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Creating beauty from loss

July 9, 2017

This small town has a little phenomenon happening where folks paint and hide rocks. Whole families are sitting around the table with a bucket of rocks, sharing paint and brushes. They are spending time going to parks and hiding them; they are also walking around finding rocks, and sharing smiles and joy in photos on a Facebook page.

This little sensation is also helping some people deal with tragic events.

Cheryl lost a son in 2004 on Christmas Eve. He was 21.
Cheryl’s daughter, Brook, died at the age of 35 on June 2, 2017. She was being chased by a boyfriend she had broken up with. Brook wrecked and was thrown into traffic on the interstate.  Cheryl’s other daughter had to ID her sister with a piece of her wrist that had a tattoo on it. The details are grisly; and my heart pours out to this woman.

cheryl rocks collage

cheryl rocks1

Cheryl paints rocks to keep her mind busy. She is pouring her pain into art. I don’t know Cheryl, but I love her. I love that she can turn such tragedy into the energy to create so much beauty. I would love to find one of her rocks.   I’m not sure I could easily hide it again.  I would though, because she painted each to be shared.


Melanie was just introduced to the rock painting and hiding group.  She has used work as a way to cope with her teenage son’s death.  He was terminally ill, and she was his cheerleader, caregiver, his everything. And he was her everything.  We became friends on face book a week ago.  She used to do charcoal art until her son became ill.  She wants to spend some time getting back into practice and asked if I would be interested in a couple hours of art therapy.  Of course.  I would love to.  She loves drawing animals; mainly dogs.  She used to sell some of her drawings.

Melanie just got connected with Cheryl. Truly, miracles can happen out of despair. I admire the strength of these two women in trying to move on and pray they can help each other.

My sister lost one of her children. My sister gardens.  She grows huge sunflowers, vegetable beds, and makes special planters for holidays filling them with color appropriate blooms. She keeps a special flower bed in her yard that is Alex’s Garden. We have had much discussion about emotions and coping with the loss of a child.

I can’t even imagine.  I see a special strength in all three of these women.  In some way, the souls of their lost children live on in what they create.

I am constantly reminded masterpieces can be created out of pain.

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