I started to continue my more serious project last month – which is a part of a grief series I’m doing.
I titled it “Loss & Gain [thru the smoke]”
Jenna and her husband Darius really have gone through quite a hard time in the last year. From finding out they were pregnant in February of last year to quickly finding out Jenna had a miscarriage and dealing with that grief alone, it seemed like things were beginning to look up. However, in November, around their 2 year anniversary, their house went up in flames as they slept and they quickly evacuated their first home. That night, Jenna lost her fur baby [a kitty named Martin], and their home – quickly.
People downplay loss of pets, but these losses hurt, sometimes even more than losing people. Pets are just so loyal, so forgiving, so unconditional, and sometimes they in fact feel like our children [I am the most uptight cat mother ever and will not come out of hiding when I lose mine]. This loss is not to be downplayed.
A home? Even more hard to lose. Although we all try not to put everything we cherish in the idea of the tangible, it’s hard not to. Losing a home, our things, our memories in that home? It’s also a lot. The strength that these two have to go through all of these losses in a year? They are SO strong.
My goal with this project is to redefine the way our culture has discussed grief. Grief isn’t just a loss of someone, a child, a grandparent, it’s the loss of memories we never got to make, the break up of a friendship, the loss of a cat, the selling of a home, the confusion of our own identity, the moments we have forgotten. Grief can be so many things. But through these things we must seek out a light to keep us going.
We went back to her home that was ruined in a fire – we talked – we created. That alone was hard for Jenna, to see her home that was built with her and her husband, ruined. But to create new memories with this art, and override some of those traumas with this new light? Therapeutic. However, her strength and willingness to revisit this place is noted.
With this specific project I had a different ending in mind- a different light in mind – but then Jenna called me one day and told me that she found out she was pregnant. That light shifted. In their darkest time, Jenna found out the thing she had been hoping for – creating a whole new purpose to push passed her recent grief and losses. Sometimes these new lights make the pain a little more bearable, but it’s a big reminder that pain never actually goes away, but it does feel a bit dimmer as brighter lights begin to shine.