Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing: Collage Images https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/ Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing: Collage Images December 29, 2002: Collage #1: "Caution" " I grabbed a handful of the million or more fragments of myself, and threw them onto an eleven by fourteen inch piece of black construction paper. Making the collage about your death brought me a measure of serenity." Copyright 2002 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169075049 169075049 January 8, 2003: Collage #2: "Madness" "The primitive part of me wants to scream. It's buried inside, waiting. There is "terror in touching the ashes" of what is left of me. I turn to glass. I run the other way. I am "swept away." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169072686 169072686 February 5, 2003: Collage #3: "Once Upon a Time" "I would like to brand the word suicide on my forehead, like a Scarlet Letter. This would separate me out and mark me as I truly am. I am a shameful mother who lost her daughter. I am an outstanding "person of the year." My head explodes and I place a crown of thorns on top, in hopes of keeping it together." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169336454 169336454 February 18, 2003: Collage #4: "Suffering" "I glue you down in a way that allows the rupture to be seen. I like the torn edges and leave them. There is some kind of physical release in the experience of tearing. I tear and align myself with the truth of the exposed ragged and uncontrolled edges of your death." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073535 169073535 March 3, 2003: Collage #5: "I'd Rather Die" "I'd rather die, but it is you in the coffin, not me. The flowers that we place in your hair will not bring you back. Your suicide is not softened by yellow and pink rose petals. I know that over time I will remember you in a different way, but for now I see you "gray, cold and broken." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073408 169073408 March 18, 2003: Collage #6: "Grand Illusion" "You are here and you are not here. You are form and formless. You are physical and non-physical. You are body and soul." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073740 169073740 April 10, 2003: Collage #7: "Field of Screams" "There was an intensity about this peace, that was beyond words. Perhaps that's the reason words were not necessary, for pure sound emanated off the page, it screamed. At one point I removed the face of a beautiful girl, leaving only her hair. I placed a tall building within that emptiness." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073786 169073786 May 13, 2003: Collage #8: "Purple Tears" "Your whole body should be one massive bruise but it is not. I enter the bruise. All that is broken is hidden beneath the skin. The faint fragrance of lavender oil fills the space and I imagine you held in purple healing light." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073598 169073598 September 4, 2003: Collage #9: "What the devil is this" "What the devil is this," what the hell is going on? I try to understand your suffering. I paste you down onto the surface of my collage, and can only imagine your agony. I move this way and that way with you, in an attempt to understand. My head explodes." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073917 169073917 November 30, 2003: Collage #10: "Red Rage" "I am in the fire and of the fire. I am totally consumed until there is nothing left but ash. I honor my rage and give it all its due. My right hand reaches for you, in your red dress. The energy of my rage pulsates out of the top of my head and engulfs all in its path. I am consumed in the fury." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169330804 169330804 December 22, 2003: Collage #11: "The Wisdom" "I relax into the center of it all. My new self is born of breath. My breath is no longer shallow. My breath is no longer caught inside my aching lungs. I breathe freely, in light of the fact that my new self is held by death's screaming darkness and Botticelli's angels." Copyright 2003 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169073899 169073899 January 17, 2004: Collage #12: "Goldfish" "This collage was different. I had not used any words. I was drawn more deeply into the spaces between the images. I felt myself resting there. I felt spacious and uncluttered by thought and emotion." Copyright 2004 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169336321 169336321 March 4, 2004: Collage #13: "Sudden Impact" "In finishing, I paste white doves across your broken body. They arise and I imagine your spirit arising at the moment of your death. Hands reach for you." Copyright 2004 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169108440 169108440 April 23, 2004: Collage #14: "Seen" "An ermine-cloaked woman makes her way up. I feel that I am the one climbing the stairs. I imagine you near me. You gaze over what your death has created. A large crack runs diagonally across your face and draws my eye down toward the depths, where the stone-faced have only partially come back to life." Copyright 2004 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169108478 169108478 September 16, 2004: Collage #16: "Forgiveness" "I gaze across the forest at you. Your eyes do not meet mine. They are downcast. I sense the sorrow in what you have done. I am filled with compassion for both of us. We meet in the middle ground, mother and daughter, black and white." Copyright 2004 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169108484 169108484 January 19, 2006: Collage #22: "Silver Death "After so many years of dealing with the torments of your shattered body, all broken and bleeding, it was a relief to see you angelic. In that moment, the images of your death appeared spiritual and peaceful." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3595658 3595658 January 20, 2006: #23: "Golden Creatrix" "I feel regal, powerful and in command of my creative energies. They are at my disposal. I feel the solid foundation of rocks underneath my feet. A snake slithers from my artist's pallet, leaving behind the skin it shed. I bask in the light and it feels good." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3592588 3592588 February 11, 2006: Collage #24: "Blue Wisdom" "In "Blue Wisdom" water falls through a field of green trees. I think of a column of pure light and the experiences of healing that have come to me. I am lifted up." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3595795 3595795 May 3, 2006: Collage #40: " Clenched Heart" "Sometimes I still feel as if my heart is outside my body, raw and exposed for everyone to see, especially on days like these. I am glad these days are intermittent rather than pervasive." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3596621 3596621 June 24, 2006: Collage #42: "Gift Boxes" " I find my heart, broken into a million pieces and glue it down. A diamond cross marks the center point and offers its blessing to the breaking open. I close my eyes in this place of reverie." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3596802 3596802 June 24, 2006: Collage #43: "Buddha" "I step back and absorb this collage, as an indicator of where I am now. I am particularly drawn to the page of light that enters the woman's head. I am seriously considering the possibility of writing, taking it just one page at a time." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3592569 3592569 October 23, 2006: Collage #47: "Reborn" "Instead of tatooing the word suicide on my forhead, I tattoo my art on my body. I am my art. I am my own creation." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=169113194 169113194 November 3,2006: Collage #63: "Wild-eyed Writer" "The pens' tip touches the middle of an open book with wings. You join me in your yellow dress, gracefully floating in front of me. In my mind, you release a completed bound book from your fingertips and sign it with a kiss." Copyright 2006 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3592570 3592570 May 11, 2008: Collage #70: "The Dance" "I float above pink hydrangeas, in a soft green woodland. I dance a dance of joy in this space with you. Multicolored jewels fall from the sky and surround my moving body." Copyright 2008 by Sharon Strouse, all rights reserved https://www.attherefuge.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=3592571 3592571