Day 109

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Two blanket pieces today – today’s large square and yesterday’s rectangle, which I hadn’t done yesterday because finishing the tablecloth took longer than expected. But I am all caught up now and coming swiftly to the end of the planned squares. I’ll start working on the next instalment of the diagram this week and will update the existing diagrams to include the changes I’ve made as I’ve been knitting.

   Day 109  day 108 

Next project I need to focus on….. so many. I have some crochet circles to do for one of my knitting ladies. They only take about 10-15 minutes each to do and there are only 20 to make. I can get it done in an afternoon so no worries there. There are sweaters I want to work on for my friend J. And of course there are the 20 million shawls I have in the works. And we’re not discussing the yarn spinning that’s also in my work bag…

Today’s video is not music. Koko the gorilla has been trained and is fluent in American Sign Language and Robin Williams had the opportunity to meet her in 2001.

His profound ability to communicate transcends species.

As you have no doubt heard by now, the comedian Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday after many years struggling with severe depression. Today, Koko learned he had passed away and is mourning with us.

The sad loss of Robin Williams is yet another proof that the greatest performances come from the greatest pain. My condolences are with all of those affected by his death and by the circumstances of that death.

There has been worrying commentary since his passing and the preliminary autopsy findings of suicide, that suicide and depression are selfish. Speaking with the experience of one who struggles with depression and who has witnessed parents and husband struggle with it, I know that the illness is very selfish in the same way that any illness is. You don’t ask pneumonia to keep you in bed. You don’t ask a limb to break. The sucking morass of depression doesn’t ask before robbing you of reason or rationality, joy and creativity. You don’t ask it to undermine your relationships and your self-esteem. It is NOT a choice. Why would anyone *choose* to feel like this?! What an utterly ludicrous and insensible argument.

But whether the act of suicide is selfish or not isn’t really the point. The point is that people who attempt or succeed at suicide need our compassion and our love, and that we must focus our grief on helping those who continue to struggle with mental or chronic health concerns so that they do not ever feel the desperation, despair and worthlessness that leads to suicide.

Be gentle with each other. We are all struggling with something and while something may be easy for you, will be incomprehensible to someone else.

Hug your loved ones. Be kind to them. Tell them you love them. Tell them they matter and listen when they need you. If you don’t know what to do to help them, start with these things.

You will never know how a smile or a hug will improve someone’s day.

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