Late last year I decided to make another piece of art to put into “the world’s largest art competition” Artprize. I started to work on it just after the first of the year. This project was going to be much larger than the one I entered in 2015. That painting was one that depicted my boys and I holding a deceased Becca. I tried to show what it was like to have to say goodbye. It was much smaller than this year’s but conveyed much of the anguish and pain I felt in having one of my children die. Having to accept that my daughter is no longer here. It was a very difficult piece to work on, and in truth, took many years to finish.
This year’s entry “Touching Heaven” shows how far I have come in my healing process. It’s huge in size standing 10ft tall by 5ft across! Three panels layered with spackle, wire, papier mache, acrylic paint, stained glass, glitter, and feathers. The angel, I created, is my Becca in heaven. Look how far I’ve come!
When my boys move somewhere new I always ask them to send me a picture of their rooms. It helps me to envision them in their surroundings. Which makes me feel calmer about them being far away. A little trick I play with myself. With this piece of art I am doing the same with my Becca. In the three years, between the projects, I have accepted more fully her absence. I am ready to visualize her somewhere else. Away from me. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t like it, but I know it is the reality of things.
Today is the official start of the competition. My piece has been hanging since Sunday and I have gotten much positive feedback from those who know me. In the next few weeks, I’ll be standing by my angel talking with people, and I hope to get a positive response.
For those who don’t know, I have been looking for the drunk driver that killed my daughter, the man who ended her life here and sent her to heaven. This driver ENDED MY CHILD’S LIFE and I have a need to look into his eyes. Being born, and dying, are the two greatest occurrences in one’s life. I was there for one and, tragically, he was there for the other.
I awoke this morning to a message from my cousin, Tammy. She’d sent a few screenshots from some records she’d located. Her words were simple: I think I found him. And, she has. The 23 yr old man, that killed my 23 yr old daughter, is now a 35 yr old living not far from where I work. Everyday. I have his current address saved on my phone. All of the energy I had upon waking up instantly left me. I’ve been waiting for this information for a while and now that I had it, did I really want it? I mean . . . he’s 35. Becca will never be 35. He has a home. Becca was robbed of her future. He’s lived the eleven years that she lost. Could I really contact him? Should I?
I am pretty open about who I am and what I feel. I’ve shared about my desire to meet him. A few people have told me that they are surprised I want to contact this man. They would understand, they said, if I was doing so to scream at him. But that is not what I want. My soul needs to extend forgiveness to his soul. I have tried to explain to these people why I feel compelled to share forgiveness with him.
I don’t believe he set out, that long ago night, to hurt anyone . . . or to kill my Becca. Though his mother behaved reprehensibly, after the crash, I can not believe her wish was for her son to grow up and end someone’s life. His crime is categorized as an “unintentional death” which I now understand. If he had searched out my daughter, hunted her and preyed upon her, then I am not sure there would be any forgiveness in my heart. This isn’t the case, though.
If the circumstances had been different and it had been my child driving . . . I wouldn’t stop loving them. I would do everything in my power to help them overcome the emotional toll this would undoubtedly take. I’d be there every step of the way to help them put their life back together and find happiness in every day. How can I not want this for another mother’s child?
Becca’s life never had the chance to blossom to its full potential. Her chance to change the world and make it a better place was cruelly snatched away from her in a second. The lives she might have helped, especially the children she should have had the chance to teach, are less rich without her having touched them. She would have done great things. Don’t we all think this about our children? And, doesn’t every single one of us have the potential to do world changing things? Including this man. I don’t want the fact that the event he caused, that killed my Becca, stops him from being all that he can be in this life. One life, her life, was ended in tragedy. I don’t want two to end the same way.
So, here I sit writing this blog piece. The words coming easily as I put thought to the screen. Oddly, I’ve started three handwritten letters to him and can’t seem to put together the right words. Do I tell him I forgive him straight off . . . so in case he doesn’t want to meet me he at least knows? What should my first sentence be? How do I introduce myself? Do I put my name on the outside of the envelope? Or will that stop him from even opening it? Will he even meet with me? Will my appearance in his life cause him anger about an event he’s trying to forget? There is no way to know any of these answers. I must take the chance and extend the possibility to him. I sincerely hope he contacts me in return.
If I do meet him face to face and he has no desire to be forgiven by me . . . that is alright. Maybe he just doesn’t understand that his soul needs it. That my soul needs it. That Becca’s soul will have greater peace because of our meeting. I will have a sense of closure around the person who ended her life. I believe this is necessary for me to keep healing. Right now he is merely a foggy image, standing in the courtroom, as I screamed at him to look at Becca’s picture. I need his image to become more solid in my mind. I need it to be real.
Whether you agree, or disagree, with my attempt to contact him I thank you for reading this piece of writing. I am scared. Terrified. Anxious. But, most of all, hopeful.
I am hopeful that our meeting will somehow bring good to the world.