“When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it. Don't try to take it away. Forgive yourself for not having that power. Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They're sacred. they are part of each person's journey. All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone. That's the one fear you can alleviate.” Glennon Doyle, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
My name is Tina.
I am an artist.
I am here healing, slowly finding myself again...but I am forever changed....
Grief and trauma change you.
I love the ocean, the desert, the mountains, the forests... I love rugged places. Places that make me feel alive. I am the kind of person who, in a split second decision, is on the road, in her car, with a half packed bag of spare clothes, on a road trip with no destination in mind. Perhaps it is jumping at the chance of adventure, at the thrill of new places, exploring. Perhaps I am just escaping, distracting myself... Perhaps and more likely, I am longing to connect with the land, for it is in the wild that I feel at home. It is in solitude that I feel at peace. Catching a glimpse of the cracked dry earth of the outback desert where, as impossible as it seems, little pockets of life spring up...a wildflower...a little creek with pink galah's and parrots bathing and singing.
Grief, Trauma and Loss. In the hours before my mum died, she gathered the strength to hold my hand and in a soft voice, simply said 'Be Happy Sweetheart'. Those were my mum's final words. Be Happy Sweetheart.
My mum died before my life was thrown upside down, twice. I am glad she didn't see what I went through, that she didn't have to see me fall apart.
I find this very hard to talk about, and won't go into all the details. Two years after my mum died, I ended a 10 year relationship, with someone who I loved and trusted completely, when I discovered he was unfaithful multiple times, I was severely anxious and depressed and I miscarried our baby on mothers day. I was alone. I was a mess. I was devastated. I found a little house to rent, found myself a little job working in a nursery...and a year on, I met someone amazing. I had been given another chance at love..and I started to smile again. Through the years, there were fireside dinner dates and wineries, wonderful weekends away, spending time with his children...and then there was his anger at the world and the controlling behaviour, his drinking and days of silence. I desperately wanted us to be happy, most of the time, we were. Then one morning, we were chatting with friends, who mentioned the "vasectomy that he had undergone long before we met". I couldn't speak. I went into shock. I curled up in a ball, and I stayed that way, for a very, very long time...too long.
Fast forward in time, and I am my own person, living my own life, and nurturing my own heart. I am still learning to how to heal, as best I can, and I am giving myself the time I need. Grieving for the children I did not have, is very hard to explain. Honestly, I could write 100 pages with all of things I think about. I remember a very good friend saying to me, “It’s okay to be not okay" ...and that was so much better than hearing the “it will get betters,” That message resonated the most deeply with me. My grief was okay. It's funny that sometimes, people need permission to fall apart. It is from that broken place that we are finally able to become whole again.
I do know that it is so important to nourish your soul, to surround yourself in beauty and to take care of your heart, your body and your mind. Creating my jewelry and spending time in nature are the two things that really make me happy, and they are my biggest source of healing.
Some things I have learned about Grief and Loss... If you can be around other people - be with people you find comforting and supporting, who allow you to be yourself, not those who expect you to put on a happy face for their sake.
The full sense of the loss of someone loved never occurs all at once. You have every right to have feelings of emptiness, sadness, despair, even guilt and anger. You may be frightened by the depth of emotion felt at these times. Unfortunately many people surrounding you may try to take these feelings away. Friends, even family, erroneously believe that their job is to distract you from your grief. Most grieving people need to speak about their feelings, the emptiness, sadness and depression and 'tell their story', to make living more tolerable. Talking about your loss in reality will help you to heal and work through the process of grief so try to find people who will listen to you and help you feel understood and not so alone. As people who have been blessed with the capacity to give and receive love, we are forever changed by the experience of grief in our lives. We, as human beings, do not 'get over' our grief but work to reconcile ourselves to living with it.
Memories made in love can never be taken away from you. If your memories bring laughter, let yourself smile, if memories bring sadness, let yourself cry.
I found a lot of Love and Happiness in my art. This is why the process of creating something from the heart and sharing that love, is so very important to me.
Anyone can benefit from art therapy... if you’re struggling with a serious circumstance, like grieving the loss of a loved one, feeling stressed by everyday demands or just in need of a little boost. Focusing on the feel of clay between your fingers, those smooth lines that appear with the strokes of a paint brush or even composing a beautiful picture when looking through the lens of a camera promotes mindfulness, a powerful healing practice.
Sometimes viewing others’ creative works can help us heal through the message evoked or the medium used.
“If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you’re good enough. Just do it. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself.” Glennon Doyle, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
I decided long ago, that every day really is a blessing. I make it a habit to rise early and watch the sun come up through the trees. The time of day when the birds are singing, but there is no other sound. I make sure to star gaze at least once a week, and leave the curtains open so that the moonlight pours into the room. I walk barefoot on the grass at least once a day.
I enjoy the quiet of nature. The Solitude. I enjoy nothing more than sitting by a campfire, with mug of coffee in hand, deep within a forest and surrounded by mountains. This is where I find myself. The real Me.
My mother passed away on July 15th 2006. Her name was Gloria Margaret. She was an artist, a writer, a traveler and a dreamer. Her life was not an easy one, and she had many hardships and heartbreaks from her childhood and during her life. She was one of those women who looked strong on the outside, but was secretly broken on the inside, but who was brave enough to keep on fighting no matter what life threw at her.
My father followed many of his passions as an artist, photographer, graphic artist and sign-writer... living simply, growing his own food and living his life so as to leave the smallest footprint possible.
My two friends Sue and Don...I had known Sue since I was a little girl... Together they built a beautiful handmade straw-bale home which was infused with love and wonderful energy... these people sparked the inspiration in me... Don actually crafted Tipi's and Sue created her own drums. They were so passionate about sustainability and the environment... Staying with them, learning from them and seeing how they live in harmony with the land was very educational and the passion they had was wonderfully contagious. Sue and Don were both killed in a tragic car accident at the end of 2016.
“One of the worst griefs people feel is the longing for elders in their lives. How many times do we find ourselves in conflict, fear, or despair and wish we could receive guidance from someone who knows better? There is no shortage of older people in our communities, but what differentiates an elder from an older is not just age, but the wisdom they carry and the position they hold in their community. Among other qualities, an elder is someone who is committed to staying put, who has lived into the competencies of belonging and made an invitation of their lives to the young ones growing up around them. Elder wisdom comes not from the accumulation of knowledge, but from reflecting on life; instead of living in a state of unworthiness and regret, we can grieve and forgive the past, find the redemption in our story, and recognize how it fits into our ancestral mythos. This work becomes our gift to the future.” Excerpt From Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner