I have many rules in life. Personal rules, that apply to me only, that I work really hard to abide by. Be good to your family and friends. Show genuine respect to your elders. Pray. Always wear clean underwear. Don't blog about too-personal stuff. Don't grieve in public.
So here I go breaking the last two rules.
My friend and her husband died last week. Kathreen was big in the crafting world, influential, a massive inspiration to all who met - and didn't meet - her. Kathreen and Rob leave behind two amazing kids, and all our hearts are broken for both their, their families' and our own loss. Over the last few days I have thought a lot about the ties that bind us, those connections that can be shattered in an instant. About how everyone is entitled to grieve in their own way. How keeping busy and trying to be useful is helpful in grief, but sometimes you just have to cry. A lot. And then let time and God take control.
I first 'met' Kathreen many years ago when I cracked my rib and was stuck at home, on my back, for a week. I had some downloaded podcasts from Craftsanity to listen to in the hours of pain and boredom, and one of them was a conversation that Jennifer had with an amazing young Canberra woman who founded a crafting website called Whip Up. This girl Kathreen sounded really cool. And it felt like she was talking to me about inspiration and crafting communities from just next door. It was only years later that we realised we lived only three streets away from each other. I became an avid reader of Whip Up, and the inspiration and lessons I gained there helped me start my own craft business years later.
Kathreen and I only met in real life a year or so ago. She was a new friend. One of the happiest memories I have of last winter (which was a fairly awful winter for a number of reasons. See second-last rule) was sitting next to a sunny window in her house for what seemed like (and probably was) hours, drinking tea and eating scones and laughing with her and the kids. I'd just done some editing for her, and her attitude to getting things done impressed me so much I resolved to do better, be a better person and just get on with it, right there and then. I remember walking back home and I was buzzing. That was the effect Kath had on people, whether you knew her personally or not. I don't think Kath ever knew the massive impact she'd had on me that day - and I am sad I will never get to tell her that.
I will miss my friend. And I'm sad. I'm sad for my friends who knew her and Rob much better than I did. Everyone is sad - the world has lost two great forces in the art of living splendidly and in the present. But two young kids have also lost their parents. That sucks.You can help out Kath and Rob's son and daughter out by going here. And you can help honour their memory by making something. Anything. It's probably what Kath would have done.