She’s Faraway {So Close}

I’ve started 2013 off with a lot of knitting… and my first project is very special to me.

I’m about 85% finished with a beautiful shawl for one of the daughters of a dear friend, Stephanie Ann Schrom, who took her own life right before the New Year. I worked with her years ago, and we became very close during the dissolution of our first marriages. She was a very talented woman, with an eye for capturing amazing photographs, and a passion for Egyptian culture. Stephanie fought with depression for a  long time, and she lost her battle on December 29, 2012.

Faraway {So Close} - Stephanie Schrom

A group of women who have known Stephanie for many years has gotten together and decided to shower handmade treasures on her six children, so that they have something to cuddle and wrap up in when they’re missing their mom. I am making one of three shawls for her daughters, two other ladies are making the other two shawls, and three other talented ladies are making blankets for her three sons.

This shawl pattern, Faraway {So Close}, is designed by Carina Spencer, and I am really enjoying it. It’s a very simple pattern to follow, yet still looks complicated. I mean, you can’t get much better than that, you know?

Faraway {So Close} - Shawl

I’m using a washable wool/acrylic blend yarn in bright (hopefully teen-friendly) shades of red, pink, green and blue. I love watching the colors shift into one another and find myself looking forward to the bright royal blues and lipstick reds the most. I have noticed that I knit faster when using yarn that color shifts from one to the next… I’m always hurrying to get to the next color.

Faraway {So Close} - Yarn

I feel honored to be knitting this lovely shawl for such an important reason, and I hope that it brings comfort and healing to its’ recipient. My wish is that this girl will know how much her mother loved her and how much her mother meant to so many people. I know (all too well) how much anger, blame and guilt is left behind in the wake of death and suicide, but I believe that anger and blame should only be directed at the terrible depression (fucking depression!) that makes things feel so hopeless, and colors the decisions that we make.

Stephanie was a beautiful woman, inside and out. I am grateful to have known her, to have been close to her for a time, and to have had her friendship in my life.

Rest in peace, Stephanie. Nothing can hurt you now.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

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  • Heather, beautiful what you are doing for your friend’s surviving children. I think the shawls are gorgeous and what a wonderful gift from you to them. Thanks for sharing this here and am truly sorry for your loss.

  • Thank you Janine. I’m glad to be a part of the group that is making this wonderful gesture for Steph’s kids. If I have learned nothing else in the last six months, it’s that staying busy helps to ease the pain of loss… or at least to keep it from being overwhelming.

  • Cyndi

    This is a wonderful thing you’re doing. Six kiddos will be touched in a wholehearted way. Depression sucks. What you’re doing is nothing short of wonderful and amazing at a time when I know those kiddos are hurting so. I only wish your friend’s daughter was still here.

  • The scarf is beautiful and what a beautiful gesture on your part too…

  • Thank you Emily! I feel like it’s the least I can do, just a gesture to hopefully bring some comfort to one of the kids.

  • Thanks Cyndi. Depression does suck, and if this little gesture helps to ease the grief for just a moment, then it’s worth my time and effort. I only wish I could do more.