Thursday, February 2, 2017

Once Upon A Time There Was A Warrior; A story of Grief, Loss, Light and Love. To My Husband and for Our Children.

*This true story was written for both my husband and children. It came to me during a EMDR therapy appointment for my husband in which I immediately came home and wrote it all within ten minutes. The therapist was explaining the similar characteristics of my husband to his mother and the traumatic loss of his grandfather at five (whom also shared many qualities.) What was focused on in the EMDR was the collective zest for life and the inner light that all three of them had and that my husband had to live to pass this on to his children so they could pass it on to theirs. The short story is geared towards children but I did not shy away from larger words or feelings. I wanted it to convey a lot of emotion because grief is full of emotion. I couldn’t find many children’s stories on grief that were not blatantly full of different religious messages. I wanted it to be generic and reach all those who may or may not believe in an afterlife. I wanted to capture the feeling that there is still something to live for and pass on without bringing all of "that" in to the picture. I wanted any child to be able to hopefully relate to the emotion if they were going though a similar story. I also wrote it for my husband, so he could clearly see what I was seeing. His brave journey and his similarities in laugh, personality and life to his Mom and grandfather George. This was illustrated by my three children. I used different paintings, lego styling and drawings, and cards that I found in my "special box" of cherished scraps of paper...These are my children's precious contributions so I would like to remind that these are on a page that is copyrighted. I also used their nicknames for their art.*


Artwork: Drake


Once upon a time there was a warrior. He didn't know he was a warrior yet. In fact, he was a little boy of five, with sandy brown hair and a sturdy body, huddled against the casket of his grandfather. 
Artwork: Sophia

This apple cheeked boy felt very much alone because his grandfather, the one with the light behind the eyes, boisterous laugh, big arms and large lap, was gone. He wanted to be where grandpa was. He asked his mommy if he could have a method to die too. 

Artwork: Drake

Because all he wished for was to see that light and hear that laugh, and feel those arms. The little boy felt so many emotions, and none of them made him feel like he was a fierce warrior at all.


Artwork: Sophia


As he grew, he found that same light of his grandpa's was also in his mother's eyes. The shine was always ready with a laugh at his goofiness, an embrace of his oddness, and a quick hug which expressed he was so cherished. 


Artwork: Sophia

She showed him in her ready joy that he was worthy of being loved. She passed on the light of his grandfather with her hefty hugs, happy smile, and shinning eyes.

Artwork: Drake

The boy didn't realize it yet, but as he grew into a man, the same light in his grandfather's eyes which reflected in his mother's eyes, also echoed in him. 
Artwork: Drake

He had the core of a true warrior. A heart which was vulnerable, brave and humourous in the face of darkness. He had the sturdy arms of a fighter and a lover. He was the heritage that came before him.
Artwork: Phoenix

He attracted the love of a quirky, mystical woman and they in turn created three unique and magical children. On the day of each birth, the light passed on and sparkled in the souls of their tiny babes. Life was hard and beautiful. It was a story full of darkness, battles, joys, magic, and epic love.
Lego Styling: Phoenix


Artwork:Drake

And then one day, this warrior's mother became ill. Quite suddenly she passed her energy onward and her ready smiles were no more. The man could no longer see the light in her eyes, hear the song in her voice, or feel the strength in her hugs. He felt empty and cold. The light slowly left his own eyes. His broad arms felt empty and awkward. He felt like he had lost a large battle. He was once again five, huddling beside a casket, wishing to die too.

Artwork: Sophia

Except this time he was laying on her heart, in an empty hospital room, sobbing because not a sound was coming from her chest. The song from her heart felt like it was gone forever. He couldn't hear her breathing and her arms would no longer hug him back, no matter how long he lingered. He was alone. He once again felt unloved, isolated, unworthy and different.

Artwork: Sophia

What he didn't see, was that his grandfather and mother had left him with a beautiful heritage. Inside his soul, their spunky legacy was flickering. Their energy had simply passed in mantel on to him. His light, in turn, was waiting to be passed down to his three magical beings. 

Artwork: Phoenix


But first he had to fight his own battle. He had to face whom he was. Like his favourite Tolkien novel, he had to become like Strider; a king borne who did not know how to take up the role he was born to play and a man who believed that he could not be a warrior, when already he was in the thickest battle.

 
Artwork: Phoenix


His children could see a faint flame still waiting. His wife could feel the vulnerable, worthy heart beating within. They needed him to believe in his light. Because they felt the same way about him which he felt about his mother and grandfather. They adored his ready laugh, strong arms, and revelled in his worthy differences. 

Artwork: Sophia 

He was their table of life, a vessel upon which they could bring all manner of nurturance. They didn't want him to listen to the critical voices that labelled him too dramatic, sensitive, emotional or sensationalist. They didn't want him to believe that just because he did not portray his faith a certain way or live within a box of familial subscription, that he was flawed or unloved. 


Artwork: Drake

Artwork: Phoenix

His mother portrayed and activated upon this acceptance and it was true, she was no longer present in body, but other voices were waiting to pass on accepting grace. His mother's voice was also within him. Because the very attributes he was criticized on, were often the reasons why he loved the two people in his life that he lost (his grandfather and mother) so much. They were also the warrior qualities he possessed that enabled others to live their lives with joyous abundance.


Artwork: Drake

He didn't know it, but by accepting these qualities within himself, he was fighting for the safety of those who were odd. By accepting his worthiness he was accepting the joy in differences. To love his soul simply because he existed, he was fighting a battle of value and creating light. But first he had to realize that his soldier's sword was the belief that he was worthy himself.
Artwork: Phoenix

Artwork: Drake 
Once upon a time there was a boy, who was a man, with sandy brown hair and giant arm muscles. This man boy used his triceps to hold, cherish, build, and save. But he couldn't seem to save himself. He sat in a chair while his arms held on to pulses of energy. His wife was there watching, begging within her spirit, for him to recognize the mettle within. His mentor was there, asking him to believe in the legacy of his heritage which included a ready smile, a joyous laugh, an easygoing presence and the gift of his personality. This boy man was not alone. He was not empty. He was no longer just a child, but a warrior child, who grew into a man and would pass on a legacy for his children.
                                                               
Artwork: Drake

Artwork: Phoenix

THIS was the winning moment; He had to get out of the chair and decide to see in himself the glow of worth...

Artwork: Sophia

Once upon a time there was a warrior man, with a long ponytail, who slowly and bravely stood up. He looked at his children and saw their lights. Their beaming aurora had a mystical quality because of their individuality but also because of their heritage. He saw his part in it and he began to believe in his worth. 
Lego Styling: Phoenix

Because when there is a flicker within, it takes great bravery to acknowledge it and set it aflame. It takes a warrior to bend over the fallen and weep, and when it is time, to rise again. It takes a lover and a fighter to cherish three unique littles and be a voice for his ever magically misunderstood wife.
Artwork: Drake

Once upon a time, a new story began. It was full of the dirty grind of the daily, but in this story, there was shimmers, glimmers, and pearly moonbeams. The sunshine was in his smile crinkles. His generous arms mimicked the tenderness of the gentle hands which held him, and the strong muscles who rocked his mother before his light was even thought of. He used these firm biceps to hold his wife and tenderly rock their babies. 


Artwork: Drake
Artwork: Phoenix

His loud laugh amused and delighted, and often the neighbours could hear his joy on a quiet evening, chuckles booming deeply. This sound echoed his mother's and grandfather's loud songs of their hearts and his unique music nurtured magic.


                                                     Photography Captures: Phoenix

Once upon a time there was a grandpa, who brought up a mom, who brought up a son,who married a wife, who birthed three songs, and they carried on...and it wasn't the end, but it wasn't the beginning either...


Artwork: Drake


                                                             Photography: Phoenix

Song choice: For my Husband Until I die "I won't Let You Go"-  James Morrison


You are Not alone- Michael Jackson


Wind Beneath My Wings- Bette Midler

10 comments:

Philip CalledtoQuestion said...

Very beautiful and touching, my dear. I am honoured that you wrote this. I am happy to know that my little family love me for who I am. I always want to be that light and be that joy. I want to risk the hurt in order to bring even the smallest of glimmers into this world. I may not be able to see the light in the eyes of those loved ones who have come before me, but seeing their light in your eyes and our children eyes is of such comfort. Knowing that their light is deeply engrained in me strengthens me and I am assured that I am a warrior. Now I will fight, love, cherish, and laugh. I will let my light shine! Thanks for this.

MLW said...

What a beautiful story. I would buy this story for my family 💕 I love how you explained how the light was passed from his mom to him and then from him to his three children and the people he meets. Your kiddos artwork is stunning 😍

Anonymous said...

Fantastic K, You should publish this! Im totally amazed at you. This is really good and very well put together and so true. I know that your husband knows he has a real GEM for a wife and 3 beautiful diamonds.- G

S said...

The story is touching, insightful and paints a beautiful picture. It's a lovely tribute to his grandpa, his mom and him. Your beautiful soul shines through in this story as well. Your deep love for your husband is so evident and truly admirable. And I love the artwork. I love that the story as a whole, including the illustrations shows how deep your love for one another runs. Your family is there to support one another and to lift each other up, to offer strength, encouragement and hope through that love. You are all warriors.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, friend <3 You and P. were meant for each other and your kids thrive in the life you lead them through. On another note, some of Phoenix's artwork here is jaw dropping! I always think of Sophia as your little artist, but it seems like he has the spark too :) That's amazing. - Keren

Amy said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!

(((STANDING OVATION)))) Every word… absolutely life filled and beautiful. I so hope that this filled Philip’s heart and that it brings his heart the courage and peace to press onward.

So much love,
Amy

Kmarie A. said...

@Philip: "And when you're weak I'll be strong
I'm gonna keep holding on
Now don't you worry, it won't be long
Darling, and when you feel like hope is gone
Just run into my arms

I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one, I'm only one call away
I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day"- Charlie Puth ( but I mean every word)

We do love you for whom you are and we have missed you very much this last year. But we also understand so much to process and become... I am glad you are willing to risk the hurt because that is the only way we can fully love. Yes please let that light shine as its one of my favourites:) I love you and I am so glad you are embracing your inner warrior:)

Kmarie A. said...

@MLW thank you for your feedback. I love what you said. I am so glad to hear it touched you and was relevant to your story too. Yea that light part is so true and I am glad he is finally recognizing it - some beauty within loss and some hope. And yes I love the kids artwork too:)

Thanks G!:) I am honoured that you think so. I feel very lucky anyway:)

S: Wow. I am glad our love for each other shines through so obviously. I am actually surprised at that and love that it does, but I didnt realize how strongly I conveyed that dedication and united front. But thank you! I do have deep love for him and I do think we all, in our own ways, are our own love warriors. Beautiful word pictures:) xo

Keren: Thank you!:) That validation and sweetness is appreciated! Yes his paintings are particularly good. His medium is more an eye in photography and paint. I love my daughter's drawings...her latest ones not pictured here are also lovely. And I ADORE the heart of my youngest , and how in his dysrpaxia and learning disabilities he conveys such emotion and love in his people:)

Amy: Awwwww thanks so much. Truthfully I do think it gave him back his spunk a bit. I think he is beg to see the larger picture. Now that he can move past his legitimate ( and longer than normal due to other factors) anger stage, he is able to weep more and process all of the other emotions, rejection, and feelings of unworth he has had...his mother was a buffer for that and losing her on her own- with her own beauty has been hard enough, but then losing the one other family who awlays made it clear his emotions were accepted and he was worthy even if he was so different in almost everything, was a very big deal. Also the person who shared many of his own characteristics that are tougher to find in most circles. All that to say, I think he has seen lately that he is THAT to US. Very important for his desire to live ect:)

S said...

This story is so important because it reassures a person going through traumatic times that there is hope and beauty in this life even though sometimes, we might go through deep sorrows. It gives hope in the midst of hopelessness. You, the wife and your three children have showed where love and strength comes from in difficult times by supporting your husband ( their father). One has to look to the future with hope and hope comes from inner strength. You have showed where this inner strength comes from-from the legacy of his grandpa and mom and now, he must carry this legacy forward because he was born for that mission /purpose. Through this story, you have attempted to show the purpose of living, why life should go on and what should we focus on. Only a wife can know the inner/ hidden strengths and qualities of a husband ( sometimes better than the man himself ) and you did the right thing by making him aware of those strengths, at a time when he forgot all about that due to sorrow . A wife cannot bear to see her husband in trauma forever. This story also gives hope to all the children because the children have a very important role to play in the grieving process of the family. Children, although very young and naive, understand grief just like any other adult and that is why we should make them participate in this process and teach them how it impacts them but also teach them how to release it also ( in their own way without preaching them ). You have done a great job as a mom and a wife to focus on hope in the midst of pain and focus on the present moment which is so essential for everyone's well being. Your children's pictures and drawings and your writings reflect the fact that how much all of you are involved in the situation and how deeply you feel about it and how it has impacted your entire family but more than that how all of you have together made an effort to rise up to the situation with love, empathy, feelings and hope for the future and how each of your existence and efforts goes into the building of this hopeful future.
sending lots of love to you and your family,
Sangha

Kmarie A. said...

Dear sangha;
Always your words are so perceptive, encouraging and hope filled. I always look forward to your feedback because at the same time I am encouraged I also learn. You inspire growth and healing but also just being where we are at. Thank you ❤️You are right as a wife watching our husband go through sorrow is particularly hard and sometimes they need our particular perceptions . And the kids have been amazing in their processing as well as their untitled family feelings. Your words are so appreciated and thank you for seeing so clearly what I was trying to convey. 😘