Ritual Forgiveness

Mar. 26th, 2018

I love knitting and crocheting. It is my absolute favorite thing to keep my hands busy. Most of the things I make are for myself, but occasionally I’ll become inspired to craft something as a gift or someone will request something specific to be made for them. One such request came from a lady who worked in a center near to where I grew up. Her office was very cold in winter and she wanted me to crochet her a pair of fingerless gloves. She gave me a pattern and I said I’d see what I could do.

Several months of procrastination and stressful busyness later, I heard this lovely lady had lost a battle with cancer. I had no idea she was ill. I’ve since heard that she hadn’t spoken much about it. As the guilt settled in I fantasized about frantically crocheting a pair of gloves and bringing them to be buried with her. I knew, however, that she would not want me to carry this burden.

I talked about the circumstance with a few close friends and tried to make my peace with and ease the weight of this particular instance of procrastination. I was doing fairly well.

Then an old family friend told me a story and asked for my help. She said her mother had bought a kit to crochet an afghan 30 years ago and although it had been made up into blanket squares long ago it had yet to be completed. My friend’s dislike of sewing together the squares had meant it had taken her weeks to accomplish very little. She asked me if I would mind finishing the work.

I very much like sewing knitting and crochet together because it means I’m almost finished and get to enjoy the project. So I agreed. Then I remembered the unfinished fingerless gloves. I’ve decided that this project is going to be a symbolic gesture to allow myself forgiveness. I am working, in an area of strength, to alleviate the guilt my friend is feeling around this project.

It does no one good to dwell on who should have done what and when. My friend was unhappy with the weight of this project and it would have taken her a lot more effort to finish it than it has taken me. I was feeling bad about procrastinating on a request from someone. As I weave in each yarn end, I am putting all the energy that would otherwise be turned into guilt into helping someone else.

What burdens have you dragged through life that might benefit from some self-forgiveness?