February 4, 2020

How can hope spring from loss?

Susan Mains, 50

Grief is a strange country: one I tried to keep at arms length, unintentionally avoiding through generalised discussions and polite supportive nods.

Then my husband died.

And suddenly, I became the navigator for a journey that had no route map, no scale and certainly no key to where I was going and how I might get there. Silly radio tunes became signposts to tears, remembered conversations, bemused glances at my own smudged reflections during blurry commutes.

But maps are always being revised. The car journeys shifted to slower strides and walks through forests with treasured friends as I charted new territories, absorbing a shifting sense of place.

And through it all I realised our children—so young to live life’s dramas—still looked beyond, threw hewn stones out to sea, made wishes side-by-side, and staked their claims to future landscapes. These young-old souls surveyed their future and lived in the moment. They showed me how to be brave, they inspired me to forge new geographies and above all to strive for lives filled with love and light.

There may not be a scale or key, but these adventurers have guided me with art and hope.

Looking Beyond: Landscapes of Loss and Love, 2015Drawing19cm x 14cm