Sheila tells us how cross stitch helped her when she suddenly lost her husband.
Christmas Day 2009 my husband stood up to go to bed and collapsed back onto the settee, he was taken to hospital but I was told that he had had a severe brain haemorrhage and there was nothing more they could do. After they removed the breathing tube they said that he would only live for a few minutes but it was four hours later before he drew his last breath. To say that I was devastated would be and understatement, the following weeks were very difficult ones not helped by his sister passing away after a long battle with cancer, on my birthday.
David was the person who introduced me to cross stitching and at the time of his death I was working on a large project of a Korean couple in national dress, he was working on an unusual project in the shape of a fan, with storks and Asian type trees. Both of these had been purchased on a recent visit to Korea where my daughter was working. I found it difficult to carry on stitching without him at my side to pass comment or offer support when I had misread the chart. I knew that I had to finish my project as a tribute to him. I was very proud when I finally finished and had it framed, it is now in my dinning room so I have a constant reminder of his love for me.
I was then faced with a dilemma do I finish his project or not, after a while I decided that he would have liked me to finish it, it was doubly difficult as he worked his stitches the opposite way to me and also he took great pleasure in doing half, quarter or even tinier stitches so that the shape of the storks was a smooth line. In finishing his project I realised that it was helping cope with the grief that I still felt and it also filled the long winter evenings so that I wasn’t sat moping. I needed to give my whole mind to what I was doing so that I didn’t fall back into stitching my way instead of his. I would love to have this framed but to get a fan-shaped frame is far too expensive, David was going to make his own so that it was framed as it was in the picture of his project.
In the years since his death, I have completed many more projects big and small, several birth samplers and wedding, anniversary and special birthday cards. I am so pleased that I am able to carry on stitching as it seems to me that David is with me at times when the going gets tough. I am looking forward to getting my second cataract done later this year then I will be able to see much better and will be able to continue with the box of projects that David bought to do in his retirement. Cross stitching has helped me enormously over the last six nearly seven years, I would recommend it to anyone who needs to focus the mind in order to release stress.