The “family tree” has been a watchword in our family for a long time – we lived opposite one that became christened such for a couple of years, in honour ofÂ “The Tigger Movie” and Maddy planted one a few years ago in a pot which is now a strapping sapling, waiting to be planted in a grove sometime in the future. More recently, we’ve been given beautiful trees by friends, in memory of Freddie. The pendant that I wear to remember him is of two oak trees, oak trees being my favourite trees since I was a little girl who grew up visiting a house called Oaklands, a beautiful home from home to me that was flanked by them and which sheltered me as I played there for years.
This is our family tree, an idea which has been growing in my mind for a couple of months and which I made a couple of weeks ago. It has been included in a post at StillLife365 this week, as the monthly theme happens to be trees. I’m honoured to have had some art displayed here, a site which explores baby loss through art and creativity. It’s a wonderful way of encouraging people to make something and express their feelings at such a numbing time. There is something both dreadful and wonderful about being part of a collaborative post; empty armed mothers, all alone, all together.
Part of the joy of making the tree was choosing to be creative again, choosing to make something in honour of pain and also of what we are, the 7 of us who cannot be together. I enjoyed choosing to weave part of it together to make a story, to make each part a piece of something.
The grass is divided into 5 parts, 5 children each nurturing the family tree in its own way. The boulders are Max and I, flanking the tree and the rubble supporting the rocks is everything that has gone before that has made our marriage what it is. The sky has 7 stars, 2 large, Max and I, each bearing gems to signify what we carry along with us, losses, hopes and the differences in how we shine. The other 5 are, of course, our 5 children. The sparkles in the distance are what might have been and what might yet come to pass.
If you have time, please pop over to StillLife365 – it’s a worthy project and the people who lay bear their souls there would no doubt be grateful for your support and comments.