Working Through Grief

Some of you may be aware that recently I have experienced the loss that death brings. Nothing stings like the passing of a parent. It is a reminder of your own immortality.

Now I have not had the best of relationships with my family since childhood. Every family has secrets and since my teenage years, I decided I would not repeat insidious familial patterns. That is something I take comfort in.

The challenge that I have is that I was hoping for a healing of those relationships before it was too late. Now it is too late. So what is a lone potter to do with the knowing that in spite of his best efforts there will be no happy ending?

Create their own.

So I have taken some time for me. I am truly sorry for my lack of activity here, but my grief took me by surprise.

What have I done with that time? I have focused on my own family, and on my dreams. This is where this blog post gets a little lighter.

I have spent the month and a bit working on fixing up an old garage and converting it into a pottery studio. I have also been working on my gardens and creating beauty anywhere around me I can.

Here are some before, after and in progress pictures of the exterior of the studio:

Dealing with grief is an inside job, so next up will be working on the inside of the studio. Here is my work bench, which is starting to take shape:

New work area for pottery, with reclaimed wood.

During this time, I was not throwing pots for a few weeks. I am not sure if I was punishing myself, or if I just did not have the stamina being in the middle of a renovation project and also in my head with many emotions to work through.

But a couple days on the wheel was a restorative cure, and I managed to make these pots, which are now bisque fired:

You can expect to see more posts from me going forward. My inward gaze is turning outward again, and for that I am grateful. Thank you all for your patience and for your kind words.

My best work is yet to come! Bear with me as I catch up with my online tasks. There are some exciting new projects and works in store for you. I am getting ready to explore another pottery technique – pit firing!

109 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and meaningful words. Very much appreciated and it somehow makes it better to know there are others who can relate. I am going to do my best to bring more beauty into the world, starting with my little corner of it πŸ˜‰

  1. This hit home for me. In the last few months, my mother-in-law passed away, and my 85-year-old mother had surgery to remove a tumor from her small intestine, and *then* had a stroke a few days ago. Mortality can really sneak up and hit you. I feel for you, and applaud you for taking the time to work through this.

    1. I am sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. I hope you and your family are doing well. It has been a journey working through this one, and I hope your partner finds peace!

    1. Thanks! The reclaimed barn wood literally just kind of fell in my lap! I hope you are well.

  2. Deepest condolences and warmest hugs!! Refining is all about working with what you had and making it more beautiful. How suiting this metaphor is to your life. I’m sure many have missed you, but feel so good hearing you’ve taken the much needed time away.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and insights Nova! I have missed many of you as well and am looking forwards to catching up. Refining seems to be the work of life these days!

  3. My condolences to you and your family. I know what it’s like to lose a spouse, healing is a process like you said…on the inside. Praying your healing produces more beautiful things.

    1. Thank your for your kind words and prayers Cindy! They mean a lot to me. I hope you are doing well!

  4. You can, give it a happy ending. Put your love, hope and wishes into something you create. You will set your feelings in your work, and work through them. What you will have will be special. It may be many things. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Eugenio, that is exactly what I am going to do. I find art and the act of creation is a great way to work through difficult experiences and come away with something beautiful.

  5. I’m glad to see you back, but sorry for your loss, which I didn’t know about. My deepest condolences. Both my parents are long gone, and their respective passings left a hole in my heart that took time to patch.
    Your garden and shed look lovely. Fruitful labor heals.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your future projects..

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and kindness. I am starting to understand that time is the great healer with this and most things. These projects and my art help keep my mind busy with positive energy. I hope you are well and thank you for sharing your experience.

  6. Grief is a long work through and yours is more complicated, but I know we will still be able to work all these things out with family when Christ reigns on the earth before judgement, have hope. I will keep you in my prayers for peace and comfort.

    1. Thank your for your kind thoughts and words and prayers, I also believe that one day these things will be worked out and that love heals. I hope you are well and having a good day.

    1. Thanks for your insights Mark. I am just taking each day as ti comes and am so grateful for having my art to help pull me in a positive direction. I hope you are well.

  7. My thoughts are very much with you. I too have lost a parent in the last months. I’m glad you are taking time for yourself. Take care 🌷

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and I hope you are taking time for yourself. Sending good energy and vibes to you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, they are very much appreciated. I am excited to have a space for my art too! I plan to make good use of it. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    1. Thank you for your condolences and kind words. I feel very blessed to be able to create and to have wonderful people like you who appreciate what I do. I hope you have an amazing week.

    1. I have found it really helpful to keep busy and the days I have been doing that have been easier and a little brighter. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad to see you have been able to work through the grief so constructively. Thank God for the gift of creativity!

    Your pottery studio and gardens are Wonderful! I am so excited to hear about your pit firing adventure, too! Isn’t that how the ancients fired their pottery?

    We’re so happy you’re back and are looking forward to your next post.

    I will continue to hold you in my Heart, Dear, wishing you well. πŸ’ž

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and meaningful words. I feel blessed that there are caring people there and posting this reminds the world can be what we choose to make it.

      I just got the pit all loaded and ready for the firing and you are right, this is how the ancients fired there wares. I am hopeful that something good comes from it πŸ˜‰

      I hope you have a wonderful week, and again, thank you so much for your very kind words, they mean a great deal to me.

  9. My condolences. You can still resolve issues with those who have passed I have done this to heal the ancestry of the past so as not to take it forward and bring closure.

    You are doing some amazing transformations on your property really beautiful and looking forward to seeing your new exciting work.

    1. I am working towards healing the ancestry of my past and not bringing this forward into my life and beyond. I do not want this situation to colour my perceptions of the world and impact on other relationships. It is hard work.

      Thank you for your kindness, insights and encouragement. They are thoughtful, meaningful and soulful. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead and I will be sure to post some of my new work here soon!

  10. Unfortunately, none of us is exempt from this part of life. You are doing exactly the right thing: creativity is an expression of life. And you are alive. May you continue with your beautiful work. And it is beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much Michael for your kind words and encouragement. Creativity has been the ultimate antidote for me in this life.

      I hope you are having a great start to your week and thank you again!

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness and I appreciate your comment very much. I hope you have a fantastic day.

  11. There’s pain and hope in your writings…. Loved the feel while reading. Keep it up and my deepest condolences with you. You are doing exactly what you should be doing… Giving life to nature is something so amazing it’s beyond any words to describe. All the best!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, they mean a lot to me. It is nature that inspires me and gives me hope for renewal and beauty ahead. I hope you are well and wish you all the best!

  12. I am sorry for your loss. As some said before, there is no timetable for grief. It is good to see, how the richness of your creativity could help you. And the results are so beautiful. My thoughts are with you.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words, they mean much to me, and I am taking the time I need to work through this. Creativity is one of the most impactful ways for me to heal. I hope you are having a great day.

  13. Losing someone is never easy…and someone that you love but had a difficult relationship with is even harder.
    I think you are going about it the right way; you’ve taken pain, suffering and loss, and have turned it into something new. You’ve built, restored, worked in your garden…you summoned light from the shadows, and that is beautiful.
    My sincere condolences and my best wishes for the days to come.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your soul take flight again through the turning of your wheel and the glaze of your pots.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and meaningful words and insights. The further I get into the grieving/healing process, the more I realize that I need to continue my creative journey and bring more beauty in the world through my art and all my relations with people.

      I hope you are well and that life is wonderful and beautiful for you. Thank you again, it is nice to have some affirmation for where I am at.

      1. I’m truly happy to hear that your are healing; some days will be harder than others, but never give up! And don’t be afraid to reach out if you need someone to talk to πŸ˜‰

        Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚
        Have a nice day and hear from you soon! (I’m looking forward to seeing more of your creations!)

      2. Thank you and I really appreciate you and your kindness! I am hoping to be able to post some pictures of my latest pots some time tomorrow πŸ˜‰

    1. Your comment put a big smile on my face. Love growing is what I am trying to cultivate. Thank you and I hope your day is full of love and happiness.

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words. I hope you are well and having a great day!

  14. Deep sympathy for you in this time of grief. Great gratitude that you have shared some of the journey. Sounds like you have found balm for your soul.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It took me some time before I could share anything in a meaningful way. Creativity is a great soul salve. I hope you have a wonderful and happy week ahead.

    1. Thank you! Each day I am working towards my happy ending, which to me is our lives work. I hope your week is full of blessings and light.

    1. Thank you Mia! I really appreciate that sentiment and I am humbled and touched by your response and those of the kind people here on WordPress. It means more to me than I can put into words.
      I hope your week is off to a beautiful start!

  15. It’s so good to hear from and you and I am sorry about your loss. Don’t feel alone because we’re all here for you. Sending hugs and blessings your way.

    1. Eugenia, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You and other people on here are going to make me ‘happy cry’, if that makes any sense πŸ˜‰ I feel really blessed already reading these comments here. I hope you are having a wonderful and beautiful week.

    1. Thank your for your kind words. I think for me I need to have a number of good projects involving creativity on the go. Fortunately I do πŸ˜‰ I hope you are having a wonderful start to your week.

  16. What a beautiful tribute to your parent, as well as, yourself by fixing up your pottery studio. You do create amazing things! Looking forward to seeing how the pit fire items turn out :). Sending love your way, I am so sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and sending love. The studio for me is already serving as a reminder that I have the strength to create more love and beauty on the wheel and in life.
      I hope you are having a wonderful week full of love and happiness.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you are having a beautiful and happy day.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and and I appreciate your kind wishes and thoughts. They mean a lot to me. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you.

  17. I’m really sad for you. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to…grief and recovery are never easy. I appreciate your strength.

    1. Thank you for your empathy and understanding. These things are not easy, but reading comments like yours makes them a little easier. I appreciate your understanding and hope you have a great week ahead of you.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful wishes and the hugs. They mean more than you may know. I wish you a beautiful week ahead full of happiness and light.

  18. Welcome back to blogging world. It is indeed a great loss for you. My sympathy and prayers. May healing take place and may peace, love and joy reign in all aspects of your being. God bless

    1. Thank you so much for your sympathy and prayers. I am glad to be back in the blogging world and grateful for all the wonderful people in it, like you πŸ˜‰ May you have a peaceful and happy week ahead. Many blessings to you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words of understanding and I am on this ride of healing and recovery. I hope you are well and have a great day.

  19. I am sorry for your loss, I am glad you found somewhere to put your creative energy. Seems you got a lot done- sometimes putting your energy elsewhere helps the process of grief in unexpected ways.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and insights. It has been very therapeutic to keep busy and I do believe it has helped me work through my grief. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

  20. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost both my parents last year. I am still grieving. Sending you a virtual hug. Some of the best art I’ve ever created was born from my pain. Peace and healing to you~

    1. Thank you for the virtual hug and kind words. I am sorry to hear about your loss. It must be all the emotions being released in the creative process?
      I hope you are having a great week and sending you peace and healing πŸ˜‰

      1. Thank you so much. Yes indeed, I wrote a good many poems inspired by my late mother in particular last year. She would have also loved your work. She painted watercolor, and wrote poems and short stories. ❀️

      2. How wonderful that your mother was also an artist and what a fitting tribute that she would inspire your beautiful writing! It takes a remarkable and special person to do that. How wonderful that you have your writing to process things. It must help tremendously.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. We were all worried by your absence and glad you took time for yourself. We all need that from time to time. Stay strong. Allan

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Allan! They are much appreciated. I missed everyone here and I am really glad to be back. I hope you are doing well and having a great summer!

  22. Sorry to hear of your loss. I have lost both my parents and it is not easy. It removes a tie to your past and to how you became you. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the time you need to work through your own process. Everyone needs to do this in their own way.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and sharing your experience. I am doing my best to be gentle with myself and taking time when I need it. I hope you are having a great week and summer!

    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to finishing up the interior over time! I hope you are well and having a fantastic day!

  23. I’m so sorry for your loss, grief can be such a surprising emotion. Hopefully working on your new studio will help sort through thoughts and feelings. I find these things quite mediative. You garden is amazing! I have lots of plans for the view from my little blue shed. Goals!

    1. I am finding that focusing on my goals and my art is a great tonic for my soul. The garden is also another work in progress. I am laying a stone patio under the metal pergola and the best part is I can see the garden from the window of my studio when I am at work on the wheel.

  24. For starts, I am so sorry for your loss. One of the most difficult feelings one has to deal with in many deaths is the anger, even rage we feel. Sometimes it’s simply the childlike anger we feel because they “chose” to leave us. Sometimes it’s an anger for the part they played in their own deaths. Sometimes it’s anger because they never did and now never will do right by you. It’s ok to be angry.

    1. Thank you for sharing your insights. For me anger has always been the most difficult feeling to handle or deal with. I thank you for reminding me that is a valid feeling and often a necessary one to get to an honest place of peace.

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