A Healing Balm To Comfort Grief: Free Writing, Drawing, Indigo Dyeing & Stitching
As an acknowledgment to my momma’s Crossing Over one month today, I’m sharing my Free Write Blog post. To honor promises that I made to my momma, Doris Lee Jones, her mother, Minnie Eva Woodard and my grandmother caregiver, Mattie (Yat) Burnette Randolph that I would write our stories and share them with the world, that day is today for me. I recently enrolled in my third online writing class at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their motto is “Your Voice: We Find It Together, You Keep It Forever.” One of the class assignments is to complete handwritten timed free writings. After completing one last week and another this week, I realized I have stumbled upon a creative gold mine. So once again I’m journaling my journey, this time with the purpose of healing my broken grieving heart.
I remember one month ago my momma struggling to breath and making a raspy gurgling sound. For the first time that morning when I held her hand, she wasn’t able to hold on to mine. I remember momma’s eyes and mouth were open. She turned her head blinking her eyes in rapid succession until she could focus on her one and only baby girl child. I’ll always remember the tenderness of her eyes as they filled with tears at seeing me for the last time. I knew my momma was about to cross over but it seemed unconceivable that she was leaving me. In a quite whisper momma’s quivering lips mouthed “I love you and I like you too!” “I love you and I like you, too!” I shouted back to make sure she could hear me as she transitioned to the other side.
Momma had taught me as a child that love and like are different side of our heart. I remember her wanting me to feel secure and loved. I was strong and held back my tears to respect our Ancient Algonquin teachings of not crying at The Crossing Over. Mama and Yat taught that we should cry and wail when a person was born not at The Crossing Over. I kept that teaching for both Mat and Mama and was determined to keep it for my momma. It’s about respect for traditions on Eastern North Carolina Skaru’re Ancestral homeland. Today, one month later, I’m sitting alone crying myself a river.
I remember Momma’s passing as a difficult one witnessing her struggling for seven years with dementia, four years of failing to thrive to the degree of requiring a peg tube, and two years of dying by incremental amounts everyday after three falls. The last two falls happened after our sweet dog Snoop died. Momma lost something when Snoop left us that I can’t explain in words. It’s like the light of her soul embers went dim. I miss my momma and I miss Snoop Dog. When I’m alone I cry for them both, and Mamma and Yat. Oh, how I miss them. I know I’m crying for myself because I’m overwhelmed by the condition of my momma’s house and my own. Clutter has taken over to a dangerous and unhealthy degree. I’m crying because I’m afraid of being alone in the world.
I try to be a good, kind and considerate person to others, but people that I care about misunderstand me. They pretend to be my friend for some benefit and turn their backs on me because of my reaction to drama they create. It happened recently with two people that I’m connected with through Penland School of Crafts. Loosing them both really hurts my heart but I don’t do drama and I can’t turn back time.
I hate and despise drama. Some people’s insecurities require that they create drama and surround themselves with it as a kind of buffer agent to protect their brokenness. But drama sets my teeth on edge, like trying to chew razor blades. I grew up in a multi-generational home and knew by the age of seven that I hated drama. The reality of life is teaching me that loving someone means letting go. If we can’t get along in harmony then it’s best if we part as friends. Life is too short and fragile for ripping some a new one, being angry, discontent or sitting around plotting and scheming mischief. As an artist, I can’t afford to travel down the road of discontent. That’s the devil’s highway. It may look enticing but it’s a one-way glitzy road to ruin.