Disguise

Night Flower

Since August 22, 2011, at 9:30PM, I am  disguised…Mum died.

I appear strong to my family, I thanked people who gave me their sincere condolences.  “Not now, maybe later” is what I’ve said, to the many well-meaning offers of support.  I have nodded my head appropriately in conversations, completed household routines, consoled my children and clung to my husband.

I am a dependable, responsible and strong daughter, a calm sister and a quiet mother.  I keep my disguise intact.

Disguised this week, making the phone calls, finalizing information and writing Mommy’s obituary, (because my siblings think, I write better than them). Trying to capture a woman, “the Mommy”, who I was connected to from conception to the end of her life; the container of my childhood, my maiden years, parts of my mid-life, the starter of my creativity, the strength of my stubborn will, the fierceness of my independence, the sweetness of my caring and the sour of my temper.

But in the dark soul of every night since August 22, the disguise comes off… like some insidious poison, grief drips into my heart, gently at first, waking me from my tenuous sleep, as if someone is calling me sweetly from sleep.  This grief pummels me awake, until I’m finally sitting with my knees to my face.  A sharp sliver of anguish piercing my chest.  I cry hard and long, with bouts of inconsolable anger, ill-formed regrets and wracked with confusion, I pick up the phone, and call my mother’s home.  After several rings, her message comes on, “This is Gloria, I’m not home right now, would you please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you.  Thank you and have a good day.” I leave a message, “Mommy, I need you, call me back, I miss you.” I realize, just how corrosive grief is, at night.   Like some dark, insidious poison, it drips into my heart so gently, it goes unnoticed during the day. In the morning, the disguise comes back.

I will work every day, because routines and rituals help keep me sane and thriving.   I put pencil to paper, paint to canvas, my hands are in the habit and my mind pushes for it.   My heart is broken.

I am more determined now, than ever to continue a artful legacy, my Mum gave it to me…a love of creating.   It is the one thing, in this ending that I can begin anew…my art.   It is the thing that goes on with or without a disguise. Thank you, Mommy.

It is morning, I wish peace to you and yours.

P.S. My mother loved flowers, birds, all things of nature.  I generally do not create flowers, every time I have, it’s been with her in mind.

Night Flower” 9.5″ x 8″ Pastel/Paper

22 Comments »
  1. I'm so sorry, Indigene. Your mom gave you great gifts in your creativity and grace. Please take care. Lynette

    Comment by Lynette — August 27, 2011 @ 7:30 am

  2. This is such a moving story and a beautiful picture xx

    Comment by kittypinkstars — August 27, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  3. I am so moved by your post…. and the picture you painted to portray it. So beautifully said through your words and image! What a difficult time this is for you. Creative expression is such a healer…. and your expressions are helping others who are going through their own losses.God bless. ~ Susan

    Comment by Susan Drawbaugh — August 27, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  4. What a beautiful, honest post. At similar junctures in my life, I was so glad to have a blogspot where I could vent and be candid… knowing that it would mostly be read by people who didn't have expectations of me and so, thus, wouldn't be hurt or disappointed in my humanity/frailty etc. Keep making your art… it helps. And, (amazingly) even when you have expressed some painful, difficult emotion, other people will still LOVE the painting… (I did a very angry piece after my husband's not-so-nice father died, and people just loved it. Go figure.)
    I'm glad if you got a moment of relief/pleasure from my IF -disguise. Thanks for looking… and feel free to vent to me… I used to get paid for that! (Dana S Whitney on facebook… ) or email below

    Comment by Painter Woman — August 27, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  5. So sad to hear of your loss, my thoughts are with you. Keep your mom's memory alive in your art.

    Comment by Cathy Holtom — August 27, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  6. It's a beautiful painting and a beautiful tribute for your mother. It's a reflection of what she gave to you that you feel this kind of grief. All my sympathies and wishes for you to reach a point of happy memories without pain. Hugs!

    Comment by Linda Hensley — August 27, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  7. God bless you!

    Comment by ellen byrne — August 27, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss Indigene, this is a very moving heart felt post. I wish I knew the right words to say right now but all I can say is that my heart and thoughts go out to you. This painting is so very beautiful and very touching. It has been far too long between visits for me to your blog, I find it hard to keep up with the blogs I'm following and sometimes one will fall through the cracks. I shall not leave it so long between visits next time. Please take care, sending you hugs oxo

    Comment by Nicola — August 28, 2011 @ 5:29 am

  9. I am so sorry for your loss, Indigene. My own mother died a little over 4 years ago but I still think about her pretty much every day. Everyone grieves in her own way. Your painting is beautiful. Wishing you all the best……Cheryl

    Comment by Cheryl — August 28, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  10. This is a beautiful painting – a true tribute to your mother. I'm so sorry.

    Comment by Abby — August 28, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  11. A beautiful tribute. Your images convey what words truly cannot express.

    Comment by Cat — August 28, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  12. A very sad interpretation, lovely painting. Sorry to hear about your mum.

    Comment by Christine — August 28, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss… lovely writing… lovely illo…

    Comment by yati davies — August 29, 2011 @ 1:18 am

  14. So sorry. (((hugs))))

    Comment by Liz — August 29, 2011 @ 7:03 am

  15. Beautiful. Your mom is always with you.

    Comment by Megan Moran Smith — August 29, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  16. I am so saddened to hear this….I always fear the inevitable…I am in tears now

    Comment by Mona — August 29, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  17. I write you off-post…, but I need to say here too that your 'night flower' is a beautiful way of saying your mum has passed to the other side.
    Paula

    Comment by Mindful Drawing — August 29, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  18. Thank-you for sharing… I am so sorry for your loss. Keep creating your beautiful art, hopefully it will help you with the grieving.

    Comment by heidialdin — August 29, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  19. So very sorry for your loss. Please take care.

    Comment by ruth — August 31, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  20. So beautiful, your painting and your love for and memories of your dear Mommy.

    Comment by krista hamrick — September 1, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  21. Nights can seem so endless, dark and inescapably deep when there's something sad, difficult or incomprehensible weighing on me too…but then the morning finally comes again, and I remember my small strengths-mostly my ability to put one foot in front of the other, and to 'show up.' I have wondered lately, as an artist, if one of the reasons that 'night' is so difficult is that there is only *one* color to everything…. :-(

    Comment by Susan Sorrell Hill — September 14, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  22. Aww, Indigene. I'm catching up on your old post and am so saddened to come across this. I'm very sorry for your mother's passing. May the art she passed on to you bring you solace and, one day, fill you with warmth and joy in her memory.

    My mother in law has kept my husband's voice on her answering machine as her outgoing message. It always startles me to hear it, and it makes me ache.

    Big hugs and love to you. xoxo

    Comment by bella sinclair — October 18, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

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