26.3.13

Surfacing




Dear friends - I have not felt able to return to this blog for a long time, despite the many, many good wishes and messages. The first month without Andy was an agonising madness, through which I was propped up by dear friends. I tried to sort out as many practical matters as I could, though each one took hours to work up to and recover from. There are still ongoing things, because death, especially an unexpected one, is a complicated business. So I wanted to come back and say hello when my head was in a slightly better place.  

My life was centred around two things; work and my darling Andy and the greater of these was Andy. Without him, creativity has little interest for me. Art, my life long friend, has deserted me for the first time. And yet I must work and so I do. Gradually, more and more each day.




I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of you all. Without the support you gave me of your thoughts, good wishes and prayers, heart felt letters and loving gifts,  I do not think I would be here now to write this. I have had some very dark moments indeed and desperate thoughts which I would not normally have. I held that goodwill close to me, lonely as I have been and that, combined with the wonderful love of my friends, brought me through it. Little did I know when I started this blog - over seven years ago - that one day it would literally be my life line. So thank you, everyone, for being there.



All photos taken from a train, Cambridgeshire 

72 comments:

Noelle the dreamer said...

No words can relieve such deep loss but just wished to say you are thought of and sending prayers your way!
Triffled as it seems, the muse will come again, Andy would wanted this way for you surely!
Hang in there!
A warm hello from the Pacific NW coast,

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You are, and have been, in my thoughts and prayers so much. They say time is a wonderful healer for us all and I pray that it will be for you. Much love your way.

Abbey Crafton said...

Your art and writings bring us so much joy Gretel. You are so very loved and appreciated. Know that I am thinking and praying for you often as you walk your often difficult journey.
Darly

Rattling On said...

Oh, hello and such a big welcome back.

Jess said...

My words don't seem to convey how I feel and want to say to you and I've deleted and deleted. I just want to say that it's so lovely to see you here on your blog. I'm so glad to hear you're making yourself create during this terrible time.
Lots of love, Jess xx

acornmoon said...

Once more I find myself lost for words, not knowing what to say to you other than what I have told you already. I shall pray that your muse will return and you will find the strength to create your wonderful art. x

Greenorchid said...

Thinking of you and sending healing hugs... Cass x

Claire said...

Dearest Gretel, I'm sooo glad you are still here and that we have been able to support you in some way through these dark days......
I'm sure your creativity is waiting for you just a little further down the track. It's just giving you time to attend to other things.

Sending much love and hugs from Oz....

CLaire X

E Wix said...

Sending love and all good wishes. Think of you often.
Also photo#1 is thrilling and haunting.

rachel said...

Hold on to us, Gretel, just as we hold on to you. It will all ease with time, but until it does, we are here, willing you on, supporting you to get stronger. x

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Gretel, its so good of you to let us know how you are feeling and getting along. It looks like a wonderful place with beautiful open expanses and clear glorious air to heal in. Take good care of yourself, please do,
xx
julie

Lyn said...

I can't think what to say but I am pleased you posted again on your blog. and I am glad you found friends in the most unexpected place.
xxx

Annie said...

So good to see you back Gretel. Sorry I couldn't come over with Jo last week. Really hope we can meet up some time soon. The blogging world helps us all from time to time.
Sending you big hugs.
Annie x

ellen said...

Dearest Gretel,
You are so loved and cherished. May the healing continue and may the dark, dark days and nights begin to lighten up, bit by bit.
Sending tons of love your way.

Jane Aston said...

Welcome back, you are an admirable creative woman. I imagine you are struggling.I would be too. Don't hide you are too loved
for that.

Jill said...

Just one step at a time is all anyone can take, and you are doing just that. I just like to think that your readers are here helping to cushion your footfalls.

the veg artist said...

Kept thinking of you, kept checking in. I'm sure creativity will surface again, a little at a time, maybe in a different form, but it will all help.

Gerry Snape said...

thinking of you lots Gretel....good to see you in print again as it were. We have been a bit off the radar due to the potter's op and that being a bit of an ongoing event!!...but would still love to see you up at the old potters house sometime ...when you think the time might be right. Alan is out of everything ceramic for at least another 4 weeks so not doing anything exotic until he is feeling a lot better. News filters through from the cake lady!!! we were supposed to be there for easter...but that has gone by the way....lots of love ...G

Frances said...

Dear Gretel, those photographs of the very large sky over a terrain very different from what you have shown us before, tell me that your artist's eye continues to respond to natural beauty.

Your words remind me of what a very fine writer you are, and also how lucky I am to be your friend.

xo

Sweet Auburn Life said...

Oh Gretel, my heart breaks for you really it does. I have thought about you often since I read your post telling us the sad news of Andy's passing. Do hang in there. Xx

Louise S said...

Thinking of you.

Lin said...

I've been thinking of you and sending you love and strength over the miles. I'm glad that you are here today and that we know you are okay.



Val Reaves said...

Dear Gretel,
Soooo good to see a post from you... Please take as much time as you need for yourself... Grief is a strange animal... When my father passed away unexpectedly, I found that I thought I was doing OK, and out of no where it would show up again...and I just had to walk that road... And your art? It will be back, I'm sure.. Just take the time you need and be good to yourself... Wish I was closer to be of help to you, but I send hugs, smiles and prayers across the miles to you...
Val in Kansas USA

Lynne said...

Many prayers & hoping the complicated things work themselves out in the end & I know the sadness will be with you long, but I am hoping too that the memory of the love will soften the sad edges one day. My heart aches for you -

BumbleVee said...

Great to see you Gretel..... think of you often and am willing you on from afar...

I heard a good today.... find your horizon, put one foot in front of the other and trudge on .... it sounded appropriate... it's all we can do when things go so wrong....

Soozcat said...

Oh, dear Gretel. We think of you and pray for you every day, and we know we're far from alone. I hope you also know you're far from alone. ♥

Caroline B said...

Very good to hear from you again - you've been in my thoughts a great deal over the past weeks. I'm not surprised you currently have no interest in creativity, it is so linked to state of mind. However, it can provide escape for a while so I hope that the work you have to do gives you a little respite until such time as it becomes the work you want to do. Keep strong, you'll get there.

Celia Hart said...

I can relate to your words as my creativity went into hibernation when my dad died; and your grief must be so must more raw.

I recognise those views! So you must have been to my corner of the world. I hope you found something in the wide open skies to start the healing.

Love C
xx

Kate said...

Like others here, I've been thinking of you a lot over the last few weeks, Gretel.

Much love to you, lovely lady.
Kate x

Magpie Magic said...

Dear Gretel, I am so glad that things are looking up even if it is just a tiny bit each day. You've been in my thoughts and I wish lots of good things to come your way. Lots of love and hugs. Sybille

Trailshome said...

We've missed you, but surely understand. You've got such creative talent, it'll resurface when it's ready. This is just a time out to heal. I send much love and virtual hugs, and good wishes for healing and peace.

Rima Staines said...

Sending you so much love from this corner of Devon.

Don't feel obliged or pressured to surface or communicate or create in any particular way, or by any particular deadline.. your boldness will come in its own time and when it's good and ready. There are no expectations on you. You're just held and supported in the way you need.

And I can see that you are strong as an oak. Your art and your love come from the same place, and hearts take time to heal. When they do, the alchemical transformation that inevitably takes place there is deep and beautiful.

Wishing you bright clear spring days with the wind in your hair, and buds of ideas blossoming.
Very much love xxx Rima

Kathi said...

Gretel, There are no words I can think to write to so I send you ((((HUGS)))) and loving thoughts. ♥

Kris Keese said...

Yes! I was so excited to see your little bunny on facebook. It must be incredibly hard to create when you have so much hurt although it can also be the thing that helps in those empty moments. Thank you for letting us know how you are.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. Kris

Nancy said...

It's so good to hear from you - I've been wondering how you are doing. Take time to heal and find a new focus in your world. That will be very hard. I send good thoughts to you every day. I wish you calmness and hope that spring helps heal with it's sense of wonder and growth.

Minerva Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

Through your work and this blog you have touched many souls and we are all keeping you in our thoughts. With no pressure, grief takes time to settle into a routine and you must take the time. Minerva ~

jfidz said...

Thoughts and best wishes Gretel.

frayedattheedge said...

Welcome back, dearest Gretel. Sending you love and hugs from the (still) snowy Scottish Borders!

joanna harling said...

Gretel you say your creativity has deserted you but it is still in you don't worry. Look at those photos. The first one is my favourite, it has life and emotion in it. Love and hugsxx

joanna harling said...

Sorry forgot to say I don't know if its my eyesight but doesn't one of the houses in the photo look like a gretel Parker needle felted one?

Jane said...

I was so pleased to see your post. I know how badly grief can affect creativity, but it'll be back.
From his place on my bookshelf Jack2 agrees with me.
J

Michelle Palmer said...

Embracing you from all the way over here~ praying that sweet memories help restore.

Lynn Hardy said...

Words don't come easily today, but I just want you to know that I have been thinking about you a lot recently and hoping that you were OK. Stay strong, hang in there and it will gradually get better in time. Please take some comfort in knowing that many of the crafting community are sending you their love and willing things to get better for you. Take care.

Lynn Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twiglet said...

Good to see you blogging Gretel - hope this foul weather improves soon - we need another trip out! x Jo

Laurel said...

I read your post and thought to myself that it isn't surprising you have felt this way, even down to the lack of interest in art... but that doesn't make this time of grief any less awful to live and experience. I hope that you slowly heal and feel better. You will never ever forget Andy or stop missing him, but eventually it won't hurt so much all of the time. And your art will come back as you feel better again. Hang in there. There are so many people out there who love and support you. Me too. You can do this.

mountainear said...

Hang in there Gretel, these are early days. There is no right or wrong way to negotiate what you are going through. Solace will take time. be gentle with yourself.

Your photographs are beautiful.

Jamile Shirley said...

Dear Gretel,

My heart did a little skip when I saw your post. While you thanked us "for being there," I think I can speak for all of us in thanking you for sharing so generously with us. I pray spring will bring you renewed vitality. You are most fabulous, Gretel. (((HUGS)))

Love from Virginia, USA

Kim said...

I'm so glad you posted as I've been thinking about you all the time! Best wishes!!!!

Decadent Housewife said...

What you have experienced is a very difficult place to be. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you will regain strength and be able to once more find peace and joy in your work to share your gifts once again.

Trish



Jeri Landers said...

I pray for your artist's heart to return, and I believe it will, for it is part of who you are.Wish there was a way to help through the grief. I am just glad that you have many friends to hold you up, but you WILL stand again, on your own.

Textureknit said...

Lovely to see you back, keep popping by as and when, your blogland fans will always be here.

Sara

Simone said...

Mt heart goes out to you. x

tralala said...

Bless you darling girl, take care xxxxxx

the woolly dog said...

Dear Gretel, you have photographed beautiful wide open skies and clouds, and in each of them is just a touch of blue, not yet enough to make a pair of sailors trousers as my mother used to say, but it shows you can't help but still notice beautiful things.
Just carry on making, make drawings, make figures, make toys, make photographs, make tea, make cakes, make anything.
Some days will be a plod, and others will just be a blur, but there will be odd moments when you'll look at what you're making and there's enough blue to make a pair of sailors trousers ♥

Rosemary said...

Dear Gretel - many, many people have been holding you in their hearts at this very difficult time. Your art is part of who you are, and it will return to you in due course.

Lynda Michaluk Sorenson said...

It's good to see you posting again, I check often, to see how you are doing, as much as anything. Hang in there, Gretel. Spring is coming. Hugs.

Kim @ Lavender Fields Forever said...

Thinking of you often, glad to see you posting again.Just take life one minute,one hour, one day at a time, that's all you can do.

Jaymo said...

I will always remember Andy as a gentle giant of a man,I hope he has found peace x

Very Berry Handmade said...

You've been in my thoughts so much, and I am so glad to read news of your courageous struggle with the awfulness of bereavement because it means you are doing the incredibly difficult thing of getting through each day. I'm sure that altho' it seems very hard to be working (especially when creativity is far away), the work itself will eventually help you through. All the very very best to you.

Carol said...

Thinking of you and glad that the support and friendship of those who care is helping you get through these days of grief.
Carol xx

Little Dotty Bird said...

It's so lovely to hear from you again and to hear that you have found some comfort from your many many blogging friends. There is a lot of love for you out there. Keep on keeping on . Love and light, Lisa xx

Cusp said...

I didn't feel it was my place to comment on that brave post about your sad loss because I have only ever just read your blog and admired your work from afar but not become 'involved'. However, I still held you in my thoughts and wondered how you were getting along.

Having watched a close friend go through the same experience as you, even though I know each day must be difficult (to say the least), I'm so pleased to see that you are now beginning to make tentative steps into the world again. It must take great courage.

I wish you well and hope that, in time, your creativity will give you some comfort and hope x

tea and cake said...

Hello Gretel, it is so good to see you back here. You never left our hearts. xx

A Magical Whimsy said...

May all of your sweet memories of Andy sustain your soul.
thinking of you as a friend across the seas...from a friend in California...
Bless you, dear heart
Teresa
http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

Vintage Jane said...

Big hug dear girl ... I have thought of you often and am so glad you are slowly healing and surfacing. I'm sure Andy will always walk beside you. Take care. M x

Jenny said...

Good to hear your "voice" again. Sending a hug your way.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

You have been in my thoughts. It is good to see you back in your space, however tentatively for now x

Wendy said...

I have checked your blog daily because I missed you and your writing and your art. I cannot imagine how tough things are for you right now, but you know so many of us are thinking of you and caring about you.

Take it slowly, we will all wait for you!

Sending hugs and love,

Wendy

Isabelle said...

Thinking of you - so glad to read that you're still here and going on. It must be so hard. Sending very best wishes and hopes for healing, as far as that's possible.

Rosie said...

I am so sorry.

Nia Draper said...

I am so very sorry to have come across your blog after a long break and to read your sad news. I would like to send you the biggest hug I can muster, because I too have lost my love (in April 2011) and I know just how bad it can be.
Take it as slowly as you can and know that you have friends out here in the ether, thinking of you. Also know that Andy walks with you and always will. Much love...xxxx