for everything. As much as I love this being a "happy" place, I am thankful for your honesty and sharing of what's really going on. If we can't share what really matters then what DOES matter?

    We will definitely be praying for you…


  9. It's so difficult to loose someone you love. The company of family and friends and faith pull us through, but I know what you mean about a few quiet moments. After my father passed away, I sometimes regrouped and recuperated in my garden as I worked amongst the weeds and flowers. I began to realize that my garden was a type of facsimile to my life — many beautiful flowers and a few weeds!

    It sounds as if your father-in-law had a life well-lived for you to have such wonderful, sweet memories. Thank you for sharing this post with us. It was a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

  10. i am so sorry for your loss. that is so so sad. i know what you mean about crafting being a coping mechanism. i def lean on my sewing machine. its just an easy place to find a little bit of peace. hope you guys have a better week this week!!

  11. Bless you and your family, and I just want to be short and say, thanks for keeping it real. Everyday isn't paisley and butterflies for most of us either and it is nice to humanize your blog. I do not think you will get any complaints…we all have things we go through daily….Okay not so short. but last thing…Everyday I fight to keep my daughter from her Biological father, he has taken me to court several times, he is not a safe person, I have over $15,000 in attorney fees, which is almost more than my husband who is military makes in a year! and they just keep mounting. I certainly cope through crafting 🙂

  12. Kirstin – I read your comments about Mark on facebook but wasn't sure who exactly Mark was. Now I know. I'm so sorry to hear about this. From what you have written here, he sounds like he was such a wonderful man. I will pray for you and Adam and the rest of the family. Praise be to God that Mark is no longer dealing with a body sickened by cancer, but that he is now praising God and rejoicing with his Savior!

  13. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Crafting definitely is therapeutic. What a blessing to be able to soothe our souls with what we love to do.

    We are sending our thoughts and prayers your way.

  14. I've kept this post as "unread" in my RSS feed to remind myself to come over and tell you that we're thinking about you. So very sorry your heart is hurting. I hope you can find a glimmer of rest and peace soon.

    What a glorious God we serve that he gave you a talent that can help assuage the pain!

  15. I am really sorry to hear about your loss. We too lost a patriarch in our family when my grandfather passed in the end of April. I found that crafting allowed me to do just what you wrote. I found myself going through the motions of crafting, and allowing my mind to wander to the memories and work through the emotions that get pushed aside when I was doing all the other things I was responsible for during the day. I hope you and your family are able to draw closer together in this time of sorrow.


  16. I'm so very sorry for your loss. praise God that your father-in-law is in heaven. what a bittersweet comfort during your time of mourning. I will absolutely be praying for you and your family. Blessings on all of you for being faithful, even in times of despair.

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