As I am not writing a job application but sharing my story in a book, I can allow myself to be honest. Being honest, though, means making myself vulnerable. I am placing trust in you to be gentle with the information I disclose. I lay myself open in hope this sharing may help other women (& men) who are grieving in silence.
Marie was born in the Czech Republic. Studied art. Started as a primary school teacher. Moved to the UK to be with the love of her life. Worked with children in an after school club. Taught English for Speakers of other languages. Graduated in graphic design. Started a business with two friends. Had an IVF and the first miscarriage. Discovered spirituality. Passionately branded companies, whilst dabbling in illustration. Suffered another failed IVF. Studied Children’s Book illustration (with no book published to date). Discovered therapeutic arts and thought she could heal the world. Found out that she herself was broken and left her studies to process it. Following a career call, she designed websites and brochures for aspirational, corporate companies. Then her husband suffered a heart attack. While he was recovering, she fell apart, went through a deep depression and her health had suffered. Left the commercial world to begin a long recovery process with alternative therapies. Painted, sculpted, drew, sewed, knitted, danced, taichied, sang. Really wanted to be a mother. Managed to go through another embryo transfer. Tried and lost …but not failed. Made an exhibition about it all.
I am nourished by the love and understanding of my husband, my dear cousin, my loving family, my wonderful, supportive friends. Their love and total acceptance continue to help me through tough and rough times.
My home is my strongest foundation. In fact I have two homes – my parents’ house in the Czech Republic with the family’s loving bubble and my cosy, messy, artistic home here in England. Recently I began to claim both cultural roots – the Czech stream by honouring my Eastern European heritage and the British one by becoming a British citizen.
Nature. Natural elements. Morning walks, afternoon walks, evening walks and very importantly night walks. Observing the nature’s changes and magical transformations through the seasons.
Relying on the help from above. From the universe/ God/guardian angel, mother nature and love above all.
I have always wanted to change the world to be a better place. This meant I read a lot of spiritual books, rushed to help other people and became a vegetarian. As you would have guessed, these unrealistic expectations lead me to a denial of certain unappealing aspects of myself. When I first entered Tobias and the art started to show me the unwanted, rejected faces of myself, I didn’t know how to deal with them. It was hard for me to see my own pain, anger, hatred… especially when they were exposed in pictures for others to see. It took me time to realise (and with the help of a therapist), they are all part of me and all they want to do is to be heard and seen.
Now I have lowered my expectations. I eat meat and I make time for me. I stopped trying to changed the world, instead I am trying to change myself through kindness, patience and even allowing myself to be angry.
The life after
The exhibition led me to work with Perspectives Ipswich, a dedicated charity which helps women (and men) during and after pregnancy loss and any other issues related to pregnancy. If you are interested in free counselling or free therapeutic arts sessions, please contact Nancy at Perspectives on 07540635236 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we have established Creative Nest at Perspectives – a space for therapeutic arts sessions. The Creative Nest is currently on a break as I am involved with The Grieving mother book and preparing the next exhibition.
After the Grieving Mother exhibition, I was also fortunate to get a position of a programme leader/ lead artist at Inside Out Community, a charity dedicated to improving emotional well being and mental health through arts. I now work here as the Art of wellbeing project manager, so if you have any questions about joining us, get in touch.