I’ve never suffered the pain of losing a child, though I know others who have. I’ve never known how to help, how to comfort these friends who have lost in such a way. A friend of mine has begun a branch of the Elizabeth Ministry, which reaches out to those who have lost a child and teaches their loved ones how to reach out to them, too.
Now, this friend of mine lost her baby girl almost three years ago, so this ministry is extremely close to her heart. As part of a series of workshops, participants can create a painting to work through some of their grief and make a kind of memorial to their child. My friend asked me to create a couple of pieces to show and eventually auction off to raise funds for the project. I sat in front of a small canvas and thought……and thought……and thought. I had absolutely no experience from which to pull. I started thinking about my friend’s experience instead: she carried a child within her, knowing that child would not survive. She went through the pain of childbirth and experienced the new life of her daughter, only to have it quickly taken away. Her daughter was a little soul none of us got to know, and I cannot imagine the continuing pain of losing your only daughter. I began to think about that little soul; the colors of her spirit, the impact she made in just that tiny amount of time, and the pieces of her that live within her mother, her father, and her big brother.
Hadassah, you were the inspiration for this one.