Love, loss and promises kept at the Labyrinth

grief
The intricate center of the labyrinth

Love, loss and promises kept at the Labyrinth

Last December, I wrote about the promise I made to Sarah when I took her to the labyrinth towards the end of November. We had planned to go many more times, but her untimely, unexpected passing changed my life – my entire family’s lives. This is what I wrote:

“But I will make good on the promises I have made to her. So, Sarah Boo, this blog is for you. I know you can read it from the other side. I promise you, I’ll keep writing and doing my art. And, I’ll be taking you back to the labyrinth – all four seasons, with pictures. You’ll travel in my heart instead of in my car. You’ll be in the center of my heart instead of the center of the labyrinth. And I’ll whisper “I love you,” knowing that you can hear me – whether in the labyrinth or in my heart.”

And now, a difficult promise is fulfilled…

Dear Sarah,

Well, I did it. Just like I promised you, I returned to the labyrinth and took photos so we could see how it looked in the winter, spring, summer and fall.

There were so many days I wanted to go to the labyrinth – but I was missing you so much – I just didn’t have the emotional strength to head out there. Yet,  on other days, I’d feel you nudge me. I’d see heart shapes. I’d feel a pull to the labyrinth. This message you sent to nudge me, well, all I can say is, “wow!” When I found your perfectly-formed “S” after my morning exercise routine, I knew I had to go. So, the fall photos happened later that day. (See, I do listen! LOL 😊)

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Sarah trying to get my attention

I love that you leave me messages – in the shape of an “S,” or a cloud or a heart or an animal. My camera is filled with images that I know you’ve sent.

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Sarah loved clouds, and sends her love through them.

While I know you are around me all the time, I miss that physical connection we had. I miss seeing you and hearing your voice. I want you to know, almost every photo I take, it’s because I see you in it – or feel you in it.

This fall, the colors have been so amazing and vibrant. I know it was one of your favorite seasons. The red has been so very vibrant – you’d absolutely love it.

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Double heart and vibrant reds… messages from Sarah.

It may be my imagination, but I swear, since you’ve transitioned, I have seen more amazing sunsets, cloud formations, hearts, vibrant colors – more than I ever remember. I feel that God is just giving you the most amazing art supplies so that you can keep reminding me – reminding all of us – you are still with us every day. Especially when you paint the skies in the evenings.

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I believe Sarah paints some beautiful sunsets.
I feel that God is just giving you the most amazing art supplies so that you can keep reminding me – reminding all of us – you are still with us every day. Especially when you paint the skies in the evenings. #SarahStrong #CloudsForSarah Click To Tweet

Enjoy the four seasons of photos from the labyrinth, Boo. I know that you helped me take all of these, because you caught my eye with the beauty of nature. A beauty that you are so excited to share as a reminder that you are always there.

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Winter view. It was stark and cold on the first trip to log the seasons for Sarah.
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The warmth and color of spring at the labyrinth.
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Summer’s views are lush and green at the labyrinth.
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Fall’s spectacular colors at the labyrinth

 

Love you so very much, Boo Bear. Thanks for the continued inspiration and signs of love. It means so much to me.

Love, Mema xoxo

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Love, Loss and Learning to Self-care with Art

self-care
self-care
The Mask – Jason Rice – April 2020 (mixed media)

In my last post I discussed my “self-care” emergency kit. While I incorporate several modalities, my favorite is the “Daily Challenge.”

Every day, I challenge myself to learn or try something new. Sometimes it is as simple as looking up a word I don’t recognize. Other times it’s reading a new topic, or challenging myself to walk 15 more minutes. Some days, it’s trying something new with art.

Continue reading “Love, Loss and Learning to Self-care with Art”

Love, Loss and Learning how to Self-care in a Crisis

As I continue my healing journey, one thing I am constantly reminded of is to “self-care.” I’m sure others are probably tiring of me reminding them to do the same.

Self-care may sound a little “woo-woo,” but it really is not. It’s not all about massages or mani-pedis, though they can be incorporated, too. In times of trauma recovery, self-care is a reminder to be gentle with yourself in all situations, and to not only learn your limits, but to honor them, too.

Continue reading “Love, Loss and Learning how to Self-care in a Crisis”