Do you ever look at a painting and get lost in the strokes of the brush. I mean, obviously we all do. That's why Van Gogh's work is so mesmerizing. All of those thick layers of impasto that somehow come to life to create a masterpiece. For centuries, people have been transformed by his art. Or, think of the Mona Lisa. I don't have to describe one detail of her face for everyone knows exactly what she looks like because she is the most famous work of art in the world.
In a way, Grief is like a painting. Each griever's journey is unique. I was messaging with a friend of mine who is grieving the loss of her brother and we were just checking in on one another. I mentioned that Grief, herself, is exhausting. I think that is something that non-grievers might not realize. Obviously, they know that we are tired when we are in the throes of grief. That is not really what I am referring to... I'm talking about where we live, forever. We traumatic grievers reside on a plane filled with mud. On the good days it's only ankle deep and on the bad days - we are up to the neck in quicksand. However, most days we travel through somewhere between "waist and thigh high". We've actually gotten really good at it (until our footing decides to fail us).
Being good at something doesn't mean it doesn't wipe us out. Or that the root cause of The Thing is any more bearable than it was in the beginning. We are simply more familiar now with the work it takes to walk around in the sludge if it.
Sometimes though, we can grab handfuls of the wet dirt around us. There is beauty in it if we look hard enough. Lots of shades of reds, oranges, and browns. Blacks, blues, and even greens can also be found. It is surprising the works of art that can be created out of ruin.
Masterpieces, if you will.
Of the world we travel.
Even... of ourselves.
For thousands of years, humans have used the very medium we grievers crawl within to tell our stories. It's only fitting that we allow it to speak for us now, in this place and time. So my grieving friends, on the days that we can, let's dig around in the dirt for a while to see what we can draw out. We only need to remember two things in that moment...
Grief is like the Mona Lisa. Sometimes, she smiles. And yet, even when she doesn't she's still beautiful.