At some point in our lives, we each face that moment of a heart-breaking, life-changing loss. I made it nearly 48 years before facing that kind of loss. Last year, my life was flipped upside down with the sudden and expected loss of my mother. It felt like a bad dream for the first several months. She was the center of our family. She was the foundation we all came from. How could she be gone?
It also felt like time and ‘normal’ life stopped. I had trouble focusing and making decisions. I came to realize the grieving process is a cycle of spirals and each persons goes through it in their own, unique way and in their own time. Never let anyone tell you how you should be grieving or when it is time to stop grieving. Personally, I am not a crier. Tears do not flow easily for me. That does not mean I am not feeling the deep grief any less. I just process the grief in a different way. I let it out through my art and by writing in my journal.
Slowly, the reality of the deep loss set in and I felt myself coming out of this frozen state. The undone mundane tasks of daily living were piling up and I felt it was time to move forward and catch up on them. My mom would have wanted us to keep moving forward. She would have wanted us to not miss out on opportunities. I traveled and enjoyed time with friends and family. I was blessed to be able to visit with my mom’s side of the family, who I had not seen for over a decade.
To kick-off the new year, I painted this mandala. The word ‘console’ kept coming to me as I moved through the latter part of 2015. How do I console my sadness during the first holiday season without my mom? A big part of me wanted to fast-forward right through the holidays and pretend they weren’t happening. There was a heavy weight of dread on my shoulders. The other part of me wanted to honor her in some way for each holiday. How do I lift that weight of dread? I was looking for ways to console myself, to soothe and comfort myself.
This Console mandala has three teardrops for the sadness and loss; a heart in the center for love; and big angel wings to wrap around me, like a warm blanket of comforting. The word ‘console’ was colored in a shimmery blue that sparkles in the light, like little stars in the sky. Sorry, this scanned image does not adequately capture the sparkle. I like to think of my mom’s spirit in the heavens watching over us and beaming love down to us. I hope she knows how much she is loved and missed every day.
If you have journeyed with a loss this past year, I send consoling hugs and prayers to you.