Category Archives: Family

Art Meditation Program

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:

a Memorial Video for Riley’s Birthday

Our son Riley would be 23 years old today. There are no words to describe the emotions we collectively, and individually, feel from moment to moment, let alone on milestone days like today. Immense gratitude to our Aunt for creating this video montage for Riley’s birthday. 
We love and miss you so much Riley. You are forever loved. Always remembered.
Riley Dai Callin 1997-2019

Orion singing a cover of “Keep on Moving Forward” …with a few new lyrics

Orion and Twinkle adore Pat, Sandy O and their duo as Emma’s Revolution!
Orion was asked to sing/record the “special music” selection for Waterville UU church this week. He got creative midway through this song and exchanged some traditional lyrics with some new COVID-relevant ones: 
“sheltering in place”
“washing my hands”
“zooming with my friends”

***Song was used and arranged with Permission!***
© 1984 Pat Humphries 

To listen to, purchase and otherwise learn about and support Emma’s Revolution, visit the links below:

https://emmasrevolution.com/

Ice Castle Adventure

Grateful for time with family this weekend on an Ice Castle adventure in New Hampshire!

Above pictured: Ed, Twinkle, Darrell, Shannon, Karissa, Cayson, Brandon, Orion, Zoey

We are so blessed to have a wonderful friendship with our son-in-law’s parents. My heart fills with joy knowing that many of our grandchildren’s memories will contain adventures like this with them being surrounded by two sets of loving grandparents. Looking forward to this summer when our Canadian children and grandchildren will join us in Maine for such full-family fun adventures.

Every moment counts. ❤️ 🎶

“River Dai” welcome to Planet Earth <3

Our family was blessed this week to welcome “River Dai Longden.” I was especially blessed to be present with my daughter Morgan and her husband Rob when this beautiful baby girl was born and have spent every moment possible with my sweet granddaughter since then. She is absolutely adored by her uncles Dylan and Orion and has been given the same middle name as her uncle Riley Dai who is ever present in our hearts. 🌸 💖
#Family 
#PiecesOfPeaceOnEarth

Día de los Muertos calaveras

This year we did not create our ofrendas and other altars for the dead. Instead during this season that houses two important family traditions, Samhain and Día de los Muertos, we kept our altar space intact as it is everyday with family portraits and pictures of our lost family members posed in celebration with us while they were still alive. We did not single any nor all out for altars dedicated to our deceased loved ones. Not this year. We wanted to keep everyone together, if only in pictures and our memories. Our recent loss is too deep to do otherwise, and impossible to articulate beyond that. There was trick-or-treating on Halloween, and the children did beautiful Day of the Dead arts and crafts. (the skulls below done by Orion and friend). We told stories. We danced. And we rested.