Peace, Love and Grief

Interesting how the brain works. As you may have seen from previous posts, I am currently working on paintings for my February show “Peace and Love”. All these thoughts of love and peace have stirred up feelings of grief and sadness in me. On January 9th, my beloved great Aunt (“Auntie”) Evalynn passed away at the age of 93. She had slowly retreated into the world of Alzheimers and it was a relief for the whole family that she was finally released from this terrible disease. My grandmother (her sister) also succumbed to the disease back in 2003. Thinking about her and how much I will miss her independent spirit has brought back thoughts of my dad, of course, and so I find myself once again dealing with grief. It’s interesting to me how one death can be so welcome while another is unexpected and like a slap in the face.

I still miss my dad, naturally, and at times like this I have a difficult time believing that we are coming up on the 2nd anniversary of his death! How could time pass so quickly and peacefully. My dad was right that life goes on, I know this now, but it’s like he was here just yesterday. I keep going through life, working, painting, loving, breathing, eating, sleeping, but he is gone, Auntie is gone, my grammy is gone. Are they really though? There have been so many times that I have felt them in the room with me, just like it felt when they were physically here. It always happens unexpectedly, when I am not thinking of them, busy in my daily life, doing mundane things. Then, out of no where, there they are, POP in my head, thoughts, feelings of love.

I used to believe that death was it, we live, we die, one life is all we get. I don’t believe that anymore, I’m convinced that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, convinced! How could it be any other way? I spent some time yesterday afternoon reading my past blog posts in the months after my dad’s death, revisiting the grief, it doesn’t change, the pain is exactly the same. I believe everything we go through in this life is a lesson, so what is the lesson in death? It’s so simple, appreciate every minute of this life, though it’s not truly all there is, it’s a one of a kind life, we will never relive this life, we may get another chance in another life, but this is it for this time around. I’m rambling on, I know, just dumping my mind out. So many people suffer here on earth, the earthquake in Haiti is just another example of human suffering, it’s part of the human condition. It’s part of life….and death. People die and suffer everyday, another thing my dad was right about, but it’s how we handle it that matters. It’s what we do with the death and suffering, dwell in it, sadness, depression, hopelessness. Or turn it around and appreciate the good in life, gratefulness for our blessings, look for the positive in every situation, enjoy moments of joy and love with our family and friends still with us. That’s what I choose to do most days, but I’m human and every once in a while I slip back into the negative aspects of it all. I did that yesterday and for a bit today, but now, I choose to be grateful, for the past, the present and the future. Life is beautiful, death is what makes it so, without death we would never appreciate the brevity of life, never go for the gusto, enjoy the moment! Thank you for that!

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2 responses to “Peace, Love and Grief

  1. What a great and heartfelt post, Paula. My aunt, a likewise independent spirit, had a stroke last week and, while not devastated, she has been significantly impaired, so the topic was on my mind. My aunt was someone who really helped me put my mother’s death in perspective (e.g., as you say, that it’s the end that gives something its meaning), and I’m feeling very lucky that despite being very confused, she seems happy and contented with the situation. The breaks are lucky that way sometimes.

    In any case, you really reminded me of the universal nature of the human experience today–that we’re never alone–and that’s what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m sorry to hear about your aunt’s stroke! Glad to hear she is handling it well. Thank you for the kind comment, I’m always a little reluctant to post a personal blog such as this on my website, but the fact is it’s the personal element that makes us human! I’m happy I was able to connect with you in that way! 🙂

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