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.
This is Day 12 of 22: