I have to tell you, I took a bit of a hit this past Mother's Day. I thought it being the third year my Mother is gone that it wouldn't be so bad. But that wasn't the case. As I tried to process it all I realized that the first year I was in Italy for Mother's Day. Then last year I was working at Eataly and it was so busy I didn't have time to think. So this was the first year I had to sit with it and it was freakin hard. I was reminded that grief doesn't have a timeframe. There are no rules. It has the capacity to surprise us when we think we've crossed a hurdle and have healed, but then find ourselves right back in the midst of the pain.
I allowed myself the meltdown because I know it's important that we feel these feelings. But I also know that I can remain there for way too long and lose myself in the confusion and sadness. I've gotten better at knowing when it's time to kick in the tools I've collected to help me get through rough times. There is writing, meditating, praying and doing loving things for myself. And when those aren't enough I go to the vault. This is generally where my courage and creativity have taken me in the past and have proven to me that life can be better, that healing does happen. And for me, the vault almost always is about Italy. It is where my love for photography first began. It is where I needed courage to go live there and travel throughout the country alone. It is where I'm reminded that I can heal and that I want a life of beauty and abundance.
So I began to look through my photos from two years ago when I was there for Mother's Day. I was searching for those moments that helped me to heal at that time, in the hope that they'd provide the same consolation yet again. I was blessed to be in Chianti visiting my dear friend Laurence, who I hadn't seen in over a decade. She invited me to stay with her and her husband in their villa in Volpaia. (Grazie mille Cara. Sarò sempre grato.) The beauty of my surroundings, and our friendship picking up right where we left off, began my transition back to the happier me.
Writing about this really began as a journal entry. I had no intentions of sharing this with the outside world. But I realized that if I am to remain in integrity with my writing, I shouldn't only share the fun and good times; I should also share the dark moments, and the process of how I crawl out of that consuming rabbit hole, and don't get completely lost in the losses. So I relived those moments. I drank in the photos endeavoring to feel those emotions that I was feeling. I also watched a video that I had (gratefully!) made on a day that I was feeling so very blessed. All of this has begun the next level of excavation that I see is necessary in my healing.
We are all trying to heal from our own losses. I realize I am not alone and that is what is encouraging me to share this with you. I hope that it helps you to cultivate your own vault with moments and places that have meaning for you. They don't have to be far away, they can be in your own backyard, inside your home, within your family and with your loved ones. They can be on a vision board of images that remind you of your moments of courage, and that make you feel whole, and beautiful, and loved, and inspired. And in the interim, I'm sharing my photos and the video with you in the hope that they bring peacefulness to your heart. Feel free to borrow. Buon Weekend & Very Big Love, PatriciaG
I invite you to visit my Buy Photos Shop where you'll find my latest collection of Photo Notecards and Frame-able Prints. And as always, I'd love to hear from you on this or any of my previous blogs. If you feel inspired, please write me in the Comments section, and I'd really love it if you'd share the blog & my Shop with friends & family. Grazie!