After the exhibition last autumn I imagined that my life would turn into my beloved Hollywood happy ending. I envisioned the iconic image of myself walking into the sunset, having shed the pain of the past years, face lit up with new hope and pride of job well done.
Life teaches me again and again.
Yes, on one hand, I have been very fortunate. Carried by the momentum of the exhibition, I was able to transform the energy into a dissertation, a work placement and finally a new job, rebuilding my life from scratch. Life has drawn me out of myself and asked me to use the energy to help others for which I am grateful.
But all the while I have been grieving in private…
In the loving presence of my husband, the supportive group of closest friends and therapists but rarely beyond that group. How do you safely admit to others that your life is not sorted, that you are still grieving, that life without children is physically unbearable and sometimes it’s just so bad that you don’t want to carry on?
Even as I am writing these words, I am aware of the possible impact of admitting such truth. What if I lose my job, what if they kick me out of my placement? What if my friends don’t want to talk to me?
It is extremely hard to admit that I am not fixed, that I still carry the burden of grief and in fact that pain just keeps showing me new facets as I move through life. What is the transition from losing a child to being childless and finally to living contently without children. Is that even possible?
The need to share
I continue to work with art. Art is the only consolation that ever brings me any peace or answers. Recently, I was working with a mandala technique where you gradually build up the image from the periphery, finding the centre. I was aware of how angry I was on the outside, acid yellow and burning orange. As I was working through the anger and getting closer to the centre, I was becoming sadder. So sad in fact, that when I reached the centre, I felt the core of my heart was made of cold blue steel. I learnt once again to contain my pain, a natural coping mechanism which makes me function in the world without the risk of exposing my feelings. So I consciously began to ‘spill’ my pain out of the centre, guiding it towards the periphery. The colours changed from beautiful bright tones to muddy tertiary shades. I felt sadder but strangely better. I felt more like me. I realised once again that I needed to share this pain in my core to allow it to flow and heal.
So once again I am reaching out to connect. Connect with the outer world but not from the position of strength, as I imagined, but from the centre of my pain, the only position of truth. I am finding courage to expose and explore those difficult feelings, for myself and perhaps for the few of you who are still grieving and and living with grief, such as myself.
It is also my plead for acceptance. I am desperate to feel accepted with all my difficult feelings and writing is a way of trying to accept myself as an unfinished piece, a work in progress.
So in the following posts I share with you my continuous journey with grief and the physical and emotional urge to be a mother.