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Painting Through Pain: Healing and Forgiving in the Wake of Tragedy

The sudden loss of a loved one can shock us, leaving us shattered and struggling to come to terms with our grief. My journey with accepting the recent tragic death of my unconventional grandmother in a head-on collision has been riddled with complex emotions and challenges. Because I’ve been noticeably absent from all my channels, I want to share with you my story and the painting I’m working on that has become my sanctuary, allowing me to channel my feelings, reflect on our complicated relationship, and begin the process of grieving and forgiving.

An Unusual Grandmother-Grandchild Bond:

From as early as I can remember, it was clear that my grandmother was not your typical doting grandmother. She lacked motherly instincts and struggled to bond with me as a child. Nevertheless, we eventually found common ground when I turned 16—playing bingo. Those hours spent marking bingo cards, sharing stories, and experiencing little victories became the highlight of our relationship, creating cherished memories I still hold dear.

The Bitter Transformation:

Unfortunately, everything changed when my grandfather got sick and passed away. Grief twisted my grandmother’s heart, making her a bitter, somewhat vile, and mean-spirited woman. The shift in her behaviour was difficult to comprehend and strained our fragile connection. I found myself grappling with a mix of emotions—disappointment, anger, and sadness. 

Discovering the Power of Art:

In the aftermath of the tragedy that took my grandmother’s life, I was lost in a sea of emotions, struggling to find a way to express my grief and make sense of our complicated relationship. It was then that I retreated to my sanctuary -my art studio. With every sketch and every brush stroke, my artwork became a conduit for my emotions, allowing me to release the pent-up pain and confusion.

Reflecting, Remembering, and Forgiving:

Conceptualizing a piece honouring my grandmother became a journey of reflection, remembrance, and forgiveness. As I delved into the depths of my emotions, I examined the complexities of our relationship – the joy of our bingo outings intertwined with the bitterness that stained our later years. I confront these emotions head-on by painting this piece, slowly working towards acceptance and forgiveness. 

Sharing My Healing Journey: In an effort to heal and inspire others who are struggling with their own grief, I’ve decided to share my progress. Opening up about my journey and the insights gained through painting feels like a small step toward recovery and becoming whole again. By reconnecting with my art and posting on my channels again, I hope to inspire others to find their own healing outlets and remind them that they are not alone.

The sudden loss of my unconventional grandmother left a void in my heart and a storm of emotions within me. Through the therapeutic power of painting, I have found solace in the midst of pain. It has allowed me to navigate the complexities of our relationship, grieve for the loss, and eventually find the courage to forgive. Each stroke of the brush represents a step forward on my healing journey, reminding me that even in the face of tragedy, there is beauty in the process of acceptance and self-discovery.

We are all on unique healing paths, and finding healthy outlets that bring comfort is vital. May my journey serve as a beacon of hope for those facing their own struggles, reminding them that art, in whatever form it may take, has the power to heal and transform.

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