Grief has always been a big part of my work. And while it is true that grief has also been a major player in my life, I must admit that I’m not always sure how to hold space for those that are grieving. So when I was contacted to paint a picture for my sons friend as he struggled with the recent loss of his Grandma, I was honoured to say the least. And as I worked I thought a lot about life and grief, and of course love. As it’s my belief that grief is simply one of the ways that we continue to express our love despite our loss. And while in the earliest days of grief we often feel lost within the weight or sharp pain of it, it does soften and change over time, to something of remembrance. And as I painted this piece, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the number of amazing laugh lines this lovely lady had accumulated. Each one seemed to speak to me. I wondered, how many laughs she had shared with friends over coffee? How many kids and grandkids had she comforted with a smile? Surely the greatest mark of a life well lived is the number of laugh lines we can accumulate. And I can only hope that one day this painting will remind this family, not of their loss, but of a woman who was always smiling and whose love and laughter brought so much joy to their life.
Medium: Coffee and Watercolour pencil.