Friday, July 9, 2010

Life after death.

Transition n. 1. Change or passage from one place or stage to another. 2. An event that results in a transformation.

A vacant park bench caught my eye while walking home. It's bathed in morning sunlight. I couldn't help but wonder if it's empty because the person already left or hasn't arrived yet. And then I thought about my own life. Am I coming or going?

Several people already said I have a lot of possibilities ahead of me during this transitional stage yet it doesn't feel that way. It feels like there aren't many options at all. Like I'm not doing anything with my life....just wasting away here.

We were told once my uncle passes that life goes on for the rest of us. That's easier said than done. My uncle passed away almost two weeks ago and I wonder if he's the lucky one. He's at peace while I'm alive and struggling.

My identity was tied to being a full-time caretaker. A giant question mark looms overhead. How will I know what my new role is now that the previous one is over with? With my uncle's death I've been set free but to what I'm not sure.

What was I supposed to learn from it all? On those hard days when my uncle was struggling and praying to God to take him, I was struggling and praying for God to take me too.

It can't be a coincidence that his ordeal mirrored my own. Or can it? Is it part of something much bigger than I'm able to see at this point? Clearly I'm missing something.

What awaits me now? Now I have to figure out where do I go next in life....after death.


Mind Of Mine said...

Awh, Man.

I wouldn't worry about this now. Its easier said than done, I know. But right now just take the time to grief/celebrate your Uncles life.

You will know when to move on.

Leigh said...

I went through a strange period after my grandmother died of cancer. For months after her death I felt like I was just....stuck. Not moving forward, not dealing with anything, basically holding on to the nothingness of grief. I started to wonder if I would ever feel (or want to feel) anything other than numb. One day, about four and a half months after her death, I woke up feeling. Nothing in particular, just FEELING. Every day after that got a little easier to deal with. It never completely goes away, for me anyway.

I know you must have some greater plan before you, even if you're not aware of it. The beauty you present to the world with your art and writing is a great gift already. Hold on to it and maybe someday you'll wake up and suddenly everything will look different to you. Better.

naturgesetz said...


I don't think I've ever asked God to take me, but I think I understand how you can feel that way.

A couple of thoughts which you've probably already thought of —

Before your unemployment benefits run out, it would be good to have something to give you a steady income. If there's time, maybe you could get some training or take a course or two that could help you get something you might find satisfactory.

Please paint some more.

Seeing the therapist gave you hope. You still need that hope. And perhaps the therapy can also help you make that transition.

You have amazing insights. If I saw a vacant bench, I'd just think, "There's a bench." But you see it as something that is made to be occupied. It was even made for the specific people, unknown to the makers, who will occupy it. So when it's vacant, its destined occupants are missing.

If you weren't in our lives, something would be missing from them, too.

Anonymous said...

I know I say this all the time, but boy do I understand...I felt the same asfter taking care of mum 24/7 for over a yr....but I promise, just get up everyday, put one foot in front of the other, breath in fresh air, go for a will slowely start to seem like you are getting back to the land of the living...but also be patient with yourself, it takes time.


Winter said...

hey dean! sorry i havn't been commenting much lately, been super busy but just really wanna make sure you are fine. take care and i'm sure you will be able to put things back together real soon, don't stress yourself too much about it. give yourself time to heal from it too okie? HUGS.

Dean Grey said...

Mind of Mine!

I worry a lot, Ian!



So there's hope for me then, huh?



I'm not sure about taking classes just because I don't know what to take!

I'll try painting more but I seem to have lost the desire for that at the moment.

I'll only go back to therapy if my unemployment hasn't run out yet (I'm currently waiting to find out).



I know you know probably better than anyone. Little by little, I'll get there.



No need to apologize. I'm sorry for not keeping up with you as well!


Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts with me!


melanie said...

Love n hugs'
Your in my thoughts, i wish you all the love and compassion you need to help you through xox

Eduardo Guize said...

Sorry for the loss, Dean. Now don't stress up looking for a purpose, your purpose will find you. Keep painting, keep going to therapy, keep breathing, and try to enjoy that share of life that was given to you when you were born.

The Cool Cookie said...

I hear the voice of grief, but it is a strong one.

Here's the thing - the living have endless possibilities that the dead will never have. In fact, that empty bench has more possibility in its existence, sad to say.

Let the grief flow - you'll exhaust it, and find new purpose. The question is, will you act upon it, or let it pass on by?

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

hang in there. You're an artist and you create. I know the feeling of drifting aimlessly. This is a case where you have to 'just do it'.
Sending positive vibes.

RAD said...

hey bud...We are in the same boat..lost mom on the 23rd after taking care of her and being with her for the last few years--she fought to the end...Im a mess but its getting better--VERY slowly....I cry everyday and hurt....My heart is with you... Big hugs

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

Dear, gentle and caring man. The hard and dark time that you have endured recently is indeed a gift from your uncle. And as with some gifts we receive, it may not be immediately obvious for what use it was intended. However, you are insightful enough to work it out, and clearly resilient enough to be able to make that decision in good time.

Meanwhile, supporting yourself is not going to be so easy, as you already know. It is interesting that you photographed that bench from the rear - more a covert observer, than an overt witness of the bench's vacancy. It is that kind of thing that makes some of your work so unusual: draftsmanship and colouring are always without reproach. I look forward to seeing some of your work for sale again, soon.

In the meantime, take care of your precious heart, and make a friend of your therapist: you have nothing to lose!

With love, G =]

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for that, girl!



But will my purpose really find ME or do I have to find it?


Ask the Cool Cookie!

I feel like I'm letting it pass by now!



I'll try to just do it but that's easier said than done.



I'm SO sorry to hear this!



Doomed But Cheerful!

I like hearing your critique and thoughts on my work! Hopefully I'll list more things for sale soon!


All of your thoughtful comments are greatly appreciated!


stanw said...

Evaluating ourselves is helpful but sometimes often we tend to concentrate on the negative, I know I do that. Just be the best you that you can be. Dig deep inside yourself, you will find that which will help you persevere and rise to meet a better day. As with the park bench, sit a while, take deep breaths, look up and see the world around you, so much available JUST for you, Dean.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Look at it as a chance for a new beginning. Do what your heart desires.

Randuwa said...

Lean on your friends, you have an amazing cadre of them. Step up and move forward. You are more than capable of this. Your friend~

Dean Grey said...


I'll try to dig deep!



"A new beginning." I like that!



My blogging friends are awesome!


Thanks to the three of you gentlemen!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Smart young man.... yes, your uncle went because it was his time... you have things to achieve, people to love, maybe an animal friend or two or three to save... who knows? Your career... yes, you have so much to give and to share! But I think you know without my telling you that there are a LOT of good artists out there who don't attract a following in the blogsphere like you - it's YOU we like, the the art that you make! I always used to tell my kids... Open your mind, open your heart, and you'll find your path...

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate your kind words to me!


martha miller said...


You are so smart, so wise, so sweet, so talented, so compassionate, and so beautiful. Whatever you do, keep writing, and keep making art! xoMartha

Dean Grey said...


I will keep writing and keep making art!


Chris Beck said...

Dean, I got way behind in blog reading, so just came across all your news today. My sympathy on your loss -- I know how tough this is. My dad passed away last fall after a long struggle with cancer. The grieving takes time and takes many different forms. Your awareness and sensitivity to everything life hands us is your strength as well as your struggle!! Glad to see from subsequent posts that you're getting back to colorful creative ventures with your Mail Art!! Looking forward to seeing the results!!

Dean Grey said...


You're right. Grieving takes time and takes on many different forms.

Slowly but surely I'm getting back to my artwork again.