Thursday, January 16, 2014

Loss and creativity





As a culture, we’re not taught or modelled on how to cope with loss. Loss, of course, comes in many forms. There is life after gut-wrenching grief, and the way it shapes us can bring a depth to creativity which needs channelling in some way.

My father’s sudden death in a car accident 22 months ago, has influenced me in ways I could never have imagined. The engineering of my heart and soul is internal, of course, but the manifestation of those changes inevitably appears externally at some point. Our creative gifts beg to be shared with the world. In a way, this is the archetype of Chiron, the wounded healer.

It is an essential part of the human experience to experience loss, to endure the descent, and then to rise again. We discover that there is something more to us. Our authentic self must learn to show its face without apology.

One of the defining moments of my life was standing by my dead father’s body as he lay in his casket. I held his hand and thanked him for all the hard work he’d done in his lifetime. I said my words out loud, and the tears fell freely. Even to this day, there is a part of my mind which can’t quite reconcile how hard he worked (pioneering mining expeditions and leading 2000 men in the wild jungles of Papua and New Guinea) and that he’s now gone. He’s nothing but ashes. What was the point of all those years of working away from the family home? What was the point of working so hard like that when at the end of his life there is nothing to show for it?

His death has triggered two things in me which are, ironically, diametrically opposed. One is that there is no point stressing over anything: deadlines, faulty relationships, other people’s opinions, bank account balance and all the other mundane things about living on this earth. Part of me has felt like it is pointless having any ambition. After all, what am I actually striving for?

And then, right in opposition is a part of me that has more life in me than evera part of me which wants to continue to make the most of every precious day on this Earth. In appreciation of all this, it means living in the present moment, of coursebut from within that particular gift comes the rising energy to explore the world, literally and metaphorically. I am thrilled to be alive! And yet, I am not scared of dying. When my times comes - whether it is slowly and with consciousness, or sudden - I will embrace that particular adventure.

Loss has brought meaning to my life, and it has released a creative spark which I guess was always there but for one reason or another has lain dormant all these years. Creatively, I’m not here to please my parents, my friends, my immediate familyjust myself. I have, after all these years, come to realise that my creative juices don’t need anyone’s approval. The release of psychic energy that brings is huge. And I owe it to what has so far been the greatest loss of my life: a parent.

4 comments:

Susan Merrick said...

Love this Veronika. And I love your creativity xxxx

henrietta said...

This post echoes my reality exactly Veronica.When my daughter died, getting to the dentist on time or buying a parking ticket or even shopping ethically didn't seem important at all, but now, I am finding that because of her death Iam needing to live more fully, more courageously, more creatively. Strangely I wrote a blog post last night...a few hours before yours! About finding and flourishing in art after years of dormancy. Many blessings on your new road finding abundance after loss... Henrietta xxx

Jackie De Burca said...

Veronika,

It is wonderful to see what you have written about the dualistic effects of your Father's death.

I have had the exact same process with the sudden death of my Mother just over 2 years ago now.

Since then I have also had many amazing, poignant moments where I have been aware of messages from her soul.

Regardless of anyone's belief system, I have found this very comforting, and whilst enjoying these experiences am also aware not to entrap or hold onto her soul, as it is now free to be. Whether that means in a heaven of types or waiting for her next incarnation, this is something that no longer seems too important - I am left only with the importance and good feeling of the natural cycle and our amazing connection to our ancestors that are now in a different place.

With love and admiration for your post,

Jackie

Jackie De Burca said...

Veronika,

It is wonderful to see what you have written about the dualistic effects of your Father's death.

I have had the exact same process with the sudden death of my Mother just over 2 years ago now.

Since then I have also had many amazing, poignant moments where I have been aware of messages from her soul.

Regardless of anyone's belief system, I have found this very comforting, and whilst enjoying these experiences am also aware not to entrap or hold onto her soul, as it is now free to be. Whether that means in a heaven of types or waiting for her next incarnation, this is something that no longer seems too important - I am left only with the importance and good feeling of the natural cycle and our amazing connection to our ancestors that are now in a different place.

With love and admiration for your post,

Jackie