'The Waiting Room'
There are times in our lives when we all enter an inner 'waiting room'. That suspending of the things we want to be 'getting on' with, be that work, holidays, doing the things we much prefer to do, [perhaps I could call that the 'bodied living room']. To then start experiencing a waiting for something that is potentially scary, possibly life changing, and definitely uncomfortable, whether its a waiting for a diagnosis for oneself or a loved one, or a waiting for the approaching death of a loved one. This 'Waiting Room' feeling needs expressing, the same as all our feelings do. These paintings came to light as my own expression of being in a 'waiting room', as my Mother-in-Law, Jean, 87 years old, approached her transition from being here, in body on Mother Earth, to her next stage. There's no doubt its hard to face the passing of a loved one, yet face it we must. With luck it will be someone who has lived long, yet that wont always be the case. The insights that sitting in that 'waiting room' can offer are various, and perhaps because of the feelings of uncertainty, fearfulness, associated and perhaps anticipated pain, there is an inability to process those insights. I shall offer some of my own that came once these paintings were completed.
In my 'waiting room' I began an exploration of what 'death' is in my view. For me its a state of being human that is to be transitioned through. Going from this 'bodied' state to something else. I, like most people, hope that my passing will be without pain and distress, peaceful not only for myself but for those around me too. Yet having observed the responses of close family to the passing of Jean, even as Jean went, by her own choosing, into end of life care, there was a pain and suffering in the family that was of their own response ability. Although there was laughter and smiles at remembrances they were over shadowed by the anticipation of the pain in the impending loss. That may even have been transfered in our viewing of Jean as she slowly shook off the shackles of this mortal world.
The jerks and shakes as her soul within broke the Earthly ties that held her here. Our feelings of distress mirrored in our perception of her. She had made her peace with the life she had lived and was looking forward to reuniting with her beloved others who had transitioned before her. Parents, her much loved husband John, even my own son Gavin and other family and friends. She saw, and was content, that we would survive her going, supporting each other. That death is simply necessary for the evolution of the one passing and the opportunities offered to those left behind to navigate further on their own journey.
For me there is joy to be felt in all of that. The passing of a loved one is opportunity to meet my own within. That was very much the case with the sudden-ness of Gavins departure. As I now feel it, there are soul threads that attach as life bonds to any person we encounter, whether we see it or not. No matter how deeply those are tied, when they are pulled, there is an invitation to embrace how we feel and take another step on our own journey of transformation. Allowing a growing of me in relationship with my own soul spirit and with those near and dear, or others.