Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hold Them

I just found out today that Kathreen Ricketson, founder and author of Whipup, was in a tragic accident while on vacation with her family. You can read a little more about it here. I am still in shock and very sad. I have never met Kathreen in person but we've worked together remotely on projects. Her work as a crafter and seamstress is extraordinarily diverse and rich. She is unfairly talented and skilled. But above that, I am impressed by her authenticity, generosity and thoughtfulness and her advocacy of the value of collaboration within the community. That's a lot of fancy words for saying that, once upon a time, out of the blue, she wrote to me to invite me to contribute to a book she was writing. If you're a sort of nobody (as I am) in the publishing world, this is a big thing. Long story short, the project didn't make the final cut but the fact remained that she reached out to someone who was new in the field and encouraged them. And then she kept in touch with me and I enjoyed the privilege of working with her on later projects. Kathreen is, as many others have described her, an inspiration to and cornerstone of the crafting community. But she is also a gatekeeper. She gave many of us our first nudges in the form of features, shoutouts and invitations to come on board her platform. And she selflessly helped us tell our stories. I still have her email, with all its kind words, in my inbox. Never had having my hand held felt so good. 

On our side of the world, we will continue to cook dinner and sew clothes and make quilts and knit socks and work in our gardens and do all manner of other normal, life-things. Such is the paradox of loss. I will grieve and miss her but I will think hopeful thoughts for her children and family. I will continue to write blog posts on my side of the world but I will mourn the quiet space that was once her voice in the community. I will remember her and her creativity. And I will pray for her precious little ones to be held and kept safe by strong arms and gentle hands. 

There is indication that an education fund may be set up for Kathreen's and Rob's children. When I know more, I will share it here. 


10 comments:

  1. So sad. Just read the story. Praying God will keep the children all thier lives. Never knew her but it's still so sad. Hoping and praying Rob will be found alive.

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  2. It´s a really saddening news...how something so joyful could turn into a terrible tragedy. I never heard of Kathreen before but having seen how many posts have been published to mourn her death, she must have been a truly special person.

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  3. I just learned of this tragedy, I have followed Kathreen's blog for the past few years and subscribed to her newsletters and enjoyed her action pack immensely. She was so encouraging as you said to new bloggers. My prayers are with her children and family during this time of profound sadness.

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  4. I followed Whip-up for years and I believe that is how I found your blog. A real tragedy.

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  5. I am in complete shock, and utterly devastated. Like you, I only knew Kathreen through correspondence, working on two magazines for her with my kids. It was such fun being part of projects with other families from around the world. She really used the internet to link people who would never normally get to collaborate. I sent her reading lists and homeschooling tips in preparation for her trip and followed her newsletter. Being from Western Australia myself, I have spent an incomparable week at Coral Bay. It's like a Great Barrier Reef, only snorkeling distance from the shore in the most exquisite turquoise waters. I know it was her dream to get there. We should always grab the time to be with our families and do the things we have always dreamed of. She gave her children such a gift. I hope the rich and happy memories will be able to resurface above this horrific nightmare. Even before the fund is set up we can contribute to them by buying her books.

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  6. so utterly awful, those poor kids. Have been watching her posts on instagram and can't believe their trip has ended like this.

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  7. Dear Lier, What a loving and comprehensive tribute. It's great to hear how she touched your life, nurtured your spirit, and encouraged your growth. I'd like to suggest that you take her actions as an example of what you can do for others in the future. Your blog reaches so many of us and is a delight to all: crafters, "sewers", and parents alike. I'm sure you can, and would, nurture others to become accomplished to their fullest potential. That would be an everlasting tribute to Kathleen and I'm pretty sure you are capable of doing so. You inspire me and I appreciate your presence in the blogosphere!

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  8. So devastated! Can't even put into words. I do hope and pray that the family gets through this with love and hope and knows that many are thinking of them!

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  9. Am so devastated can not even think of words to say. I hope and pray the family gets through this alright and that they know many thoughts are with them.

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