As we pack up our house on Lancey Street in preparation for our move to Moosehead Lake, I am finding all kinds of things in boxes as we sift and sort. I came across this Mother’s Day card from my Riley a couple weeks ago. Joy and Grief immediately began to battle it out. JOY whispering compassionately that there was such tenderness in Riley’s heart and that I need to remember his sweetness. GRIEF flauntingly reminding me that I will never again receive a Mother’s Day card from Ry, or a card of any kind, let alone a hug or see his smile beyond those which reside in memory and in pictures. GRIEF – the coward – rarely travels alone, often brings REMORSE as his preferred companion. The message in this card particularly poignant, and foreshadowing as much of his life was.
Everything is still very raw. I keep telling myself it hasn’t even been two years. I hope that someday when I find treasures like this, that my mind gently embraces the gift. There was such tenderness in his heart. I miss him every day.
Twinkle’s writings have been included in publications and services around the world. For the first time bound in a poetry book all their own, her selected writings, some mystic in nature, others raw with physical-world portrayals of the landscapes we live in, created with passion, emotion, reflection and thoughtfulness.
Facebook was able to capture some of our precious moments on video and still images. We are so very blessed to have a core group of family and friends close by with whom we were able to spend time with during a time when many cannot do the same. Our home on the lake offers social distancing by its very nature. As such, our summertime looked like most other summers…with key exceptions: We were not able to visit with our children and grandchildren in Canada, nor our dearest family and friends throughout North America and around the world as travel is restricted to and from such places. We’ve been watching our grandchildren grow up this year via Facebook and video calls. And, being distanced from our Canadian children is heartbreaking after losing Riley only 6 months before travel bans were in place. This year our Memorials for Riley took place in two locations because all our families could not come together. In the end, this will likely serve best as there are now both American and Canadian sites that mark his life and his death with beautiful physical tributes. With Christmastime upon us, and another traditional visit-time with our Canadian family unable to happen, sadness cannot help but arise. We carry it with us even as we celebrate with those who we are able to be close with. Both/And is very much present. All totaled, we are healthy and safe and grateful for that which we do have.
Sending love and blessings to you during this holiday season.
May you find comfort and peace and have measures of grace throughout your days.
The road toward Acceptance and intentional processing of deep grief.
As our friends and family know all too well, one year ago this month our son, Riley Dai, died tragically. He was 22 years old. It was an unexpected and violent death. Our family is reeling over this loss. Deep grief is what is present with me, even amid the ever-present joys of our very blessed life – ie: we welcomed three new grandbabies into our family this year, six in total, so much joy exists alongside and intertwined with this grief. Most days, outwardly, I am able to function, accomplish necessary tasks, and be attentive to our youngest child who is a young teenager. Run my businesses and answer my Call. But I had not even begun to process, let alone accept my son’s death. I know I need to and that the inward journey to do so is something I have been avoiding, with the exception of a brief stint of grief counseling early after he died. I decided that enrolling in some sort of creative program would help.
Whenever I think about what to enroll in, the “Om Tara Tu Tara” chant for liberation sings in my mind. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a promo on social media for the “22 Day TARA Painting Meditation” – I knew instantly it was the perfect place for me to start.
The largest canvas I had here was an unfinished painting. So, I painted over much of the original painting, with some of the original paint still seen throughout.
I realize as I type that it is emblematic of where I am on my path. The life I envisioned for and with my son, the life he envisioned for himself, the dreams shared and seen in our imaginations yet never fully realized, will remain part of our/my memories of him. The future shape of our lives without him physically present is not a blank canvas, but one that will forever carry the loving imprint of him.
Each day of this meditation art program we are given a new aspect of the Tara to consider, along with a meditation, a written contemplation, a chapter in Rachael Wooten‘s beautiful book, and a video with Whitney Freya as guide. We each paint what we feel called to. We share as we wish with the others in the group. Doing so shows how diverse and unique our individual interpretations of Tara are. It is a very personal process, so evolutions of our paintings are personal as well.
Day after day. Layer after layer. We meditate. We paint. We meditate. We paint. It is cathartic, yes, and raw and opening wounds, and emotion inducing, and healing, and soothing and calming all rolled into one in this sacred space we call the canvas.