Week 49: ‘Create’
Since the passing of my son Jacob I have connected with lots of other bereaved parents on Facebook and Instagram. It was on Facebook when I was on looking at the group ‘facets of grief’ that I first found Beryl Ayn Young’s course called ‘illuminate’ – lighting the path to photographic healing. I loved searching for that perfect photo that captured each lesson and I particularly liked the writing that accompanied that photo as I was writing from the heart. In two years I have created so much in honour of Jacob. ‘Facets of grief’ gave me 40 different prompts for creativity over 40 weeks (40 weeks was a number chosen to represent the weeks a child develops in a pregnancy) I started my blog as one of these prompts.
From connecting with these great sites I have gained even more creative outlets -CaryMarie an artist that paints your child’s name in the sand and runs challenges and memorial days for people to join like ‘capture your grief’ and ‘ the prayer flag’ project, Lexi Behrndt with her beautiful words offering healing from the loss of her son. I’m forever grateful that I found this wonderful site 52 moments:a Recapture Self Photo Community (now Recapture Self Village) with Jen and all the lovely people I’ve got to know online. I look forward to seeing what the weekly photographic word prompt is each week. Once I know the word for that week my brain kicks into gear and I begin to think of different images I get from that one word and how I can relate it to our memories of Jacob as the photos and words each week get placed into my blog – a blog that I dedicate every word to Jacob so his spirit and memory stays alive. There are so many creative outlets that you can tap into and there are so many more that I haven’t even touched on or shared.
Well this year I found another one to participate in. I participated in a memorial ornament exchange for Christmas. Families from around the world complete and return a questionnaire about their child. They ‘draw names’ and each family gives and receives a personalised ornament. Some families hand make and mail their ornaments, and others order and ship online. I was given a beautiful family to create a memorial ornament for who had lost a baby at birth. The questionnaire gave me 4 little things that are special to his memory – stars, dragonflies and paper boats and the colour blue. I’m sure Jacob was helping me with this creative task as I began to gather my items. I had a picture in my head of what I thought it would look like and I wasn’t disappointed with the end product. I’d like to think that Jacob has met the little baby that I was making the decoration for, that they’d both be smiling down as their mums create something so meaningful during the festive season.
I was absolutely in awe of my memorial ornaments that I received as well. I was asked ‘what was one of Jacob’s favourite movies?’ as his career path was becoming a cinemaphotographer. He had too many favourites but there was one that he commented about on his Instagram account. This quote from the movie ‘Interstellar’ was written on the other side of his ornament – ‘love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space’ speaks volumes.
As I continue to find creative outlets to keep Jacob’s memory and spirit alive I will think of this quote -‘Create what sets your heart on fire and it will illuminate the path ahead.’ For me, writing and creating things to honour Jacob has helped shape my mind to be in a much more healthier space in those dark times that come with grief of losing a child. I’m very thankful for so many opportunities to ‘create.’