Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Karolina Jonderko - " Portrait With My Mother "



I have learned that there is no time line for grieving. When my first husband died at the age of 26, while in my last year of University in 1980, I excelled in my art work. Creating art helped me to grieve. Many artists use there work as a vehicle to process their grief. It's something I think for many artists is a natural inclination, even if we are not fully conscious of this at the time. Creativity is a conduit for processing and communicating deep heart ache.

Karolina Jonderko I think, found this to be true for her, inadvertently with no intention of sharing what she was doing after the death of her mother, who had been very sick with cancer. She began to take a series of photographs of herself, in her mothers clothes. To some this might seem morbid, and perhaps not being able to let go. There is never a set formula in knowing how to grieve if we have not experienced it personally, in such a profound way, and it think it is different for all of us, though we can identify with many of the feelings.

When those we love die, it is profound, death is profound, as is life, neither are easy but both can be very beautiful. I believe mortality is what gives our lives meaning.

A few years back I learned about Caitlyn Doughty a member of The Order of The Good Death, and a mortician in Los Angeles, Califonia. Her approach and attitude toward death I believe we can all learn and benefit from, as our society has kept death at arms length. We don't want to talk about it.

People need to be allowed to grieve in what ever way they wish. However suppression of feelings after a period of time becomes repression, which is toxic to our health and happiness. I can't think of any more proactive way to communicate emotion, than expressing ourselves through creating art work.

Here's the link to an interview with Karolina Jonderko about her exhibit of photography, Portrait With My Mother.



2 comments:

thesycamoretree said...

I think everyone deals with grief in their own way, but some ways are healthier than others. I know the doctor tried to prescribe some pills to help my mom get through my stepdad's death, and she told him no thanks - she'd have to deal with the pain now or later and she preferred now. At the bottom of all that pain, besides the loss of someone loved, is two fears: that I will be alone and that I too will die. I believe those need to be addressed along with mourning for our loved one.

Catherine Meyers said...

You speak such true words Bev. We live in a world of avoidance. Too many doctors are great avoidance enablers, with their over prescribing. Good for your mother to not go down that road.