Almost Finished, or Why Buttons are the Hardest Part

Below the pictures is my writing about suicide and grief, above the second picture is all about knitting, just so you know which part you are looking for.

Buttons add so much character to your sweater. If I choose moose buttons my sweater looks like it came from Montana (or somewhere else with moose in my much geographically challenged mind). If I choose plain buttons then they need to match the beautiful red-burgundy of the sweater, the color of rich red roses rather than cheap boxes of Valentines candy. Going to the craft store involved combing through a whole aisle of buttons, glass, plastic, polymer, metal, and many, many more plastic buttons. I looked at green ones, brass ones, pewter ones, wood ones. After much consideration and back and forth I chose these claddagh buttons, likely because I was feeling romantic and thinking about our summer plans to go to the United Kingdom.

Claddagh Buttons

I also am sewing ribbon onto the placket so that there is more stability in the button band. I haven’t done this before and now know that I should have bought the ribbon first so that it would be the same size as the button band. It is slightly thinner and as such may show a bit on top but now that I am basting it on much more loosely it looks much better. This will also help ensure that my buttons are secure. I read a tip on the Berroco site saying that the best thread for sewing on buttons is embroidery floss but I keep all mine at work (art teacher) and will just use red thread for now.

Button band

Today is a mental health day for me. I thought it was a vacation day and scheduled some appointments to meet with different mental health professionals today. Since it wasn’t actually a vacation day and I had appointments at the doctor and dental offices I chose to take a sick day rather than reschedule all three appointments. I’m telling you, dear reader, all this because I lost a brother to suicide 4 years ago and have finally decided to start dealing with all the grief and anxiety that comes with that. It is not easy to talk to people about this. Nor is it easy to find people who support people like myself. I don’t like to burden other people with my problems and so I tuck it away. The person i spoke with this morning says I need to talk to people about it and wanted to know if I have grieved properly.

What exactly is grieving properly? Can anyone do it? I have always felt like (and have even had people tell me) that I should be better by now and that it’s time to move on. No one can tell when it is time for anyone to be “finished” grieving and I think that when you lose someone to suicide that the grieving never really stops.  Attached to my grief is the loss of my stepmom and the guy I was engaged to leaving me, and all of it in 9 months. It makes me afraid that all that can happen again, at any time.

Now, I have a really great life. Or, to rephrase, I have a really great life now. But letting go of what’s happened in my past to my family has become a huge way of how I identify myself. It is beyond time I let that go. I’ve found a local group for people who have lost family to suicide and I even called and left a message and may go to a meeting because going to a regular grief or loss group they may not understand the tangled web that is loss to suicide.

It feels good to finally put my foot down and take steps to heal. I don’t know if anyone who ready my blog has ever been in this position but if so, I hope that you have already taken steps to heal or in reading this maybe I can encourage you to do what has taken me so long to begin to do.