The Vessel Project – Shining Light Into A Grieving Heart

I recently enrolled in Beryl Ayn Young’s Illuminate ecourse.  The course guides participants through the expression and healing of grief.  For more information about the course, click here:

As I grieve my mother’s death, I thought that perhaps the discoveries made via the process might help me to breathe through the process.


Week 1:


Dear Mom,

You’ve been gone for a month and a half now.  I still can’t believe it, though I knew your health had been poor for the past few years.  I didn’t know, however, how ill you were.  You didn’t want me to know, either to spare me pain when so many miles and emotions were between us or because you presumed I wouldn’t care.  Instead, I found out from Phyllis 3 days after your death and cremation.  I learned about hoarding, isolation, corneal erosion, Corneal hypoesthesia, brain, lung, pancreatic and bladder cancer, COPD and diabetes.  I learned how desperate you were to believe in Prince Charming and hope right up until the end.

While you didn’t outwardly show me that you cared much about me, you wore jewelry that suggested otherwise:  birthstone jewelry with stones for Marky, Rick and me, photos that you kept of us in spite of all of the times you had to leave relationships on the run and leave soooooo many things behind.  I will never understand why EVERY photo of me was hidden away like some dark secret you were ashamed of, even as you paraded me in front of the new men in your life.  You hid me and displayed the boys, yet documented our lives through dolls that looked like us.

My inheritance includes so much of you, including your BraveHeart- though you struggled and went through so many challenges, you never gave up.  I have inherited that tenacity.  I have inherited your genetics; who knows what that means for my quality of life?  I have inherited your mental illness; I fight to live joyfully in spite of it.  I have inherited your love for the blues:  Koko Taylor, B.B. King, Little Richard and others play on the stereo I inherited from you.  I have inherited your jewelry:  every piece that touched your heart and spirit caresses mine and makes me feel oddly pampered in a way I didn’t while you were alive.  Now I get to have you with no distractions and I don’t have to share you with anyone.  I can listen to your music and let my heart speak to you, I can wear a locket and know that your heart resides there, I can frame photos and fill in the blanks of my life with the blanks of yours.

I am angry – angry because you did not have to die only 20 years older than I currently am.  You could have stopped smoking when my biological father asked you to.  Instead, you chose the cigarette over him or me and a normal family life.  Instead you married a man who beat both of us and that choice destined me to abandonment at 8 months old and abuse from the same parents who abused you as a child.  I’m angry because I found 3 full bags of tobacco, 1000s of rolled cigarettes and a tote bag full of cartons of cigarettes while at the same time finding 1000s of unused vials of insulin, full 30-gallon totesof breathing supplies and medications untaken.  I am angry that you didn’t care enough to change anything or choose to be uncomfortable enough to change for YOUR quality of life.

I am forgiving you as I understand you.  As I understand you, I find peace with my relationship with you.  I miss you and all that we should have had.




Week 2:

Light Always Finds A Way

Light is always present, even as it is obscured by clouds or shadows.  A walk in the woods or on a city street illuminates the truth of this phenomenon.  Light always finds a way.  Against the darkness, light prevails and exists.  Moon and stars triumph over darkness of heart.

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp, all rights reserved. Image is copyright protected.

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp, all rights reserved. Image is copyright protected.

I don’t feel the warmth of light right now, though I can see it.  My flame is an ember, begging not to be snuffed out by grief and the swinging pendulum of depression..  As I face my mother’s death and my own mortality, I wonder how my prior life choices will affect my quality of life.

Joy is guaranteed to no one, yet turning one’s face to the wind, away from the clouds and toward the light ensures that our inner Phoenix can spontaneously combust.  The Phoenix is only resting, as she must.  She is not broken, she is only resting.  Her light endures, ALWAYS.

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp, all rights reserved.  Image copyright protected.

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp, all rights reserved. Image copyright protected.


About Paulissaisms

What Kind of Artist Am I? I am an Empress of Creative Energy, releasing truth and beauty into the universe, singed by the fires of Edana and Callayosa. The art I heal with involves color, lines and questions. Questions for which there is no right or wrong answer, only the one thàt moves the spirit and soul of those answering. I bring awareness to the need for social change with line, color, motion, words, camera lens and through strength of spirit and a voice that will not be silenced. I am a Rebel of Intention Presence & Liberator of the Light Filled Shadow ™ : Activist, Advocate, Mixed Media Artist, Author, Mental Health 1st Responder, Peer Support Specialist, Photographer, Truthteller, Whole Health Action Management and Wellness Recovery Action Plan facilitator.

2 Responses to The Vessel Project – Shining Light Into A Grieving Heart

  1. Kat Kim says:

    My dear Paulissa, I am sorrowed to hear about the loss of your mother and her condition when she passed away. I can hear the pain in your writing. At the same time I see that you are finally getting an opportunity to get to know her a little more intimately, and that through this process you are goin to become extremely close to her. I love that she was wearing the birthstones of you and your siblings. The idea of her simply having to look down to be reminded of her precious children is endearing.

    I’m sending you much love as always, and again I’m so happy that you are taking initiative to heal yourself through this beautiful journaling.


    • Paulissaisms says:

      Thank you, Kat. The process has been interesting and full of sobering (comforting) discoveries that help me to understand her better. They also help me to understand myself better. Thank you for the love as always. ((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

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