"Frederick Was Too Sad" - mixed media on canvas paper, 9" x 12"
In general, I love art which is full of happiness and whimsy, good energy and positivity. And so that's mostly what I create, too! But I learned a little something yesterday. During a conversation about grief, I learned how important it is to sit with your sadness.
Now sitting with sadness is not something I do well, nor do I tolerate it well in others. "Move on!" I say, "Get up and DO SOMETHING" is how I feel. Although this is great in many cases (activity and energy can chase away the blues!) sometimes it is just wrong. Your self wants to feel what your self feels. Fully and thoroughly. Then you can move on fully, without dragging it along with you for later.
So this is part of the process after a parent dies (my mom passed away about six months ago). We're still sorting through her things. Now part of this is because there are a lot of things! But the biggest part is how hard it is and how sad it makes us. And so it is pushed aside until another day. And then another day.
What I learned this week is the greatest gift a family can give each other is to go through all the stuff - clothes, photos, knick-knacks and whatnots, whether alone or together, and through the process help move past the grief and into the next part of life. We were advised to keep a few things we would use, and therefore enjoy my mom's presence as we use them, but mostly to avoid keeping things just for the sake of just preserving them. All the rest we should give away, donate or dispose of. Can we do it? I think so.
For today, this piece honors the place of sadness. It reminds me to just sit with the sadness and allow it to be what it is. Even if it has a bird on it.
This piece is available, unframed. Inquiries: email@example.com
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Jen Walls and her imaJENation