Art Is Created from Great Storms


I think I put too much pressure on myself that every blog post has to be written like an essay or written as creative nonfiction worthy of publication in a literary magazine.  I take myself way too serious sometimes.  I am currently dealing with the loss of my mother. I don’t really even know how to express the grief I am going through.

I have been posting photos and mini blog posts that reveal nothing.  Yet at the same time I want to share with the world what I am going through. I recently told a mom acquaintance at Mommy and Me Gymnastics that my mom died. This need to tell the world so they understand the fragile terrain I am walking on is overwhelming. I almost want to wear a sign around my neck that says, “Handle with care. My mother died.” The grief work I am doing is so intimate it is hard to express it in words. I have my mother’s ashes on my mantle and will drive them to Arlington Cemetery  in the coming months. From what I understand, it takes months to schedule a funeral at Arlington. My mom will be buried with my father’s ashes (Korean War Veteran) who passed away in 2003. Both of my parents passed away in December.  In the meantime, I have been lighting my Christmas lights that are intertwined with my favorite set of Christmas lights around fake green garland that snakes across the mantle in our family room. They look like sugary colored crystal balls.  There is a star that lights up that I have connected to the Christmas lights. Two Santas my mom gave me anchor both sides. In a way this lighted mantle is my memorial to her.

My February Memorial Mantle

My February Memorial Mantle

I did manage to take down the Christmas tree sometime in late January.  I took off all the ornaments and un-twirled the lights — my toddler helping me as I walked backwards around the tree. After taking down all the ornaments and the lights, I took a moment to look at the bare dried up tree. It was striking in its beauty — the absence of the decorations — the absence of my mother. I made a connection that there was beauty in looking at the bare tree — its bare beauty.

I have had many moments like this where a great calm overcomes me and I am left to marvel at the sensitive, fragile beauty of life. Then there are the moments of ocean deep sorrow.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Outer Banks Trip 2013 043

Footprints in the Sand
The Atlantic Ocean — Kill Devil Hills, NC

I will share this: I got down on my hands and knees (crying, of course) asking God to help me through this difficult time.  I have never actually got down on my hands and knees before in total surrender, although I have heard of people doing it. I realized this burden and sadness is too heavy for me to carry.  So I asked God to carry it for me.  My mother has not been buried yet. We are waiting to hear back from Arlington Cemetery when the funeral will be. My mother passed away on December 24, 2012.

The month of January seemed to move by slowly, yet I hardly remember it.  I did not move; I was stagnant with acute pain and a deep sadness. Where did the time go?  I have been grieving and getting by. I have enjoyed the time I have with my son as I am a stay-at-home mom.  My son is painting right now. He asked me, “Help me paint Mama.,” gently grabbing my left hand and looking at me with the love a child can express through a  simple gesture such as this. I said to him, holding his hand in my palm, “I am painting here while I type. I am painting with words.”  Now he is creating his watercolor masterpiece as I try to paint a picture of what I have been going through.

My son painting with watercolors

My son painting with watercolors

February photos 2012 003 February photos 2012 006My son and I made a gallery of his paintings. He told me where each painting should go and in what order. For now, I am taking it one day at a time and honoring the grief. I am ready to paint my own canvas and allow the colors to choose themselves. It is a process and art is always created from great storms.

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8 thoughts on “Art Is Created from Great Storms

  1. I am soo sorry for your loss. I know some losses well and went back to them while I read this beautiful post about your pain. I have done the knees thing twice this year and your writing it made me feel I wasn’t alone. I wish you love and healing.

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  2. Megan– seems like many of us are contending with loss this year. And this one, the loss of one’s mother, is so hard. You write evocatively and beautifully, and have pulled us in with you, to your world. I haven’t been able to forgive and grieve my mother, which I’m certain, pisses off my muse! I think you are in Wyoming, aren’t you? I hope the rugged beauty of the West sustains you together with the knowledge that your mother is with you in spirit…xj

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    • Jenne,
      Aww… that is what literally came out of my mouth when I read your comment. Thank you so much. II am a Wyoming native now living in North Carolina. Wyoming has my heart though as does the West. Have you written about your feelings about your mom? Perhaps through writing about her you will work through forgiving her and allowing yourself to grieve. Grief is a strange strange thing — never a solid — never something you can actually hold onto. It is slippery and elusive and alive. Grief bites too — with shark teeth.

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  3. Megan- so sorry to hear about your mother. sending a hug. I love how your son created so much art and how sweet that you gave him a gallery to show it all. I find working with my art can help me get my feelings out. I wish you peace. elizabeth

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    • Thank you Elizabeth. My son loves to paint. I actually try to keep most of his art, but there is so much. My mother kept all my grade school art projects and work samples. She really was amazing. It is hard to believe she is really gone. I want to call her — in fact, sometimes I really think I can. I guess I am still working on accepting she is gone.

      I love your art. Thanks for the cyber hug. How are you holding up with the blizzard?

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  4. I, too, have felt the pain of grief where it seemed someone had actually reached inside my chest and ripped out my heart. Keep writing about it, my friend. The personal is most universal. Sending you healing light and hugs.

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    • I like that: The personal is the most universal. I feel like I should Tweet that and quote you. Yes, the physical pain of grief is rather interesting. I have always been intrigued how the heart literally hurts. But you get through it. I do have a great support system of friends and a lovely cyber community of friends. Thank you for your kind words. I am writing about it. Just giving myself the space, patience, and kindness to not write if I don’t feel like it.

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