Sometimes grief settles so heavy on your shoulders, that you’re certain a coat full of stones has been placed there and walking with a normal gait is going to be impossible.
Our past eleven days have been like that.
Our beautiful daughter-in-law, Anna, passed away.
It was too soon, and we didn’t expect it.
We knew the scientific odds were against her since she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at sixteen months. Even so, the medical field states her average life span should have been at least thirty-seven years, and we were hopeful for a miracle or the gene therapy drug that is currently in clinical trials. Either one would have given her a normal life.
She was only twenty-three.
We witnessed our son become a husband and a widower in the span of six short weeks. That’s hard on a parent’s heart.
Anna’s body just couldn’t recover from her last lung infection. She passed away on Monday, July 3.
To borrow a phrase from author Glennon Doyle Melton, these past weeks have been brutiful.
We loved Anna as if she were our own. Her vibrant personality and life, the wedding day, the multitude of memories, and the prayers and condolences from so many people are stunningly beautiful. Truly.
But the ache of missing her is brutal.
So the day after her Celebration of Life service, my husband and I, along with one of my besties went in search of a little beauty.
Our tender hearts needed relief.
We headed to one of our favorite art galleries and stood in front of paintings that soothed our aching souls. It was a sacred space, pregnant with peace, and I felt God’s comforting presence.
As we walked around the small studio, we allowed the images of David Arms to do what words couldn’t do that day: restore our soul. For a few moments, the heavy coat of grief got replaced with soothing calm; what precious relief.
Art is healing.
Quintin and Anna’s wedding photographer said this on her blog when sharing their wedding photos this week, “Our work is important. It’s so much more than having a cool shot or a large Instagram following or lots of likes and shares. Our work is what people cling to when trying to understand life and death and all in between. We can’t carry that lightly.”
Not only is a photographer’s particular art form important, but all forms of creativity are vital, and I’m experiencing healing through them.
Which brings me to why I write this post…
Before Anna got hospitalized, I was asked to be an expert on the free, online summit, “Sacred Creativity Activation: How to Motivate, Focus, and Inspire Your Creative Practice For Radical Confidence And Self-Expression.” I had no clue I’d be walking through the valley of the shadow of death when the summit went live.
Now, more than ever, I believe in the importance of art and creative practices. I’ve been comforted by someone’s vision put to paper, and the value of it is priceless.
I encourage you to sign up (and check out the information) for this idea-packed summit by clicking here.
I hope you’ll join us starting July 25, 2017.
The world needs all the art and creativity it can get.
P.S. To those of you who’ve expressed your care and love these past days, thank you!! It’s hard to fully convey how you’ve helped carry us, but trust me, you have.