Losing a loved one is never easy. To know that you can't just call them up one day and talk to them can devastate you. But the grief is more than that and this artist captures the way we deal with it in our own way.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 3, 2019. It has since been updated.
A deep, crushing void. That's what the pain feels like after you've lost someone you love. The maelstrom of emotions that pound with every pulse of your heart is ready to drown you. That may not even be the worst feeling. It may be the regret at not having a proper goodbye or not having told them that you love them.
And no matter how much you expect their passing, the pain never lessens. One minute they were there, the next minute... gone.
Unfortunately, time doesn't stop for you or your grief. So as much as you want to let the pain take you, you have to move on.
At first, the whirlpool of emotions will color your days, making you feel like you just want to curl into a corner and cry. But soon enough, the pain will recede. It will never truly go away but with each day that passes, the pain will take a backseat and allow you to remember the good times and the love. After all, we may not know if there is life after death, but there is a life after grief.
Artist Mari Andrew captures that sentiment perfectly in her illustrations about grief. "My dad died two years ago today," said Andrew, reported Self. "It's different for everyone, but my personal experience is that grief doesn't ever go away, but it does change shape and it becomes something you can hold rather than something that overwhelms you — a part of you, rather than a burden. Whatever you're carrying today, my heart is very much with you."
Grief is processed differently by everyone. "My inspiration for [illustrations about the grief process] does come from personal experience, but also the experience of talking to friends who have gone through grief as well, and stories from my grief support group," she says to Bustle.
And Andrew gets that. In fact, she captures it in a way that words alone cannot. Here are some of those illustrations that will speak to your grieving heart.
How have you dealt with your loss and subsequent grief?