This week I lost a friend. It was a sudden and very tragic loss. The tragedy includes her partner. I am so sad. I am feeling so many things. I am watching her friends and community grieve. Some of them are my friends and community, too. The loss is so much bigger than anyone can comprehend. Two parents leaving behind two cherished young children. It will take so much time to heal.
This is all playing out in my daily offline life as well as my online life. I know you know my friend. I know you know her because you probably have an online connection to the craft world. If you have that connection then you most certainly know Kathreen and her website Whip Up.
I have been consumed by these happenings in my offline life. Not in a bad way, but a necessary way. Doing my fumbling best to support our common friends. Soozs thoughts on circles of grief (bottom of the post), and how I care for those in a smaller circle than me, are ringing so loudly in my ears.
I have been avoiding this space and yet at the same time somehow strangely drawn to it. But I feel now is the right time to come here. This space, this incredible community I am part of, without it I would have never met Kathreen.
Kathreen's connections are prolific. She had such a self-less and collaborative approach to the way she went about things that community naturally built around her. I feel as though the whole world knows about this and is feeling the loss of these two inspirational people.
When we spent time together, we rarely chatted about Whip Up. We chatted about education philosophies, ethical farming, raising boys that like pink (mine), secret farmer's market tips, fox attacks on chooks, once in a lifetime family adventures around Australia... you know stuff. We would say we would catch up for a quick cuppa only to realise three hours had passed.
But you didn't need to have shared a cuppa with Kathreen to feel her loss. A friend talked so eloquently last night about how meaningful online connections can be. How real they are, especially in the crafting community. It is something people outside of the community can struggle to understand. And tonight I remembered that I wrote a post about just that...on Whip Up. (And here I go with the tears again). It was reading that post that compelled me to come here and write.
" I never imagined a connection via a computer could feel so real. But you must have felt it too? "
This is why I know you're hurting, too. Because even though you may not have had the privilege of sharing a cuppa in person with this beautiful, gentle, sometimes cheeky, incredibly talented woman; you didn't have to. You know her because you, too, were part of the wonderful community she created and nurtured. You've nurtured it too, just by participating.
We are all in this together.
** A donation account for Kathreen and Rob's children has been established to help support them in their futures. If you can spare anything, even as little as $5, it will help. All the details are here.