Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Art of Letting Go

It took me a week after Mercy's death before I could bring myself to sketch her. I wasn't ready to let go, not yet. I needed time to process my feeling and why I was so shaken by her death. She looked to me to care for her and protect her. In the past I was able to pull her back from deaths door...this time I was powerless.
Time and time again I have turned to my sketchbooks as a healing tool. In these books I am able to express myself in ways words alone won't do. As an artist I am a visual person and it is here that I feel most comfortable. Within the pages of my sketchbooks are my highest highs and lowest low. The hurts, disappointments, joys, achievements...that have formed my life. Part of the sorrow in losing someone (person, animal or living thing) is that I will never see them again and I grieve that my memory of them will fade. I find painting a loved one is a power experience...expressive, healing, soothing and uplifting. The sketch is how I honor their memory...an act of love. When I am done their image is forever burned in my mind...and then I find rest.
I want to say thank you to everyone who wrote me a note (on and off the blog). Your comments and words of encouragement lifted my spirits.
Happy Sketching!
Brenda

18 comments:

  1. this is an awesome story Brenda.and Sketches.
    Is so hard to give up something we love so much. My cat, Sketcher, came from the pound...her mother died, and they had her on another mother cat. My daughter brought her to me for Mothers day, 8 years ago. She was so very tiny.
    am glad you have your sketch books to help you work through the pain.

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    1. Sounds like you were her third mommy. How lovely of your daughter to give Sketcher her to you. A special story...thank you for sharing with me.

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  2. What a beautiful painting of your kitty. So sorry for your loss. I am sure you miss her everyday, as a pet gives such unconditional love and becomes a member of your family. It is so nice for you to write your thoughts down about your cat, as you will always be able to remember back how you felt. Patty Wayte

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    1. I still miss her and I'm surprised how hard it hit me. I catch myself thinking I see her in her favorite spots. There is a void...

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  3. That's how I finally was able to say goodbye to my Scoutie, Brenda. Thank God for the gift we've been given.

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    1. I do thank God for the gift. I don't know how I would mange to process my feelings otherwise. Thank you for your kind words and gentle heart.

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  4. Love the sketches and story. The second sketch of my favorite! I am sure there will always be e "Mercy" sized hole in your heart even though it will grow smaller with time. Thank you for sharing your journey and Mercy with us!

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    1. She has left paw prints on my heart.
      >^..^<

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  5. What beautiful images of your beloved cat. Your reflections on the use of your journal to process some of the highs and lows of your life really resonates with my own use of my journal. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. It brings to mind a cat that belonged to my oldest granddaughter and had been with her since she born.
    The cat (Tinkerbell) passed away when she was in high school and I was so glad that I painted her a picture of "Tink" about a hear before she died so now Maddy has a lovely memory of her. I had painted her with her eyes turned slightly to left and ears cocked at the bird near the window...full of mischief. It made us all laugh to see her expression.

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    1. I like that your image caught the playful side of her kitty...and the memory brought her joy.

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  7. I've experienced the loss of beloved animal companions and it does indeed hit us hard and leaves a void. Your sketches are wonderful tributes to Mercy. The second one especially seems powerful, with her back facing us, and the symbolism inherent in that.

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  8. Stacy, You caught the symbolism of Mercy facing away! I struggled with how to express this until this image came to mind. Thanks for the kind words!

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  9. Beautiful tribute to your lovely Mercy, her eyes are amazing, I feel her soul in it. It is very painful, to part with love ones, but with years joys of being together overcome the grief. I still think of my little dog Pliusha, I lost 22 years ago, but most of it our wonderful time together and happiness she gave me.

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  10. So, so sorry to hear about your loss. Cats are definitely part of the family and so hard to let go of. I wish you strength.

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  11. Brenda I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your kitten. And that you find healing in drawing your special friend in your sketchbook. We had two beautiful cats, moggies, that were dumped in a field. We loved them and they loved us for 13 years. It was the most special friendship I have ever had. So I understand your grieving and your need to heal. I, for some reason have not been able to draw our two furry friends yet. It has been almost a year. I have the sketchbook ready and waiting but every time i go to draw them, something stops me. I guess it is just too painful. We are so lucky to have had our special friends. Warmest regards.

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  12. Pauline, Sorry to hear the sorrow in your words. Letting go is a powerful experience. I wrote about Mercy and sketched her on three pages. It took A LOT of writing. She was my constant companion in my studio and home. Every once in a while I still think she passes through and topples a water bowl, knocks a brush off the table...She was mischief of the best kind. I hope you will one day be able to sketch your little cats and remember them with a happy heart.

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