I have been crocheting for a few years now. I found that I needed something to do with my hands while binge-watching TV or else I would’ve been binging on food instead. So, I went on to good old YouTube and watched videos to learn the basic crochet stitches. For years, I made blankets, hats, and booties for everyone else’s babies. When it was finally my turn to make one for my son, I took my time and carefully planned out the pattern and colors for my baby boy.
After losing Asher, going back to crocheting felt incredibly wrong. Both my husband and I found that early on in our grief we could not go back to the things we did before losing our son. To us, it felt like it would be ignoring the fact that we had just been through such a life-changing moment. It would be like nothing happened and life simply returned to normal. However, as time progressed and the days turned to weeks, we started to bring our old hobbies back into our lives.
A few weeks after losing Asher, my friend mentioned these crocheted blankets known as temperature blankets. Each day, you crochet a new row in the color for that particular temperature. By the end of the year, you have a multicolored blanket that shows the temperature of each day throughout the whole year. My friend recommended I do a similar project but in relation to Asher. She suggested I crochet a row a day for the first year without Asher.
Instead of doing a different color for each day, I picked 4 colors that I associated with Asher: purple for his birthstone and grey, navy, and teal for the colors of his bedroom. Each month would be a different a color. I started the blanket about a month after losing Asher so it took me some time to catch up to the correct day. Once I did, I crocheted one row of that blanket every day with each row taking me about 25 minutes to crochet. I spent 25 minutes every day doing something for my son. Over the course of an entire year, I spent over 152 hours, or more than 6 days, crocheting this blanket. Now, I am left with this huge, soft blanket that both my husband and I can snuggle up with and think of our sweet boy.
Initially, going back to something I enjoyed doing prior to losing Asher didn’t feel right. It felt too normal or close to our old life before the cataclysmic change we experienced. However, getting back into crocheting with Asher in mind was comforting. I was crocheting with a purpose and it was for him. It gave me the opportunity to do something for him every single day. It allowed me to visibly see time passing as we progressed in our grief and it put my grief into something constructive. After starting this blanket, I was then able to start crocheting other items again.
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Over the course of our first year without Asher, I have crocheted several blankets and hats that have been donated to various non-profits that support bereaved families in Asher’s memory. Placing my grief into something constructive to help other loss families is something that has been extremely therapeutic for me in my journey. Now, when I look at my completed blanket, I see the last year in review. I see the good that was done in Asher’s name and I see the progress that I have made as his mother. It is a tangible, visible representation of my grief journey and a visual reminder of my love for my son.
Photo courtesy of Amy Lied.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.