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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Art of Surprise

I was hesitant to go.  I don't have any artistic ability at all.  I can barely draw stick people!  What could I possibly do in an art therapy group?  But it was for local moms who have lost a child recently, and I decided it might help me to meet some who are walking this broken road, too. 

We shared our stories and cried for and with each other.  The facilitator had us close our eyes and do some relaxation imagery.  When she said "now imagine that you are coming to a place of acceptance,"  all the relaxing imagery went out the window, and in my mind's eye I was fighting to free myself from an impossible box.  I was kicking and clawing to get out, but I was surrounded on all sides and shrouded in darkness.  I feel red.  I feel powerless.  I feel trapped.  I feel unseen.  I feel... angry.

I was totally surprised.  I didn't think that I had been angry at all.  Sad.  Broken.  Depressed.  Crushed.  Not angry.  But here it was. Anger.  Surfacing in this class that I almost didn't attend.  We were instructed to use art materials to illustrate what we felt in that place of peace and acceptance.  Lucky for me magazines were on the table.  Soon I was ripping out rocks and dinosaur teeth from a National Geographic and pasting them in a circular wall on a red page.  They formed a craggy enclosure of sharp slate and jagged teeth.  Weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Inside was a girl covered over from head to toe in a black burka.  She is unseen. Words were scattered across the rocks... 'powerless,' 'imagine the sound of the sickening crunch,' 'a generation lost...'  Outside the rocky prison  were the upside down words- 'back to life.'  Everything seems so upside down. 

They say it is one of the stages of grief.  Anger.  I thought I just missed that stage.  I guess not.  They also say acceptance is the final stage.  Clearly I am not there yet.  I still have moments when I am utterly shocked that she is gone.  I caught myself saying a phrase to Abby just like Kiah would have said it.  "I fink she is gonna roll over!" And I could picture her sitting on the blanket with her sisters and cheering them on as they learn to roll.  Giggly and sweet.   She would have loved it.  Her absence slaps me across the cheeks and they become wet.  Laying in bed last night I think of her little face, and I catch my breath.  She is gone!  She can't be.  Things like this don't happen to me!  My baby is fine... When will I stop being shocked?  My husband says I have to stop imagining life with her.  What could have been.  What would have been.  What should have been!  I don't think I can.  I am not ready to let her go.  After all, I never even really got to say goodbye. 

1 comment:

  1. I had much anger too! its all a process, our bodies have to have a release of it all. its one step at a time. I would describe mine this way,
    year one-anger, shock,mad at eveybody
    year two- acceptance, breathing but lotsa tears, but the anger was gone
    year three-peaceful, laughing again, still tears but farther apart.
    year four- an anticipation, hope,enjoying life, viewing life differently, still missing Joel but i can live and i await the day i will see him again!! :)

    Lord willing you will get to these different places, it takes time. Dont ever think u have to hurry, each has their pace and the Lord is right along with you!!