How to Turn Your Pain & Grief Into Something Beautiful

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce everyone to my next art project which has great personal meaning to me. The best part of the project is that you can also participate. Yes. You!

My regular readers may recall that this has been a challenging year for me with loss and grief. I have been working through this for taking a little extra time for myself, keeping busy with positive projects like my recent art show, and creating pieces like my raku pottery vase, Sky Father.

From my recent art exhibit at the Oxford Riverside Gallery – “The Myth of Family”

I have been contemplating how I might integrate my healing into my artistic process and how I might involve and possibly help others with their healing. After contemplating this for sometime, I have come up with the concept for ‘A Vase of Healing’.

My concept for this piece is to allow the process of raku and the flames of the reduction process to act as a healing tonic for your grief and pain, for mine, and for all who to choose to participate in this process collectively.

You may be wondering how you can participate in this process? The answer is simple. I am asking you to share one of the following in the written words of your choice:

  1. The type of healing you are seeking in your life;
  2. The name of a loved one you have lost;
  3. Something you want to let go of that is no longer serving you in your life; or,
  4. The name (first name only), of someone you want to send healing energy too.
A sample submission

You can do this in whatever way resonates with you. A simple explanation, a poem or prose, a story or even a single word. You can share this in one of two ways. If you are comfortable, you can make your submission in the comments below, or if you would like to keep what you share private, you can email me your submission here.

You may be wondering what I will do with your submissions. I am going to print them on different paper types and use them as reduction material for the creation of ‘A Vase of Healing’. In the reduction process these pieces of paper will be burned and will help the glaze I create develop different effects, textures and colours for the vase.

As part of this project, I will be videotaping the reduction process and reveal for this vase. I hope you will consider participating in this project and that from our collective pain, grief and struggle, something beautiful can emerge.

‘A Vase of Healing’ will be going through a reduction process similar to this.

Of course there will be a blog post and video that documents this process. I will be also highlighting this in our newsletter that you can subscribe to here.

I hope you will consider participating in this project, or sharing this post with those who may need it, or on social media. Perhaps in some small way, it may help facilitate your journey of healing.

Let me know what you think of this project. Don’t forget to share your submission in the comment section below, or by email.

In Gratitiude,

The Alchemist


    1. Thank you for your kind words! I am hopeful it might be something people will participate in. Wishing you a great day!

  1. Thank you for this. I think this will help a lot of people and have shared it with my network, as well as with some people who I think may be specifically interested.

    For myself, I would like to submit “patterns of self-sabotage”

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words, submission and sharing this post! That is very much appreciated! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. What a beautiful idea my friend! I love that you are using pain, grief and difficulty in life to forge something so perfect instead. Indeed, our trials in life do bring beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61) I do want to extend to you my deepest empathy for what you have endured this year. I’m so sorry for your loss and pray that each day becomes brighter and more joy filled as you process the grief. 🤗

    To answer your question – I would say that I’d love to be free from the wounds of an abusive past. The depression, anxiety, self doubt, and that dreadful feeling of never quite being enough.

    A Vase of Healing. Simply stunning. Your creativity is absolutely brilliant. 💚

    1. Thank you so much Holly for your kind words and empathy. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and that you are participating in this process! Sending good vibes and healing energy to you. I am sure a lot of people can relate to what you have written. Self doubt can be one of the most difficult things to overcome.
      I hope you have a beautiful day and thank you again!

  3. It’s been ages since my dad died. I don’t even remember what year, I just know that’s it’s been long enough that we all remember “Grandpa Bobby” (as his five grand-daughters called him) with a smile, and can recite the words to many many old songs and poems he taught us all. I’ve always thought Merle Haggard’s “Sing a Family Song” nicely captures ages old nostalgia and grief.

    Sing a family song, sing a family song
    When mom and me sang harmony, little sister, she hummed along
    Sing a family song, oh, sing a family song
    When dad would get the old guitar down and sing a family song

    Now maybe at first your memories of home
    Won’t resemble mine at all
    But there’s one thing I know we all have in common
    And that’s the God given gift to recall

    Maybe your dad didn’t play no guitar
    But I know that there was somethin’ he did
    That doesn’t make your old heart just well up and sad
    When you relive your life as a kid.

    Give it a listen:

    1. I am listening to Merle right now 😉

      Thank you for taking the time to share a part of your story and reminisce about your father and the beautiful memories you have about him and how he touched the lives of those in your family. It is beautiful that the nostalgia brings a smile to your family.

      Such moments are a treasure unto themselves, and for me a part of the healing process. Recalling the good times makes for a wonderful healing salve that brings back the joy that those we loved and have departed brought to our lives.

      Was this “Grandpa Bobby’s” favourite song?

  4. I would participate into this, but I’m rather fortunate enough of not being into the need of any kind of healing, haven’t lost nobody dear or close to me over the last 20 years and don’t have parts of my life I want to be chopped off. Nevertheless, it’s a generous and thoughtful project that might bring some spiritual alleviation to some.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! What a beautiful place to be in your life. I am inspired to hear that and aspire to work through things to get to a similar place. I appreciate you sharing this and hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. There is this connection I feel to you. Your pottery has always shaken up my emotions. I know, once upon a time, my dad made a potters wheel for my mom, and through time I have held onto a few small vases of hers, but I’m not sure she made them.

    Maybe this is where it all started. After reading your post, I would love to give the below words to your vase of healing. Thank you so much for sharing what you do ❤️.

    Little Girl

    A little girl
    Lost and alone
    Wanting, needing
    A hand to touch hers
    Helpless in a swirl of emotions
    She keeps
    Stirring inside
    Deep down invisible
    Hidden politely by
    Her smile
    She keeps
    In her pocket
    So at any given moment
    It can be reached
    And finally forgotten
    Left behind
    An empty
    That holds her heart
    And without guidance
    The unconditional love
    Searching these woods
    Where they once played
    The trees breath the life
    Reborn into her children
    Living on
    And in
    Pouring out
    And surrounding
    The very soul
    She lost
    So long ago

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words, story and this part of yourself. Your story touches my heart and gives me strength to work through my own personal grief, and it is through connections like ours that I feel less alone. It somehow brings comfort that even though our stories are not the same, that we can relate in terms of some of the feelings that are a part of our grief.
      That is amazing your father made your mom a pottery wheel. Do you have any pictures of your mom’s vases? I would love to see them.

      1. Your note warms my heart, thank you.

        I have a few vases, after checking them out closer, it looks like one is definitely hand made…not sure if it was made by my mom, but I like to think it was ❤️…I am in the middle of writing a Talking to you post…I’ll post the picture there :).

        I love what you are doing with the healing vase, what an extraordinary gift you are giving people! Release…

      2. I like to think your mom made that vase too! I just checked to see if you posted her vase 😉 It may sound cheesy, but I can picture her working away on the wheel, clay in her hand! Your post made my eyes all misty. I think I am in part speechless. Sending good energy your way and thank you for sharing Doree, your story is powerful.

      3. Thank you so much, The words that came out after reading your post are so raw…you have created something that allows a beautifully painful release. I am so very thankful for you. I’ll gladly take the good energy and send some your way as well. I very much appreciate you listening to my story, and hearing my words ❤️.

      4. I am very grateful for you too and glad I have had the opportunity to hear your story! Thanks for the good energy and positive vibes.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Christine. I will be writing out your words to include in the firing for this vase and truly appreciate your participation. Hopefully we can make a little magic with this project 😉 Hope you are well!

      1. I know that story! Pets can make it challenging to get away longer. I bet they were very excited to see you when you got back 😉

  6. What do I think of the project? LOVE IT! You are an intriguing sort of rabbi/ guru. Stay strong and weak, afraid and brave, giving and receiving, and may all the pieces lead to wholeness for you and yours.

    1. Thank you for your very kind words Jane. You have captured the duality of my feelings and where I am with your words. I appreciate your encouragement and support and hope that there will be some comfort and wholeness in this project for others and myself. Have a beautiful day!

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind and supportive words! I hope you have a wonderful day ahead!

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words Linda. I very much appreciate them. I hope you are having a beautiful day.

    1. That is a high compliment coming from you! You have a beautiful website and your writing is fresh, crisp and tight – maybe the description I am searching for is highly refined! I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend ahead!

      1. Thank you for your kind words! 🙂 Have a lovely weekend as well. My brother is getting married so I am very excited for some celebrations coming up!

      2. Congratulations to your brother! Weddings are always so much fun to attend 😉 Have fun celebrating!

  7. Alone to All one , no one to know one , Sky is Timeless canvas where time plays the drama of life , Mother and Father are two figures who are on our canvas of memory all the time with their blessings from the sky. Love all.

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful and wise words and comment. The sentiment is both beautiful and very touching to me. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  8. What a lovely idea – I’ve written 2 pieces about my mom, which she passed away in 1968 at age 54. Here is the shorter post, which I wrote 11/2017 – I also wrote a longer post 5/2016 – Perhaps, neither of these fit your criteria, but I wanted to share them anyway. 😊 Sometimes there are things I want to let go of and other times, there are things I want to keep and cherish. My mom and I loved coffee and cold weather, thus the gist of my pieces.

  9. This is a very thoughtful and wonderful idea, the concept fits right in with the kind of artwork you do. It’s so much about transformation and creating something personally beautiful and meaningful. I think the end result of the vase will be really interesting to see, so I would like to be a part of it. I started my blog as a form of therapy because of the emotional pain and trauma I’ve gone through myself this year. My loss and grief are for someone who I believe became overtaken with dark, negative thoughts and the effects of his mental health issues. It is not a loss as in a physical death, it’s the loss of our relationship and of the man I thought he was. I haven’t even given his name on my blog at all, but I will say it here – I would like to send healing energy to “Curt.”
    And because it so personal and a painful story for me, I want to express that as well. To explain why I feel he needs help and mental healing. The following is my “open letter” to him that I included in my very blog post. It is a letter I’m sure he will never read because he completely closed off from me, but this is my voice and my story to tell. Thank you for doing this project and for anyone who takes the time to read this.
    “From my perspective, this is what I believed happened:

    I think when your plans were falling through, your already-embittered mind didn’t take it well and a dark cloud came over you. Not just a cloud, but a brewing storm that started to tear away at your thoughts and your views of the things and future you were envisioning, particularly with me. Something took over you and poisoned your mind and put a filter over your eyes. I think that “something” was your own anger, frustration, distrust, and insecurities, and I think you projected all those negative emotions onto me.

    With you being a Marine and the strong, competent, alpha male role you have played throughout your life, I believe failure was not an option for you. Feeling weak, vulnerable, and incapable was not an option. Not one you were willing to share with anyone else, that’s for sure.

    You needed to justify why nothing was going your way, and I think you took it even further than that and made yourself believe you didn’t want a life with me.

    You did not want to admit your plans went wrong, that you weren’t able to achieve what you wanted, or at least not in the timeframe you were set on. It must have made you feel some kind of shame on top of all that brooding anger, and with so much stress and negativity harboring inside you, you became cold and shut me out. Your warped mind created its own image of me and took almost everything about me – personality traits you initially wanted – and twisted it all into something negative and unappealing to you. And I think as you blocked me out and the days and weeks passed, you got worse and worse, just stewing away, and you became even more bitter and resentful. I think you convinced yourself that being with me changed you into someone else and that I was bad for you. You told yourself that I was lost and had no identity of who I was and therefore I had the same effect on you. You tried to protect your own ego and pride by using me as a scapegoat. Me – the woman that you made so many plans and commitments with and had given all intentions of building a life and family together. That is, until you went dead and decided your heart felt nothing for her.

    It’s very ironic that you claimed that I didn’t know myself, when from the get-go I never wavered on who I was or what I wanted. I’ve known for a very long time. You, on the other hand, flip-flopped on your opinions of me, made several contradicting statements, and ended up being a complete hypocrite instead of the man of such high integrity you misled me to believe.

    Your personality switched, mine never did.

    I do have my struggles in life, but clearly you did not have it all together either. You are the one who didn’t know yourself.

    I think the portrait you painted of me was actually a reflection of your own self-loathing. The spite in your eyes and in your tone of voice in our last conversation was unexplainable. That anger and resentment wasn’t really about me, as much as you tried to make it with the things you unjustly accused me of and the cold, hurtful insults you seethed at me.

    When it comes down to it, you were determined to close off and push me away. When your mental health took a nosedive for the worst, you made me out to be the issue and the more I tried to question your behavior, the darker and more resentful your thoughts became.

    You reverted back to your protective mindset of it being you and your Marine brothers against the world and I became just another enemy.

    And that is how you left it. Despising me and insultingly stating you were waiting for the kind of person you really want.

    Well I know exactly who that is.

    Another Marine.

    Someone you’d consider a real “warrior” and meets your “elite” standards.

    A clone of yourself.

    I truly believe that is the only way to satisfy you with the mindframe you keep yourself locked in.

    I think you feel threatened that someone like me – someone outside your warrior world – would soften you and make you forget that you’re a Marine. I think you’re terrified of the thought of losing yourself and what you believe to be your purpose. You’re afraid of losing purpose period because without it, you would be drowning in depression.

    I think your veteran transition stress has taken a tremendous toll on your life and your outlook, but it has also inspired you to do amazing things to help others.

    What I find extremely painful is the fact that when it came to you believing I was in need of help, your reaction was to be resentful and abandon me.

    Civilians matter too, and I don’t deserve to be detested by you.

    I didn’t cause you to lose your sense of self, your own mental problems did.

    I didn’t hurt you, use you, or betray you in any way.

    I cared for you and supported you the way a woman is supposed to.

    You just chose not to see it. Instead, you saw me as a representation of your biggest fear and you turned on me. I was the one who was hurt, used, and betrayed.

    The truth of the matter is that you are not as composed, as wise, or as deep as you think you are. I understand more than you do about what’s really important in life, and love is not being with a clone of yourself. It’s your destructive mentality that is bringing you down.

    Your worst enemy is your own mind.”

    1. First and foremost, thank you for sharing your story and participating in this project and having the courage to share your story and your pain and be vulnerable. I believe in vulnerability there is strength, and you have that in abundance. I think the loss of a relationship can be a very painful form of grief and I hope you are on the road to finding peace and comfort. For me, such situations have brought me to a place of self doubt and self questioning, which I found extremely difficult because you question your own judgement. I hope that everyone in this situation finds healing. I have great respect for those who serve and also those who are their partners. Sending you good energy and am happy that you are participating in this. Thank you for being a part of this and giving this project more meaning. I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

  10. Sorry to hear about your loss, but I am glad you are creating as you process. And the idea of inviting others into the grieving is beautiful and restorative. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words to me and about this project. I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    1. Thank you so much for the insightful comment. I find creativity is a great salve for emotional pain. Someone once told me we have to experience the difficult times to appreciate the good times more. I hope you are having a beautiful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to comment. I hope you had a good weekend 😉

  11. I believe transmuting negative into positive is very powerful, of course, the opposite is true as well. In order to unify the two we must transcend our expectations of the two opposite poles and let the breath and life take it into reality…don’t make it yours but ours for everyone to share and experience. I believe this post is great because a lot of people may know that they are not alone and can share their experience with anyone who is willing to listen, or even someone who many be hesitant at first then listens because of your attention you are giving to yourself, the subject, and the other

    1. Thank you so much for an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful comment. There is much wisdom in your words. I like that you take a holistic approach. I think having someone to listen is a powerful tool in healing and being and that when we share our grief and pain it somehow seems just a little lighter. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  12. A very beautiful and powerful concept! I would like to add my daughter Shanti Who has several health problems that plague her including extreme and frequent migraines and seizures. She is 38 and struggles to keep working and keep the bills paid.

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words! It will be my pleasure to include your daughter in this project, and on a personal level I wish here healing and many blessings. I hope your week is going well so far!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. It is the project that means the most to me of all the things I have on the go 😉

  13. I really love this. Thank you for sharing with all of us this way 🌷 I’ve been thinking for days what word or thought I could add. Farris, please.

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment and I will add Farris 😉 It means so much that you are participating and I hope to do the firing closer to the end of the month, so stay tuned!

  14. I love opportunities to give grief expression. And to grieve in community, as there are too few. This is so unique–I love it.

    If I am not too late to participate, I would like to include the name of a loved one I have lost: my son, Kade Riefenberg.

    My husband would like to add his father who died: Malcolm Robbins.

    Thank you!

    – Jenny

    1. You are not to late! Sorry for my late reply, I have just seen your comment now. I will certainly be adding both Kade and Malcolm to this project and I am so grateful you are participating. Thank you for that, and i hope you have a great day.

  15. After having seen this and your grief post,
    I can’t even start to express my condolences,
    because it would take too long to show you on how many levels I can relate.

    Instead you motivated me to accelerate my reconstruction of my deconstruction in my blog to provide you with a story you seem to be able to relate.

    Now I understand, why you are such a thoughtful and profound person and currently the most faithful reader of my blog, which I want to thank you for.

    I was surprised that you even liked a German post for which I don’t have the english translation yet.
    Even though I wanted to hold that because someone is not finished with the beginner’s course, I will put that out today especially for you.

    Much love – I see all your likes and feel very connected to you.

    1. What I kind idea. As a ex-potter I would like to see burned the painn (24/7) I do feel from my disabling illnesses. Ik the fire I wouldlike to be rememberance to my daughter who died many years too early and left me a cat that is now a kind of a helping-cat in my life. And I would like the raku-fire burn my hate to my ex-husband who left me after 42 yrs together, because: “yu will never heal again and I don’t want to grow old with an invalid wife”.

      1. Since you accidentally replied to my comment, Cecile,
        I took great care in reading your bio in the blog and thinking about how to best deal with your harsh situation.

        First to explain to you why your husband did leave you after 42 years: You know they say that the 7th year usually would be detrimental? You both just entered the 7th 7-year cycle and the reason why the 7 is so hard is because it is associated with Saturn in the Kabbalah.
        Saturn is the planet which shows everyone what they have overdone and what they still have to do, like the counter in the supermarket. If you bought good things, all is ok, but you also have to pay for any crap you put into your basket.

        Saturn also is associated with death, so that fits into your daughter’s tragic death. Of course I don’t know when that came and whether your disease is related to your moaning, but what I just learn is that “dis-eases” as the word suggests do have to do with a lack of ease so it could be linked to your sadness about your daughter.

        Now you might think that your grief is nothing you can influence, but look at the different ways in how people handle sex for example: Some dismiss bad sex they had, and others feel violated by someone merely touching them in a wrong way. It is about how we react to issues which shape us, and what also plays into it is how we declare it.
        If for example you could know that your daughter by her early death was spared a spiral into tremendous suffering it might be of some relief, for others a belief in a higher plan helps and for others their conviction that nature has its own laws which do make sense but we merely don’t understand them.
        A friend of mine who as a boy was hit by a biker and then gradually became blind told me that his way to deal with it was to put it into god’s hands and allow for the divine will to rule his life.
        Everyone deals with it different – the most important is for you to find a way to fully accept your daughter’s death in order for yourself to heal.
        In case you believe in an afterlife or reincarnation that helps a lot because then each life is just one day in a larger soul-cycle. Since everything in nature recycles, why shouldn’t the soul also have it’s cycles?

        In case you want to get better: The key for you is not to hold onto your huge bag of tragedy.
        I know that to you it may seem like I don’t apprecciate how much you are suffering, but I am very aware how difficut it is to let it all go, especially since after such a long time your suffering did define you and therewith put you under the illusion that you would BE your suffering, but you actually are not.
        Think of yourself as a child before you did have all those problems. This is who you are, and all the problems are just paint thrown unto you (unfortunately not always as beautifully as your pictures are)
        I see in you a talented artist and someone who is curious about the mysteries of life, not a sufferer.

        And as for your husband: To let your anger about him go may be easier if you understand his side at least – and I am well aware that that does not make it better for you, but you at least can let him go easier.
        What did happen here (apart from what I said at the very beginning) is that you must have been stuck for many years or even decades in some situations he actually felt compelled to help you out of (whether it was your grief or your physical issues).
        And because he was frustrated about not being able to reach you at the point where you did get better, he gave up in frustration – not so much about you than about himself.
        You see – if he would have not cared about you, he could your problems have gone on forever without minding them, but it actually shows that he did care and try his best and in the end had to acknowledge his limits.
        So you actually also have a karmic duty to let him of a burdon he could not fulfil, else you would ruin his life.

        I am well aware that it is the most difficult to forgive especially the ones who did hurt us, so the best is to first forgive yourself for your imbalances, and by forgive I mean literally “for-give” – give it away to whatever you believe the highest force would be.

        Since you are Dutch, you might understand German, and there was a Miracle-healer who died around the time you were born, called Bruon Gröning. He healed people by merely restoring the divine will and said that we all are only sick because we don’t believe properly – not only in god but mostly not in ourselves.
        Just to let you know what would be possible with a real belief: He got people who were paralized for 14 years to walk again within 45 minutes, so be very clear about the fact that you can heal your very worst sickness within one week if you can manage to shed light on whatever blind spot it is which makes you sick.

        Whatever you do – don’t by into the belief that only because you were in misery for decades you are bound to it for the rest of your life!
        It is your duty towards the divine to shine and you better start within this life, because else you have to continue the tedious work in your next!

        I hope this helped
        and I send you lots of love <3

      2. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story Cecile and I will certainly ensure that all of those things are included in the flames of the raku. On a personal level I am sending you lots of good energy. It is hard to experience pain and lose people you love.
        I have a dog who has been similar to your cat for me. How long were you a potter for? What did you enjoy making the most?

    2. Thank you so much for your very kind comment and support. It is very much appreciated and I am grateful for your blog. I live in a rural area and I often do not have many people to discuss my thoughts on spirituality with others, so the internet is generally how I do that and I focus on trying to learn.
      I remember in my younger years when I started to explore different spiritual philosophies and ideas I yearned to find someone who might be a mentor or advisor, but that never quite materialized.
      Fortunately with our online world, I am able to read many viewpoints and information to help evolve my spiritual understanding and try to keep growing and learning. Your blog helps me do that and I find the information you share to be profound.
      There is German ancestry in my family, and though I am far from fluent, I do attempt to read posts in that language from time to time. As a child I was motivated to learn what I could in this language, because it would be the language of secrets kept from us kids 😉
      I feel very connected with you as well and appreciate all of the wonderful information that you put out into the world. It is Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend, and after our long weekend, I hope to take a look at the posts you reference when I have some quiet time. Sending love and good energy.

      1. In reply to both Sitting Bull and thealchemistpottery. Thanks to you both for your comments.
        I know that my many illnesses have to do with my spirit. I do not yet know all about it, my new doctor says it has something to do with family-karma and me trying to heal the karma of some 7 generations. It did have to do with Cheiron and Jupiter and starting a 3 year period december 4th last year. I am trying to find out more about it. Then about my daughter. She was a wiccan/pagan and she was burried beneath an oaktree 🙂 I know it was better for her to die then, although I do wish her youngest son had been a little older. I don’t think her death pains me, but it is missing her in my life. We were more like sisters than mother and daughter, we could always talk about everything, share our thoughts, often having the same ideas. We spurred the creativity in both of us, she was a very good decorator of porcelain.
        Then about my pottery. I was a late starter with that. I went to learn about it at , best I can describe it as a kind of open university while living in Gouda( yes a town with a name in pottery). It was in my first year that I did get a new illness, the nerves in my hand started to die ( Neuralgia) so I became less ans less able to make refined pottery, More and more I could make only things made of lumps of clay “glued ” together, no softened out- or inside. But my professor kept me inspired, he liked my language in clay. He even managed to give me a part in an pottery exhibition in Belgium. One day we did do raku and I loved that most of all. I think because the unsure outcome of the process fitted with the unpolished works I did make. After 3 years I had to leave Gouda, but anyway I knew I would never be able to do another years course.
        And about my ex-husband and why I do hate hem so much: I don’t think he cared for me at all, anymore, Sitting Bull. You know I met huim when I was 17 and he 23. It was love on first sight for me and I did think it was the same for him. Within our first year both his parents died and ofcorse that was a shock. He was so vulnerable, so ofte wishing himself death. Allthough I was not yet 18 I did everything I could to make hium a home, and half a year later we started living together.
        When both of us had graduated ( He was a civil engineer and I a forestry engeneer) we mariied.

        Each week hours and hours were spend talking about his loss, his pain, his guild, his youth. I listened and listened, tried to help him.To make him feel he was loved. To give him some self-confidence.
        When I was offered very good jobs I did not take the offers because I knew it would mean I would not be working at the level of his bosses, but at the level of the bosses of his bosses and we would be in the same working-field. I knew that would have broken his self-confidence, So I declined.
        And then , at first he said he wanted a divorce because I would never become healthy again I was so shocked, I did grief so much. I still did love him. And then I discovered he did have an affair with a woman 3 time divorced and she did threaten him not to have sex with her again if he did not divorce me. And when I first tried to make him work together with me to heal our mariage he said he should never have maried me in the first place. We did live together for 3 or 4 years before we maried and he did make our life together for 42 years a lie.
        First time in my life I speak about this, my deep pain about this.
        I sometimes have to deal with him because we do have a foster son with a very low IQ and a borderline dissorder. And in every contact I do feel how much he hates me, how much he wants me out of his ( email) life. Maybe he feels quilty, I don’t know. He has tried to steal money from our bank-accounts in the divorce proceedings. It is not about the money, it is about the multiplr betrayesl I do hate him now.
        I know I have to let it go, so therefore I asked to be in the firing of the healing vessel, I do see it as a holy grail ( don’t know if that is the good word for the vessel Jesus did drink from at last supper?) of forgiveness, because I understand forgiveness is the basic of all healing.
        Lovbe to you both, blessed be

      2. Thank you so much for sharing Cecile. I am glad that you recognize that forgiveness is the first step in healing and it can be the most difficult one. I hope you find peace with the situation with your husband, though I can understand why you view it as the ‘Holy Grail’ of forgiveness!
        It sounds like you had an incredibly special relationship with your daughter full of magic and love and connectivity. Maybe you were sisters in a past life 😉
        I can see by the way you describe your pottery that you would get such interesting effects in raku. Out of the necessity of your health you were able to create surfaces that can lead to some of the most interesting effects for raku (from what I have seen in my own process). A lot of people who make pottery have trouble letting go of control enough to be able to do that.
        Much love and many blessings to you. Your participation in this project makes it all worthwhile for me!

  16. What a great idea. I lost my kitty of 18 years a month and a half ago. Getting a new kitten this weekend will help with the grieving process. My mother is slowly dying of Post Polio Syndrome along with Osteoarthritis. Giving your pain and grief over to a process that brings something beautiful into the world is a form of healing in itself. I have been diagnosed as clinically depressed with anxiety and I have arthritis in my spine (c-5 to c-7 being the worst spot). I wish you healing. Hugs, Angela

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and hugs Angela! I am sorry to hear about your loss of your cherished pet, your mother’s health issues and your current health issues. I am sending you healing energy and hugs and I really appreciate you commenting here and being involved. You are a part of making this project so very special to me. Hugs

  17. That is an awesome way to heal! What a fantastic idea! I want to find healing for old wounds from lies I have believed about myself for many years. I pray that you find healing as well!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and participating in this project. I hope it will bring you some comfort to be involved in our little community of healing and I thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I hope your week is off to a great start!

  18. Hi! I love this!

    I want to heal from feeling like the love I have to give is too much and feeling that I may never find someone who will love as deeply as I do. That stems from abandonment issues through the years.

    1. Thank you for participating and for your profound post. This is something I very much used to struggle with when I was younger. Time has helped me a great deal with this issue, as has working on myself. I hope this project is able to bring you some healing from your abandonment issues, which I know can be very painful at times. Sending good vibes and energy your way.

  19. I am very gratefull for the good advice giving to me, I am very gratefull to this opportunity, I am gratefull to all people here who did share both optimism and pain. I think all of us will send a wave of good energy to the world right now and it surely will become a greater wave while and during the real firing of the raku work, what ever it may be, broad or slim. And I am sure the waves will be rippling on for years, Thank you Alchemist and all others participating, we contribute to the savings of the worlds good things in this time of upheavle. It is people with good vibes ( even in our hurts and pains) that will save the human race to evolve more instead of dying out, I know because I have seen that in deep trance. And by the way, no, my daugher was not my sister in the last life before this. I met the then-time-only-sitser in real life this life. ( She was my sister about 1200 AC.) My this;life-daughter was a collegue ( same job) in about 3000 bc. In Egypt. But that is another story. Anyway, we had to meet again this life, karma ordained it and it was okay. I am sure I will meet her again in some other life. I do hope it will not take some 4000 yrs again. Blessed be all of you

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful and powerful comment. You amaze me with your awareness and kindness!

  20. Living your life after the parting of a beloved one can be difficult for years. Sometimes, years later, a memory gets tripped and tears arrive unexpectedly. My mother passed away (made her transition) in 2014. Yet the memories still come and loss is felt. It is a joy to me to know that, even though my life continues, I rejoice in the feelings and memories of her presence. She is, indeed, a part of me as your father is of you. I rejoice in that knowingness.

    Love the vase idea. Names are Pat, David, Jean, Greg, Raine, Blair, Terry, Doug, Tracy, John, Lauren, Bill, Donald = all for healing of body and spirit.

    Thank you for providing this avenue of healing for every participant! Outstanding idea! BTW, beautiful artwork in the vases.

    1. Thank you so much for participating in this project and being a part of it and for your kind comments, words and insights. You are correct, I have those days where out of nowhere some small thing makes me teary. I am excited to include Pat, David, Jean, Greg, Raine, Blair, Terry, Doug, Tracy, John, Lauren, Bill, Donald and I hope that this project helps all of you in some small way! I hope you are having a wonderful start to your weekend!

  21. This is beautiful, all of it 🙂
    I’m going through what I refer to as a “magic dark” (a term I snagged from Lacy Phillips). I am learning to step into my self worth and to speak my needs and emotions. I’ve overworked my body for 20 plus years raising 4 kick ass children, going through a divorce and having to support myself. I’m 44 and my little body is rebelling and letting me know it’s time to slow down. In a worldly sense I have nothing: no finances, no degrees, no career to fall back on. Spiritually I’m stripped bare and being asked to trust the process and to rest in knowing everything will be ok. I would like to submit life direction and a knowing of how to live a quality life with the time I have left. To live peaceful in the storm.

  22. I have a couple of paintings with this theme that I have done. The one that I would like to submit is from my front page on WordPress before you go to my Blog of archived paintings. It’s called “THE BARN”, and it can be opened here with a little narrative about it…. … It is one of my first paintings using wood as canvas. At the time of this painting I was reflecting on all the grief and regrets in my life (I’m 61, so I’ve had my share – self inflicted and not). There are times in everyone’s life that can be indeed challenging. This painting allowed me to turn those challenges into an opportunity to create and express those feelings of dread to a feeling of hope and to encourage everyone that they can to press on, and forge ahead. Whether it’s pottery (your work is beautiful by the way), or a painting or anything….CREATING something can be healing and therapeutic (at least for me). Keep up the good work, and thank you for allowing me to share.

    1. I LOVE the painting you have shared here! Anyone reading take a look. It is beautiful. I agree with you that creating is very healing, for me it is like a healing salve for the soul.
      It is almost like your painting is representative of the journey you are making as you process things.
      Thank you so much for sharing and for your very kind words and a wonderful chat via comments. I hope your week is off to a great start and feel free to share anytime! You are always welcome.

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind words and taking the time to comment. I hope you are having a good week so far. All the best.

  23. I agree wholeheartedly that beauty does emerge from our collective pain and grief. I also believe there is beauty right in the midst of it. I see grief as a visitor that comes and goes with anniversaries, photos, reminders. It can bring me tears, yet it can also bring me wisdom, comfort, and a touch of the divine. Right now I am working with the interaction between forgiveness and grief. Due to some difficult circumstances, I had to let go of a friendship. I am grieving someone that is alive. I believe that as I make friends with this grief, I will also better be able to forgive or let go. The words I choose for your vase of healing are “Making friends with my grief.” Thank you for sharing “Sky Father” and your story. Thank you for creating A Vase of Healing. Thank you to everyone on this page who had the courage to share!

    1. Thank you so much for your very beautiful and insightful comment and for sharing your experiences with grief and your story. For me, I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to come together with other people and collectively heal. I can relate to having to go through grief for someone who is alive and I think in some ways that is harder for me. I am learning to make friends with my grief and use it as an ally to heal and do better in my relationships. Grief can be a gift if your are open to it. It can also be a great teacher for ones self. Thanks again for participating and I will be unveiling the vase on Saturday 😉

  24. Hi, this is a beautiful gift to leave the world and prompt others to join in healing. I try to heal through my poetic movement in which I lift others, sometimes strangers with a poem that speaks to them. People need to know that we can heal as community in life, holding each other up through expression in creative ways. It is what helps my mental illness. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

    1. I find creativity is a big part of my healing too. I have used writing and poetry specifically in the past. I think it is a beautiful form to heal and of course all our healing journeys have a ripple effect! I hope you will consider joining our healing community for when we do the next ‘peace’! You can find more information about that here:

      I really appreciate you sharing some of your journey and story and hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and I will gladly include RA in this project. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter for updates to the project here:
      I am excited by the opportunity to do a commission for you and will be in touch by email again soon 😉 Hope you are having a great day!

  25. Great project. I haven’t lost anyone recently but I am following the project and I am looking forward to seeing how it goes 🙂 good luck!

    1. Why have you deleted your blog, Amato?
      Did you shift for something better?
      I ask, because the current time seems to be an opportunity for big good changes right now.

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