Paul and the knitting tree

At some point during the spring, as i was discovering the beautiful people and resources at Glow in the woods, i came across a call to participate to a mother’s project to honor her daughter Marlo. She was collecting squares of fabric to be included in a knitting graffiti for her daughter’s third birthday.

IMG_5062I knew right away i wanted to be a part of this creative tribute to the life of Marlo and many other lost babies. I knew because the video of the 2013 edition of the knitting tree was set to one of my favorite songs, The Be Good Tanyas’ Littlest Birds. I knew because even though i can’t knit, i feel a strong connection to knitting since i am lucky to have a expert-knitter as a grandmother.I knew because for the brief winter weeks Paul was with us, he spent a lot of time in beautiful outfits knitted with so much love by his great-grandmother and great-great-aunt, and wrapped in a blanket made by his paternal grandmother. I knew because when i was pregnant with Paul, i felt so thankful to rediscover the wool outfits that my brother and i had worn as children that were carefully preserved for our own children. I felt that somehow, all this intertwined wool was a line connecting us through time and generations…

I have been wanting to learn how to knit for some time now, and postponing the project again and again. I didn’t have time (or perhaps, didn’t take the time) to learn to contribute something knitted to Marlo’s garden. Instead, i made a square in a way i was able to, by sewing a marcassin, a baby wild boar, on a piece of fabric. When i sent it out, it was along with three other squares made by women who love Paul and had been just as inspired as me by the idea of contributing to this beautiful project.




Then, in the days after i sent out my little package for Marlo’s garden, i received three more squares. I kept them, thinking they could be part of remembering Paul’s half-birthday or the six-month anniversary of his death, but things turned out a little differently, so the three squares waited patiently.

In the end, i decided they could be incorporated in my version of an August 19th prayer flag, to which Paul’s grandma also contributed with a beautiful striped flag (stripes… another love story). Not long after i put up the flags yesterday, i found the video link for Marlo’s garden celebration that Bryanna, her mom, had just posted. I was so touched to see all of the contributions from so many parents, and to recognize among them the squares that celebrate Paul’s life.

I have never had faith. I don’t know if i believe in anything but the human connections our lives are made of. From the time i was pregnant, P. and i wanted Paul to be surrounded by a large family structure, made of our biological families but also the people we have chosen and who have chosen us back. In the midst of all the grief that fills my days, i can say that, at least, Paul is certainly part of beautiful and loving interconnected networks…




Paul’s flags and squares, and below, the beautiful knitting graffiti in Marlo’s garden.

11 réflexions au sujet de « Paul and the knitting tree »

    • I have been summoning my third grade self… In the last few months, i have been wanting to make things (perhaps as a way to prove to myself i can succeed at making something?) and for the first time in so long i am not (too) worried about how it turns out. It has a calming effect on me.

      Perhaps you can let C.T. guide you (back) to craft? I though of him earlier as i tried to use watercolors… i hope his first day of school went well. I thought of you and Zachary too, especially on this day.

  1. Such beautiful work you have done! I love that photo of paul in the green knit. I kept the Marlo knits in mind when I saw that post (i know how to knit and I learned to crochet while awaiting Mabel), but I just never got around to doing it. Next year, perhaps….

    I’m going to be selfish and say how much I love when you write in english :)))

    • Thanks! I am thinking i can finally learn knitting to contribute to Marlo’s tree next year…

      and : i enjoy writing in English too. Asides from the fact that it is a good practice, it makes me feel more connected with many of the mothers whose blogs i have been following. I have been having a hard time finding parents who share about loss in french in a non-angel sort of way…

  2. I just love the sentence that says  » I felt that somehow, all this intertwined wool was a line connecting us through time and generations… » So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this ritual with us.

  3. What beautiful work you have done! I have also been wanting to learn to knit. A friend of mine was knitting a blanket for Owen that will hopefully one day belong to his sibling. I like that we will wrap his little brother or sister on a blanket whose colors was chosen for him (I’m sure they will have plenty of their own things too!). I’m hoping to learn to quilt if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again and make a baby blanket.

    I’m also going to selfishly agree with Meghan that I enjoy your English posts! I use Google to translate when you write in French so I can still read them, but it feels odd to comment in English.

    • Thank you for reading even with the language barrier. I am amazed really, to know that someone would go through the trouble of reading through google translate…

      I like the way you see using the blanket made for Owen for his future sibling… I have been struggling when i think of Paul’s things and i am thankful to get to know how other baby loss parents deal with this very down-to-earth aspect of loss.

  4. Ping : capture your grief 9 / 10 | le marcassin envolé

  5. Ping : solitude/communauté | le marcassin envolé

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  7. Ping : knitting tree 2016 | le marcassin envolé

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