Grief is a normal and healthy expression of loss.
Infants cry in grief when they lose something or someone precious to them, which can be as simple as someone they love walking out of the room. Young children can grieve over losing a favorite toy, but no longer consider it a possible irrevocable loss when someone they love walks into another room.
We fear the loss. It threatens us. We feel diminished. The future we envision seems threatened.
Our understandings about loss changes as we mature and what we value most can also change.
Although unexpressed or stuffed and denied grief can lead to emotional problems, including depression, grief itself is not depression.
Depression involves hopelessness. It also tends to lack the passion a grieving person feels, including a passion for getting over the grief!
When a loved one, such as a cherished parent, child, close friend or mate dies grief is normal and natural. Generally the strength and love in the relationship determines how much grief we experience. The general rule of thumb is that for someone close it takes at least a year to grieve. Each new holiday, each experience that normally would have been shared with the lost loved one, brings a new realization, recognition and experience of the loss.
The irony is that anyone who suffers the death of someone near and dear to them and has experienced grief, even overwhelming feeling grief, is truly blessed. Blessed because of having a wonderful parent, spouse, child or friend, which is a blessing that others lack. All of the experiences that were shared remain as memories that may feel sad now, but in the future will be cherished, uplifting and encouraging in the future.
As an artist, I am concerned with the visual aspects of grief. We visually project and make memories of a future we intend or intended to have with our loved ones, such as holiday events. Plus, we have visual memories of experiences that we have shared with our loved ones. The world we see around us can remind us of our loss.
These memories of imagined futures and real pasts pop up to us, thanks to our brains, when we experience (especially including see ), people, places and/or things that are a part of these memories. When this happens we again feel our loss.
|For example Thelma, who is your much older second cousin, a sweet lady who lives far away but always attends weddings, funerals and the annual family picnic, passes away. Thelma enjoyed the blueberry pies you brought to the picnic, and always told you how good your pie was. This year as you prepare a blueberry pie to take to the picnic, you will pause as usual to think of Thelma’s appreciation of your pies. But this year that usually pleasant moment of remembrance will immediately tow in the memory of Thelma’s death, and the understanding that she will not be appreciating this pie you are baking. This new understanding will probably include feelings of grief and loss. Although there is little in your daily life to remind you of Thelma, at the picnic itself she will also be missed.||
Mourner’s Prayer by Judy Rey Wasserman
Mourner’s Prayer is one of the earliest Post Conceptual UnGraven Image painting by Judy Rey Wasserman. The image is of a memorial candle that is traditionally lit at sundown but lasts throughout the day. Thus the candle’s light, reminding us of the light the loved one brought into our lives, continues on as bright as the light of the day, as represented by the sun. To see a larger version of this work and details about the reproductive print, Click: Mourner’s Prayer
When someone we are close with on a daily basis passes away, especially if it is someone we lived with or worked with, our daily lives are filled with visual items that trigger memories of that person. The more time and interaction we have with someone, the more memories we have of them in places we know, using items we recognize, interacting while we do the things we normally do.
People who have gained Awakened Vision, and so see more energy, usually do not experience negative or unwanted emotions that are associated with people, places or things that they see, especially when what is seen is not actually any real current threat. However, grief can seem to alter that.
Something seen can seem to trigger the grief, which is an unwanted emotion. Actually, the grief is not an old memory of emotion, but a new experience in relation to a very wanted and cherished memory of a loved one, which then turns into grief and mourning when it is realized that the loved one will never use the item, attend the event of be here in that same way again.
The brain is always set to survival and survival enhancement—that is basically its job. Survival enhancement means what gives pleasure or promotes survival, even when survival is not threatened. What we choose to enjoy the brain remembers, and we can enjoy that again and again.
Previous to Thelma’s passing she may have been thought of whenever a blueberry pie was made or even purchased or eaten. The memories of her happiness and appreciation of the pies you made was pleasurable and affirming – these are the kind of memories we choose to enjoy.
During the grieving process these enjoyable memories remind us of loss – the loss that we will never again experience in real life the company and affirmation from the loved one. Yet, these are not full unwanted memories or emotions—we want to keep the memories of the happy times and experience those emotions, but we do not want to experience the pain of the grief.
Later, when the grieving is successfully completed, there will once again only be the happy memories, without the grief.
Awakened Vision helps transform the grief and mourning by instilling an awareness of the presence of The Divine, and the words of the Creator in each moment of our live, whatever is happening and whatever we are doing. This can dramatically transform life, including the experience of grief and mourning.
For instance, returning to the example of the loss of Cousin Thelma above at the point making this year’s blueberry pie and realizing that Thelma will not be at the picnic to enjoy it. Although all of the types of memories indicated previously may be experienced, including the grief, following that is the sure visual recognition of the presence of The Divine, especially the energies, which are understood as the Creator’s words surrounding us and creating everything in the physical universe. That understanding, in a moment of grief, offers comfort and peace and hope, which can transform grief and mourning into a process of a closer experience and relationship with The Divine.
To discover more about Awakened Vision, plus discover more about the vision changing Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art of Judy Rey Wasserman, get your free copy of the 50 + page color illustrated e book, The Art of Seeing The Divine, Introduction, which includes 2 full visual brain game experiences, Click: http://artofseeingthedivine.com/FreeBook.htm
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]