I am writing this blog entry with a sad and heavy heart. While I am typing these words my whole being is crying and I am searching for the right words to start telling you about a beautiful and gentle soul called Frank.
On Valentine’s day, just a week ago, while I was working at the yarnshop CloseKnit on Alberta Street I received a phone call. When I heard a young man’s voice telling me that one of our co-workers had committed suicide, I genuinly believed that the caller had dialed the wrong number.
The caller introduced himself as Dwayne and told me he was Frank’s roommate. As the harsh reality of Dwayne’s words finally set in, I broke down in tears.
Friendly and Gentle Soul
I vividly remember the first Sunday I had to work with Frank at CloseKnit. It was the end of Summer 2007 and I myself had just started working for Sally. I was nervous and therefore a bit aloof toward Frank, but soon enough my heart was warmed by this incredibly friendly and gentle soul. He would smile all the time, and he had this grounded way of being, quietly walking around the store, gently straightening out unruly skeins of yarn.
One time when I was observing his interaction with a costumer, it struck me how gracious his moves were. The way he would lower his head to better listen to the needs of the knitter he was helping, the way he would open a book and turn pages, every single gesture… so gracefully.
I began to really like this intelligent and eloquent young man and I also very quickly noticed that he knew a whole lot about knitting! Many a time I would consult him about a certain technique. And it was Frank who told me with how many intervals I should pick up stitches for the border of my choli.
I became very fond of Frank and every time I had to work on Sunday, I would look forward being with him at the yarnshop.
We all loved Frank at CloseKnit…
Left with a lot of questions
I am deeply deeply saddened and I am having a hard time to accept that Frank is not with us anymore. As the case with many of us, I am left with a lot of questions. Why did he do it? What was hurting him so bad in this life? How come I never sensed that our cheerfull co-worker was hurting so bad? I did not sense it… my God I did not sense it at all.
If only I had paid more attention. If only I had looked deeper into his eyes, listened better to what he had to say… just maybe I could have reached out and done something….anything…
Finding peace in Frank’s death
Over the past few days I have done a lot of searching. Soul searching but mainly searching about who Frank was.
Through Kelly Moe, who works at Bishop’s above the yarnshop, we found Frank’s Myspace account. I have been visiting Frank’s account every single evening and by doing so, I found a blog called “the Portland Periscope“. Robert, the writer of this blog, wrote an incredibly beautiful post about Frank.
While visiting Frank’s account again a few nights ago, I heard this incredibly beautiful song called “Exactly” by Amy Steinberg. The words of Amy’s song blew my mind and I am listening to it every single day.
Amy Steinberg knew Frank. She wrote about him in her latest blog entry.
Both Robert’s post and Amy’s song are helping me to find peace in Frank’s death.
Gathering this Sunday, February 24th
Yesterday I read on Frank’s MySpace account that there will be a gathering this Sunday February 24th, at Irving Park at the intersection of Fremont and 7th at 5.30 pm.
All of us at CloseKnit will be attending.
More and more it becomes clear to me that Frank was and is still loved by so many people.
Frank, I am so fortunate to have met you and I truly hope our paths will cross again in another lifetime. I will always remember you as a beautiful, sweet and gentle soul.
In Loving Memory
Frank F.C. Strong
1981 – 2008