searching for solace

solace: “ If something eases your disappointment or grief, consider it a solace.”

Writing as well as painting and creating have always felt like a necessity to me. It's been healing to allow all my emotions to fall out onto the page or canvas, good bad or ugly.

If you know me, you know I have been going through a complete life on fire. This is a vulnerable spot

Feb 14th would've marked my twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. But my love is no longer here, on this side of the veil. On April 21, 2018, he went home. In a split second, I became a widow. Bri was much more than my husband, he was my best friend, and partner in crime. We worked together for many years, started businesses together and he always helped me with logistics of my business.

Now almost ten months into this journey I'm still wondering how is this possible. I think total acceptance depends on the day.

Writing this 'out loud' feels almost like a betrayal. Not sure why that is yet. Maybe, it's because this solidifies the harsh reality, even more, he's not coming back.

Every day since Bri has left I have poured my heart out into my journals, filling each page to the brim with emotions that have ripped me apart. Feelings I had no idea could even be felt. Primal feelings. I needed to give myself time to heal and rest.

I can feel life and my artwork shifting into a new direction. Time to let older work go, something new is being born. I’ve always known how powerful aromatherapy is but it’s been surprising to me how working with aromatherapy helps me feel at peace even through major life changes. Not sure why I’m so surprised nature has always been my happy place.

It has felt like my herbs, essential oils and art have been supporting me through this rough journey. I’m grateful God has seen fit to give me this gift.

I’m coming to the acceptance that It’s Ok Not To Be Ok.

One thing is for sure, going through grief and a huge life transition has caused me to let go in my art more. To open up and be far less critical. To allow the experience to change every aspect.

While still living at the farm (because yes I moved) I decided to gather up a large amount of firewood and old lumber, from in front of my husband’s wood shop and set them on fire in the front yard. A huge bon-fire, it was a sacred moment of letting go. A gift from God. One of many. ca·thar·sis.

I’m learning to surrender on a deeper level than I could have ever imagined.

blessings my friends,


lori bartel