My daughter in her Grief Girl mask. Her mask gives her as much solace and comfort as it does power. She takes it on and off, in need and when playing. It is a place for her, a place to create; a whole new person, a dance, images like this one. She has been grieving almost as long as I have, 3 days less. She was 4 when her life turned upside down, 4 when the mother she knew before no longer existed, 4 when the baby sibling she has been wanting for long no longer was.
We went to see the baby cemetery 3 days after he was born, we didn’t know anything about death in this country we live in. I got an address and a map upon release from the hospital. A piece of paper with an address that was not ours, with one that would forever be his.
My son, then almost 7, thought it was strange that we were at a cemetery. My children have seen different cemeteries for different reasons and generally there was no reason he could think of why we would be there. “We don’t have anyone here”, he said. And we didn’t, not then, we were there for the purpose of a decision.
We reached the baby section, it was painfully perfect. I remember kneeling down and taking each of them into embrace when I told them about the brother they will never play with. My son moved away and my daughter cried. They both got their grief masks right there, right then. A grief mask in exchange for innocence.
We all wear them, the bereaved. Some more permanent then others, some lighter to wear, some hidden. Masks.
With Love, Tina