The art of grieving





This picture starts at the lower right and moves round in a circular motion beginning with the Cool Blue Man in his coffin.  All we can see is that anatomically he is a man, who fits completely into his coffin.  He has no facial features and no ears.  To the right of him, the image of my Dying Father appears again.  The rectangular hospital bed that he lay in, in picture number 7 has now become a boat.  Where the Emotional Coffin is “as quiet as the grave” – this boat is filled with colour.  Though physically my father still looks paralysed, yet his feeling for life is blossoming.  He makes eye contact with me.  Besides the golden lines connecting our hearts, two vigorous green shoots come out of his heart.  More green shoots breach the black and green boundaries above his head and become three green buds.  Out of these buds, blossom Four Dancing Men.  The masculine within me, my rigid, emotion-denying animus is being liberated.  Men can feel their feelings and so can I!

To the left of these joyous male dancers, a newly compassionate man is born.  A Father-Angel embraces a Red Mother and jointly they cradle their Adult Daughter.  Her body is made up of grey lines enclosing colours that remind me of the pattern around the Frozen Mourners at the funeral in number 7.  To the right, the Golden Daughter is crouching and being comforted by a red person.  This is the aspect of me who imagined that suppressing my feelings was what was required of me.   Unlike after the smile in number 7, where my tears made the grass grow, here my tears fall onto the solid, impenetrable roof of the Emotional Coffin.

Yet, in spite of this continuing rigidity, Holy Mother Wisdom appears as an open-eyed Blue Woman.  I become aware of how I have been wounding myself.  The dagger, that as Wisdom I now touch, looks like a cross.  I begin to see how aggressive forms of Christian theology have damaged me.  Yet now I am attending to my wound without judgement or revulsion.