Photographs, letters, mementos are what keep our precious memories alive, yes, even artwork.
When Allan passed away in 1994, Ashley was a precocious thirteen year old. As I look back on those grief-filled days, I know I was functioning in a fog. I will forever be thankful that Ashley was taking art lessons, taught by Lynn Simmons. Lynn proved to be a God-send as Ashley went through the grieving process. She gave Ashley leeway to put her Daddy’s image on canvas, Ashley’s way of preserving her memories of him. I believe she was thirteen when she drew the sketch above and when she painted the oil on canvas, shortly after his death.
My two eldest grandchildren recently lost their dad. They are separated in age by seven years and are grieving in vastly different ways. I love them both immensely and wish I could take away the pain they are experiencing; but all I can do is be there for them, to watch and listen.
We all grieve differently. As I look at these two remembrances of Allan Moraw, I can look back to happier times and I believe I have come to understand a bit more about grief. It is not our job to question how an individual might be grieving but simply to be there for them in whatever manner they are comfortable with. Unfortunately, there is no alternate route, no detour, just a very lonely road opened up by grief, each one traveled oh so differently.
It is never easy to know what action to take or what words to use. Just remember that those efforts coming from the heart are rarely wrong.