Monday, December 15, 2014

Release - One Little Word Up


Little did I know, when I chose it at the start of 2014, the profound meaning "release" would have for me when the time came to write about it.


Recently, a friend who had pancreatic cancer passed. Her husband and two children spoke at her funeral, and their pain and grief were witnessed and shared by all of us.  

When I looked at her casket, I felt the deep peace that comes when we leave this life. Around her was the excruciating suffering of her husband, children, friends, family, but my friend was at peace. 

I know that there is so much joy to come in my life, but there is so much pain too - so many losses are in my future - parents, friends, the tragedies of people I don't even know and yet feel so intensely.  There are many blessings in store for each of us - but also sadness.  How do we live with wisdom and compassion and joy, while there is so much suffering and pain?



I received a lot of wise words when I posed this question to my friends.  And here is what clicked for me.  Grief is not an isolated emotion.  It is the other side of love.  To grieve deeply and to empathize with others means we love deeply.  There is no love without loss.  No joy without sorrow. 


Love and grief go hand in hand.  Feeling deep grief and sorrow means that we have loved deeply and intensely.  


This tag celebrates love, and its power to release us from darkness, and bathe us in light.



Won't you join us at One Little Word?  What does "release" inspire you to create?  Link up your art.

Supplies used:

Stencil Club December 2014 Stencils
Liquitex Matte Medium
Pam Carriker Paints and Inks
Wendy Vechhi Embossing Paste

Update: I came across these wise words by Ram Dass - so perfect for this post:  

Over the years, in working with people who are grieving, I’ve encouraged them first of all to surrender to the experience of their pain. To counteract our natural tendency to turn away from pain, we open to it as fully as possible and allow our hearts to break. We must take enough time to remember our losses – be they friends or loved ones passed away, the death of long-held hopes or dreams, the loss of homes, careers, or countries, or health we may never get back again. Rather than close ourselves to grief, it helps to realize that we only grieve for what we love. 

I think we can only feel "release" if we first fully feel the difficult feelings from which we crave "release."

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29 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss and that of her family! These are very sage words. Having been through much greif I can tell you it's different with each incident, it changes how you look at the world, it forces you to explore a deeper self! Beautiful artwork!

    Sending love and light to heal your heart!
    Hugs Giggles

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    1. Thank you so much. Hugs right back to you.

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  2. Dear Jessica, your words touched me deeply, --having lost ceveral dear friends, and my dear sister, too, to cancer,- and last my mothers death ,as she did not want to be here anymore, I know the pain and the feelings of being kind of left allone,-
    I`m so sorry for your loss , and the loos of her family.
    Thank you for this beautiful post, my dear.
    Hugs,Dorthe

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  3. Wow wow wow Jessica. Wise and moving words. I am so sorry for your loss. Your tag is absolutely gorgeous!

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  4. Opening my eyes to this, too. How lucky we have people around us to love that much. So hard on the ones that are left behind.

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    1. Yes. It is hard no matter how and why. Hugs to you. xx

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  5. I believe that you are doing the best you can with the loss of your friend. Such a beautiful way to look at this loss. xox

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  6. Beautiful words, and lovely images.

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  7. Thank you for your art and your thoughts!

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    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and leaving kind words. xx

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  8. A beautiful tag, and a wonderful commentary on the flip side of grief. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you - love that... "the flip side of grief." So important to remember that *everything* has a flip side. xx

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  9. Beautiful post, I say "good-bye" to a friend on Saturday, and lost a dear friend a year ago and still miss her so. The price of love, but so worth it.

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    1. Yes it is - it's heavy and hard, but if you can remember the love, it is easier to bear.

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  10. Oh Jessica...I am so sorry for your loss! I lost a dear friend 2 years ago and have recently lost a dear cousin. Both these losses were unexpected. I have been reflecting and also trying to prepare myself for those dear to me that may pass before me...I am so frightened not just for losing them but for being left behind. My baby sister has Lupis and has been suffering with the pain and exhaustion. She has been saying things to me to prepare me.I fear if she departs before me...I might fall in a rabbit hole... I will miss her! Your tag, our art, is a way to commemorate these losses. Yours is a beautiful piece of art!

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    1. Hi Nydia - I fell down that rabbit hole, but wise words and love from friends pulled me back into the light. I hope you can see all the hands reaching for you. I send prayers to you and your sister. xx

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  11. this is such a beautiful and moving post... I also want to learn more about this OLW art challenges... how is this related to Ali Edwards' project?

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    1. Hi Miriam - I think Ali Edwards project is about picking a word for the year. With OLW, there's a new word on the 15th of each month to inspire art for that month. I hope you'll check it out and link up. Thank you for the kind words. xx

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  12. Jessica, so sorry to hear of your loss-my thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend's family.
    This release is good as as you said, your friend is at peace...and your post and sharing your thoughts has just made me feel even deeper in the spirit of cherishing those we love- hugs to you my friend ")

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    1. Thank you sweet Jackie. So happy to have had the chance to meet you at AIY and continue getting to know you through our art.

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  13. These words mean so much to me Jessica, during this year I have lost three of my close church friends to cancer. Being a 3 year survivor myself, it is very hard to lose your friends to a disease that you also are dealing with. Your words bring me comfort and hope. I am so sorry for the loss of your good friend and send prayers and warm thoughts for you and the family of your dear friend. Love to you

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    1. Thank you Glenda. I know we are all linked in loss and in love. That's what keeps us going, right? Have a joyous Christmas. xx

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  14. One of my favorite tags from you, Jessica. Dynamic colors, wise words, powerful art! Mwah! Kay

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    1. huge MWAH right back at you Kay! Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Your words about deep peace resonated with me. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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