I wasn’t happy with the final image I’d created for my book about my family’s journey through dementia. We’re in the print layout phase of Fractured Memories, and it was irking me that the final painting was one that didn’t really fit with the others. This is the last chance to make changes to the content of the book, so I had to act fast. So this weekend between classes, I knocked out a new one that I think is much more in keeping with the rest of the paintings being featured.
It was a good reminder for myself that each day will be different as we grieve. We’ll have days where we’re fine, where the joy of the world surrounds us, where we’re at peace with the journey we’ve been through. We embrace those days as they come. But there will be harder days, too: days where it doesn’t feel like we can hang on, where we ache with grief, where we shake our fists at the injustices we’ve been handed. And we accept those days as they come, too, knowing that they are necessary in order for us to process the pain and move forward. We need to acknowledge both sides in life and not feel guilty either when we let go of the pain for a bit or when we feel like we just can’t cope and the pain comes crashing down on us. Both are necessary if we are to truly live and love in this brief span of time we get on earth.