As the one year anniversary of Gosia’s passing approaches in a little over a month from now, I find myself reflecting upon her with more intensity, trying to gently process that she’s no longer here – it always takes me awhile to acknowledge unwelcome truths; I prefer to run away from them and pretend I’m ok until the facade comes crumbling down. Now I know why people use the word “transition”. Passing, dying, implies they are gone, while transition means that they are still here, just in another form. Perhaps frolicking with angels, dancing freely, painting ribbons with wisps of cloud and crying raindrops that drench the earth with all its beauty, sadness, and joy.

In the book Letting Go with Love by Nancy O’Connor, the author mentions that it will likely take two full years to process the loss of a loved one. Other experts say that it never really ends. Some say that year 2 is harder than year 1 since in year 1, they were just there in your life, but by the next year they are no longer in your recent experience. I feel that the only way to deal with all of this pain is to become enlightened – it seems terrible to have to feel this way every time someone dies! Especially knowing that the person is now at peace, has cast off their body like an old dress, and is chillin’ in the heavens. They’re probably hovering above you with big angel wings and urging you to fly. It’s funny that Gosia had angel wings even on earth.

Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes and in that hollow part of your chest. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go.

Jamie Anderson

I haven’t gone back to Gosia’s blog in awhile, and today when I clicked on it, the website wouldn’t load!! I started to panic, thinking that maybe it was a paid account, and now that it is not maintained, maybe the site got taken down. Why hadn’t I saved the posts before? Ahhhh!! While all these thoughts ran through my mind, it slowly started to load. I’ve saved them all now, just in case.

She wrote this post in 2013, called When You Find Love.

“Empty, lost, useless, listless, void. Humming, while life comes in spurts and jumps. I hear my neighbors playing music, she’s laughing, he’s opening a door. I want that. I want life. I want to belong, belong in his arms. I want to be his universe, inspiration. Instead I’m on pause. Painfully disconnected. I want to talk, touch, feel. Just static. Its not real, I can’t get away from this nagging not real. Then what is real. How do I make this real. I want to touch his soul. But I can’t find it. Can we meet in the dark. Can we meet, will we ever meet. Can we take everything off and meet, fully completely. I want to meet you. I want to see you. And how come I can’t, there have been so many days, hours and yet we still have not met. If we do meet will we stay open forever or is it just a fleck, a speck, a moment, a glimmer.”

Her choice of image for this post was so interesting – it was one of her most searing paintings of vulnerability. A woman who had closed in on herself, in self protection mode, scared to be open – relinquishing clothing, love, and safety. Traumatized and in survival mode. I remember seeing this after she painted it and being a little scared by it. And this image forms in my mind whenever I’m feeling like life is too much.

But yet she did really truly love from the depths of her being. Underneath may have been this shadow self, a little trapped and traumatized, but that’s what art is for – to give expression to that which cannot remain inside.

An angel on the road

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