Friday, June 25, 2010

letting go

I remember drawing a small wooden giraffe as an out-of-class assignment my first semester in art school. I studied the figure for some time before laying the image down on the 18x24 inch piece of paper. After about an hour of careful drawing and observation, I had a near perfect likeness of the figure centered perfectly on the paper. I thought it looked great. Centered, accurate, detailed. I got a B. The drawing was too neat and controlled. The composition too stagnate. It was then that I started learning about "putting my back into drawing". Digging in, ripping the paper, grinding the charcoal.

There was something beautiful to be found in letting go.

After four years of art school this became a well learned and practiced lesson. Applying it in other areas of my life, well, that hasn't been quite as easy. When challenged with a crisis pregnancy, birth, or illness parents can call hosts of doctors, surgeons, pediatricians, and specialists to their aid. They can hold, kiss, medicate, hope, pray and nurse, but when the finality of death comes and they are left holding the outcome... all control seems lost. Nothing can be done.

For me this was the realization that I was headed down an unexpected path. I could fight it, deny it, try to change directions or even just hide from that truth, or I could go with it and see where it leads me. Opening up to the journey allowed me to see beauty and blessing that might have otherwise slipped by. Yes, even in the midst of the unimaginable reality of losing two children at once there has been blessing and beauty.

Anger is inevitable. Grief is necessary. Let it happen. You may find yourself in a closer relationship with your spouse, your family, a new friend. You may discover a new purpose or a renewed appreciation for your other children. What blessing will you find? What legacy is your child leaving you?

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