“The Other Side of this Moment” and processing grief

 |  January 30, 2019
The Other Side of This Moment
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | The Other Side of this Moment,
encaustic mixed media, 11×14 inches

I have shared on my Instagram and Facebook accounts that I recently lost my best friend/soul sister to cancer. We had known each other since preschool and she was a constant in my life even when we lived on opposite coasts and family and career took center stage in both our lives. We always would find time to get on the phone and talk into the wee hours of the night or sneak in a call during the day if we had a free moment.

By nature and in addition to how life has shaped me, I am an introvert with a good dose of cynicism on the side. She was an extrovert with absolute faith in goodness of people and even when a person was clearly not behaving well, she would say something like- this person is acting this way from an earlier wound as we all tend to do, and she would try to find a way to forgive them and find a way to help. I loved her for that balance she provided; and my wry sense of humor, which is my defense mechanism, would always make her laugh.

She was a light, especially in these last few years of her journey. In one of her letters she wrote me, she wrote about a personal struggle and that she knew that whatever was on the other side of this hard moment, everything would be ok.

Getting back into the studio these past few weeks since her service has been instrumental for me in processing my grief. I felt paralyzed with grief that would roll over me at random times. I felt wordless for what is there to say to express such deep sorrow and loss and anger at such an unfair world. But through meditative walks and help from friends, I remembered her positive energy and light and how she would embrace the struggles and ask, what can I learn from this? How will this painful moment help me on this life journey? (I am not making this up, she would present those questions often in our conversations. I’m telling you, positive! )

When we lose someone close to us, we never lose them as they are always with us. And the grief is also right there beside us as well. I have been keeping her close in my thoughts. And thinking about her positive and optimistic light and how do I now bring her light into my life on my own now without our marathon phone calls?

My artwork and my creative process is always my way to find the light.

In this mixed media painting, I was again seeking a lightness. Totally different than my last painting I posted. But this one is about being grounded in the earth, that is where I find my strength and purpose.

the strength of trees…the weathering of life on us all, animate and inanimate…the cycle of life and growth and birth and rebirth…a lightness of being while staying grounded….hope and faith and presence…and gratitude for having had a beautiful friendship…always gratitude.

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