Monday, April 25, 2016

6 Months of Grief Project: Day 80

Shot Through the Heart

This is Day 80 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

I have been having dreams about being a wounded animal, often shot by arrows. It wasn't until this evening, as I was cleaning up the house that I realized that my late husband made arrows when he was a kid. He saved these arrows and I found them, carefully wrapped in tissue paper in a box that I found when I cleaned out his warehouse. I saved all of them, and they live in a vase in the hallway. After all this time, and 80 days of this project, I finally realized that an image of me and these arrows needed to be taken.

Two of Swords
I experimented with lots of angles. I wanted the arrows to pierce my heart - to reflect how deep the pain goes. But those images didn't feel right when I looked at them. I finally took a picture of the arrows crossed in front of my bare chest and when I looked at it, I knew this was today's Grief image.

Once I saw the image I had created, I immediately thought of the Two of Swords tarot card. It's not a very "positive" card.

It's about:
  • blocking emotions
  • denying true feelings
  • hiding distress
  • avoiding the truth
  • pretending everything's fine
  • ignoring the warning signs
  • feeling afraid to act
  • reaching an impasse
  • staying stuck
  • refusing to decide
I'm certainly navigating everything on that list on a variety of levels. It's hard to stay present and clear about the mistakes I'm making right now. I have been making some really bad choices and potentially being in denial about why I am making those choices. I think I'm actually "playing the widow card" right now. Like, "It's okay that I'm doing this. I'm a heartbroken widow. I have to do what I need to survive right now." Maybe the woman in the Two of Swords image is a widow.

El venado herido / The Wounded Deer by Frida Kahlo (1946)
Today's Grief image also reminds me of Frida Kahlo's 1946 painting, El venado herido The Wounded Deer, which also harkens back to my dreams of being a hunted, wounded animal.

This painting in particular was created towards the end of Kahlo's life, when she was struggling with a lot of health issues that finally killed her. In the painting, Frida Kahlo is an animal/human hybrid, with nine arrows impaled in her body. These arrows have made bleeding wounds, but she shows little sign of pain. In fact, she is strong, staring straight into our eyes. In my Grief image, my eyes are closed, more like the blindfolded woman in the Two of Swords tarot card.

The antlers on Kahlo's head are those of a stag, which is a male deer. So Kahlo is representing herself as part male and part female, as well as animal/human. Some say this is a reflection of her own fluid sexuality. When I first saw this painting, I was only a teenager and I resonated so deeply with it. I had been "wounded" by my first break-up and I realized I probably had many more to come.

Today's Grief image, the Two of Swords tarot card, and Frida Kahlo's Wounded Deer all feel connected to me. There are dark forces at work in my life. My abandonment issues are at an all-time high. I am a hunted, wounded animal and I am also the hunter. I keep putting my heart in dangerous situations and closing my eyes, hoping for the best, while my heart is pummeled by arrows - arrows made by my late husband, when he was a teenager.

My wounds run red and deep. My grief is vast. My heart is broken.


I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:

Living with Grief Resources:

And remember, I am sharing this project on a variety of platforms, including my Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook feeds, as well as my Pinterest page on Grief. I use the hashtag #6MonthsOfGrief, so it can easily be found on any platform. Please share this project with anyone you think might need it.

Thank you, and see you tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment