Knitting on Memories


It is exactly a year now that my only sibling, my dear little sister died.
Mashaallah, I cannot believe how quick time flies.

There was no single day I didn’t think of her and I still remember so well the night I arrived in Germany to visit her for the first time after seven months, knowing that her cancer already is at a very serious stage.
I arrived late at night and it was already too late to go to the hospital to see her, so my mother said it would be better to come the next morning.
I went to bed and in the middle of the night my father stepped in to tell me that my little sister just died. Mashaallah, Allahu akbar.

It still is very difficult for me to realize this coincidence of having been so close to her yet not having been able to see her alive, mashaallah. But Allah is the Greatest and I know that everything happened as it had to.

The image of her emaciated dead body still accompanies me.
Unfortunately we didn’t have had a very close relationship over the last years and I still have a lot to process, feelings to work on and unspoken words to think about, inchaallah.

When I visited my parents this January, my mother gave me a big straight peace of beautiful grey knit-work. It was the last knitting my sister did during her last weeks alive and she never was able to finish.
So I took the peace in remembrance of her and am now continuing her work, stitch by stitch.
And while I am knitting I am remembering her and the moments we spent together. 
I feel that this peace of handcrafts helps me to make a connection: I think about her fine hands and how they touched the wool and the soft bamboo needles and I feel how the calming rhythm of knitting helps me to process, inchaallah – one row at a time….
May you rest in peace my dear little sister.


16 thoughts on “Knitting on Memories

  1. Allahu Akbar…you’ve brought tears to my eyes…tomorrow i’m travelling home inshallah and i’ve conciously decided to make peace with members of my family….life is too short and i don’t want anyone to go without feeling loved by me and viceversa…thank you sister for sharing with me such insightful post…take care

  2. This is such an incredibly moving post – so personal, so many insightful thoughts – but the most moving of all is that you are continuing the knitted work of your sister and with each movement your hands echo hers. She is with you and you have shared her with all of us. Thankyou for that.

  3. SubhanAllah. It is indeed a very tough test to loose a loved one– a younger sibling..that’s another story. I teared reading your words today. May Allah have mercy on her soul and accept her with the people of jannah Amin.

    The knitted wool piece… well, that’s a gift. The time she spent, the visions of the finished project she projected, the conversations she had while knitting, the time, energy, touch.. is all there. Not one bit is lost, it’s all there, and you get to touch a little piece of it. breather with her, smile with her and remember… Allah is indeed generous, this is your sisters gift to you, as it is yours to her. Alhamdulilah for everything. May Allah give you peace of mind and soul and grant you jannah amin.


  4. Liebe Itto,
    ich habe Dein Leid vor einem Jahr verfolgt und habe die letzten Tage schon an den nahenden Jahrestag mit wachsender Beklommenheit gedacht.
    Ich denke auch viel an Deine Schwester und die schlimmen Ereignisse, die Ihrem Tod vorausgegangen sind.
    Deine Mutter hat Dir ein tröstliches Geschenke gemacht, wie Du schreibst, kannst Du nun in Ruhe, Reihe für Reihe an sie denken und Dich ihr nahe fühlen.
    Bleibt mir, jeden Tag dankbar für die sorgenlosen Stunden mit meiner Familie zu sein, dankbar für ein gesundes Kind und ein in Grunde wunderbares Leben.

    Ich denke an Dich und zünde drei Kerzen an.

    Liebste Grüße

  5. dear Itto….

    such a beautiful post…
    I think it takes a lifetime to come to terms with the sorrow….but along the way is a lot of love, a lot of learning, and a lot of good things as well….a very good friend of mine told me once in my deepest sorrow to embrace it all …..the good and the bad….take it all in, be with it, talk about it and as difficult as it is and as much as you might reject the thoughts the feelings it will make you stronger, better and a more beautiful person…I know you know all this….and I can see it…..everything happens for a reason and the reasons are not known to us…. you and your family are in my prayers dear Itto

  6. Liebe Itto,
    es ist der richtige Weg: über Vernetzendes, Erinnerndes, Neuschaffendes
    Verbindung halten und weiterhalten… und das Andere, all das Ungesagte, Unfertige in Gottes Hände legen. Er fügt das zusammen, was bei uns Stückwerk bleibt, manchmal bleiben muss. Und in dem, was wir Ewigkeit nennen, ist auch das Zuspät aufgehoben und wird verwandelt.
    Alles Liebe und Gute, ich denke an dich, auch im Gebet

  7. Salam alaykom sis… masha’Allah this post is beautiful .

    When it’s finished..may it keep you warm and happy incha’Allah.

  8. May Allah give you some peace and blessings with the memories of the times you shared with your sister in healthier and happier years.

  9. I am a regular reader of your wonderful blog, it fills me with inspiration in my days, and I just had to comment today because my eyes could not hold back the tears. May your sister be at peace.

  10. I also wanted to add this line I heard many years ago when I lost a loved one.

    Everything in the world is born young and grows old, except for grief…
    Born old and grows young.


  11. Itto,

    This is beautiful. What a wonderful way to remember your sister, to connect with your memories of her, to work through your grief. I pray that you will be given peace and rest through this sweet but difficult work. I pray that you will have many blessed and happy and good memories as your hands add to her project. There is something so very intimate about finishing another person’s creative work – it is almost like completing their dream. At the very least, you are honoring her and you have picked up her work out of love and I believe that God will bless you inwardly for having the courage and the love to do so. I pray that it will be very healing for you – and in the end, you can give the rest into God’s hands and know that He knows best and does best and can handle anything left unresolved. (())

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