Reflecting on Gold….

Autumn can be a tough time for me. Most of our family members have passed on in this season, as if the waning summer corresponded to their waning life energies. I’m tempted to wallow in old grief, to feel a bit sorry for myself, to jump when the phone rings late at night. Then I’ll catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye, or hear an odd phrase that reminds me of a loved one. The happy memories come flooding back and I smile in spite of myself. So I was drawn to this amazing image by my friend Gemma, entitled ‘Living with Gold in the Heart’. She started with a photograph, then worked with the image, adding texture and adjusting the colors and contrast. Some would argue the result is not art. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really care what it’s called, except to say it’s beautiful. Perhaps grief is a lot like this artwork. We start with a stark reality, a deep wound, a searing loss. Perhaps the end of life was far from pretty or noble, even full of pain and suffering. Perhaps death was a relief, both for the person who passed away and their loved ones. We simply need to sleep, to heal, to process what we have endured, and what it means to begin again. We need time to find out who we are now, without someone who was so integral to our identities. Time goes by and we believe we are past the sorrow, until a birthday or anniversary arrives. Worse yet, we creep up on the year after the death, or the year after that. Yet in the midst of all this, there are moments of pure joy, reminders of the happy times. For me, it was a television commercial about Publisher’s Clearinghouse. My father must have returned every sweepstakes entry he ever received in the mail. He meticulously sifted through the envelope, making sure all the stickers were applied just so. Then he would watch out the window to be sure the envelope made it into the mailbox, certain the flag was up to notify the postman his important mail was inside. So as the anniversary of his death approaches, I am given a gentle reminder of who he was, and how he affected our lives. Take time today to give thanks for those who love you, not for what you have or how much you make, but because of who you are, warts and all. Cling to the true treasure of this life, opening your heart to others, accepting them for who they are, here and now. Cultivate joy in your life, even in the midst of grief and sorrow. Spend time with the happy memories, until you see those last, fleeting moments of a long life as simply an afterthought. And always remember, there only one treasure we can take with us, the gold that lives in our hearts. Text by Connie Chintall ©2012, Beautiful art by Gemma Costa, entitled ‘Live with Gold in the Heart’ ©2012, used with her permission.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 975 other subscribers