Art and grief can have many parallels, each influenced by one’s own life. A randomly viewed photo of smoke innocently shaped this writing. Within the picture, some found an image of a horse, others a cat, while other people imagined many other things.
This is not at all like the https://www.illusionsindex.org/i/young-woman-or-old-woman illustration asking if you see the old or the young lady. I am speaking of something much more nuanced.
Art and Life
I was taken back to classroom art discussions, particularly of nonobjective art. Imagine showing a group of elementary students an image of one of Jackson Pollock’s famous nonrepresentational dribble and drip paintings https://www.jackson-pollock.org/autumn-rhythm.jsp. Asking a class, “What do you see?” is akin to turning on a faucet full force. One must crank the flow back to allow one drop, one comment at a time.
With an artwork such as this, a class of twenty children could easily generate twenty unique responses. Following that, many would be inspired by the insight of their peers to discover two or three more if time allowed. Good imaginative ideas always spawn new ones!
For me to tell a child, “No, you can’t possibly see that!” would be wrong and simply rude. Do you think I could predict how each student would connect and react to the art? Not at all. You see, all of this is dependent upon their individual life experiences.
Grief and Life
Now, let’s look at grief through the lens of my life. There is grief and then there is child loss grief. By the time any of us have lived a number of years, there will be an increasing number of loved ones to grieve. That’s life (and death). Like most people, I’ve lost generations above me as well as some from the same age grouping. I grieve them all. Then, we lost our son. For many bereaved parents, child loss grief is a beast by another name. For me, child loss grief has been tremendously more intense and prolonged. One helpful tip is to ERASE GRIEF Using Visual Art of the Masters. Studying art can help to process one’s emotions.
In my past experience of grieving anyone but our child, my response has tended to be shorter and calmer. Then I would eventually arrive to a time in which I could fondly reminisce the good times we had together. I lovingly think of them off and on as time passes.
Grief of Illness
For me, our son’s pancreatic cancer, of course, induced my grieving. Then for a while, things began to turn around. We were blessed with the hope of his treatments, with my learning energy healing, and with the birth of his daughter. It was nearly seven years from his diagnosis to his passing.
Child Loss Grief
Now, child loss grief aligns to one’s own life experiences, as well as to those of one’s child. I’ve had such a mixture of emotions with our son’s loss. It is so easy for me to dream, “Oh, what if he was still here?” However, that is nearly always coupled with my relief that he is no longer suffering. He left us with a granddaughter as well as a daughter-in-law. For that, I am grateful. Then, sometimes I have a lament, “That’s not fair, no one should ever lose the fruit of their womb.”
Our deep conversations, our belly laughs, our paddle boat rides on our pond are all something for which I still long. Watching him and his dad being barnyard mechanics is something I miss. I forever treasure the memories of our son and his sister mimicking movie vignettes. Then, I have the joy of receiving signs from beyond. Sometimes OUR VISITOR is a creature from nature. At other times we may receive MIRACLES AND DUETS: Visits from Beyond in our dreams. The tears, yes, the tears. My eyes don’t leak every day. However, there is never a day that he is not on my mind, too many times to count. As you can see, losing a child, a person out of the order of the “normal” time to leave our earthly body, can be more challenging.
Art, grief and life are connected
Just like the Pollock painting student analysis, no one else can guess what any of your grief experiences will be. One time, I had someone predict that I would be over my child loss grief in a year. An acquaintance of a grief group member told her she should be over her child’s loss in a mere four months! I do think people mean well but merely do not understand. Until anyone takes a ride on a bereaved parent’s torrent of tears, they truly do not know. Some people may get relief by alternative methods such as Tuning into Healing: Grief. This type of energy healing with a single frequency can be quite effective.
Grief is universal, our responses are not.
Our response is a reflection of our own life, as well as our relationship shared with the loved one. Grief mirrors back that time period, however short or long, to the survivor.
Art, grief and life are intimately connected. We are each as different as our own fingerprints. As grief is not made in a factory, grief for anyone does not fit into a mold. Your grieving time schedule and elements thereof are yours alone. Feel your grief or child loss grief. It is a normal and natural process we must experience to move through it. Please seek help if you feel you need help processing it. My heart is with you!