I am in a fog this week. My beloved aunt, Nancy, passed away from this world on Sunday. My motivation to work has suffered the last few days. Whenever I sit down to draw, my mind is wrapped in static…the defense mechanisms of grief enshroud me.
So, to help process my thoughts around loss, I will draw and write about it. Working through it the best way I know.
Nancy always supported my dream to be a cartoonist. She enjoyed the silly “comics” I drew as a boy and encouraged me to keep improving. She was there the day I graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies and she championed some of the first books I illustrated.
I was taught, through her example, to love every moment I am given. Life is too short to worry about tomorrow. I should express love every chance I get to those around me, not overburden them with my regrets or fears. Nancy lived like this until the end. The day before she passed, when the medicine and pain restricted her ability to speak, she struggled to say what she knew I needed to hear, “I love you.”
If I can learn to live my life by some of her examples, I hope to be a blessing to my friends and loved ones as much as she was. I want to live each day concentrating on the blessings in my life and blessing those around me.
A friend of mine in High School introduced me to the wonderful Smashing Pumpkins album, Siamese Dream. I had never listened to it before she gave me a burned version of the album; I, like many others, had only listened to their double-album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I didn’t listen to much radio back then and had never heard the song, “Today.” It is clearly one of the most masterful songs on Siamese Dream. While the song’s lyrics can be heard as overwhelmingly dark, I take away a feeling of hope cutting through the darkness.
Today, I feel sadness, depression, joy, and hope. Today is all I have and a gift I have been given. All I have is this short period of time to do what I can to leave something of worth in this world. I have to believe and live like today, and everyday, is the greatest I have ever known.
A comic about my emotional experiences this week will be coming shortly.