As I write this, I’m sitting in my bedroom, with the late afternoon sun warming my back. The walls glow with a golden yellow hue that is calming to me. All around me are paintings I’ve done. Bright colors. After Becca died, I couldn’t sees colors anymore. Thankfully, now I can.

I was always an artist. But I didn’t always create. Being a single mom to three left me little time. As the children grew older, I started again.

The days following her death I felt like a caged animal. Pacing around, I needed someplace to put my anguish. So I attacked a new canvas. Painting released pressure.

I had an image in my mind of saying goodbye. The four of us under a huge tree heavy with luminous white flowers. Becca in a glowing gossamer dress. We’d hug and say a proper goodbye. Her wings would unfurl asks she’d ascend into the clouds.

Death doesn’t always allow time for farewells. So I decided to paint the reality I wanted.

I worked on the 3 ft x 4 ft canvas for a week. Then I couldn’t anymore.  I put down my brush, turned my canvas to the wall, and put it out of my mind.

Until the day I knew it was time to finish it. Which I did. All of it except for my beautiful Becca’s face. To allow my eyes to linger on it filled me with new pain.

I entered “Our Becca” into a local show. I was repeatedly asked why my daughter was unfinished. My answer? Because I’ll never be finished saying goodbye to her.

Not until I say hello, again.

I'm a mother, artist, and writer. A decade ago I lost my daughter. Writing and painting heal me.

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