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Life's Kaleidoscope of Grief and Art

Loss and impermanence have been kaleidoscoping through my mind lately.  I hear so many stories about losses from many of you, and there have been several people in my immediate and extended family who have died in the last few months.  Some of these people have been artists at Bluerock Gallery.  There was local artist and gallery supporter Edith vanderKloot, and Edmonton watercolour artist Richard Connor, who was also my father's cousin. As well, my former father-in-law died in February. 

Sometimes the loss is not a physical death but results from a shift in relationships and a parting of ways. This, too, has been part of my work with grief over the past few weeks.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this!

"Everything changing, all the time."  My favourite saying - mostly because it reminds me to be in this moment, not regretting the past, nor looking forward to some possible future.  And also to not take anything for granted in this present.

Bonnie MacRae-Kilb, who has just joined the gallery this week, knows about loss in a profound way - her 29 year old son died suddenly and unexpectedly a little more than a year ago.  This is the loss every parent dreads, and Bonnie is living through it. Her painting practice has become a beautiful expression of her journey with the grief of her loss. It's a practice which is also an expression of her joy, her love for her son. Her gratitude for life shines through in her work. Bonnie is our feature artist for May 12 - 20, 2018.  She will be in the gallery in person from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, May 12.

Some of you may have noticed a growing book section at the gallery on the subjects of grief, death and dying.  I've long had an interest in this area, again, because I think the best way to live is in remembering how fleeting and subject to change this life is.  Contemplating one's own death is enlivening! 

Also, I've been attending events put on by Sarah Kerr, who has become a friend.  We are also providing book resources at this monthly public event, the Holistic Death Network.  If you are drawn to attend, I look forward to seeing you there.  

And, may our lives be enriched by conversations about loss, death, dying.  My hope is we can all truly LIVE while we're living!

 

May 10, 2018


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