Reinventing Oneself After Loss book
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Reinventing Oneself After Loss - An Artful Insight

Of all the physical and cognitive losses after brain injury, it was Hilary's loss of self that was the least visible to others... but most painful for her. Her book explores her meaning of loss, the search for a new identify, and the reinvention of her "new self" with her new awareness. Art became her vehicle for self exploration and self expression as she struggled to build a new identity and move forward. She shares her experiences (post-TBI) candidly, and her artwork speaks volumes about her passion for life.

Reinventing Oneself

Recovery After a Brain Injury | Brain Injury Rehab | Recalculating Life After Rehab | Repurposing | Plan B | Leap of Faith | Tears in a Bottle | Spring

Recovery After a Brain Injury

Sun's Spirit
Sun's Spirit
Rear up against the dependency, rear up and challenge what is being said about the rest of your life and find the power within to continue the fight for what you want to happen...
Flower Burst
Even when life is going along without you... suddenly out of nowhere comes a burst of wellbeing... what did I do to make this happen? How can I make it happen again? You feel somewhat normal for a moment and then the terrible feeling is back, you wait, wonder, and hope for another flower burst.
Flower Burst
Wondering: A Reflection/A Refraction
Wondering: A Reflection/A Refraction
Acrylic reversed painting mounted on mirror showing a reflection of a woman who sees herself not as others see her. Presently part of an exhibit and not for sale.
Wild Horses
Horses of different colors, forming herds that support one another. When separated from the herd, they stand alone, frightened, looking for like minded support. It is important that we all find our herd to be safe, flourish, grow and to become wild and full of life.
Wild Horses
Summertime
Summertime
A newfoundland (born and bred to be a water dog) wearing a life preserver while going for a rowboat drift with a young girl. Sometimes the simplest pleasure comes from being with a pet.
Flying Free
Acrylic reversed painting of a bald eagle flying freely over water. This painting is backed with an irridized lavendar grey stained glass and framed in black. The eagle is a bird of majesty and pride along with being a sacred messenger. When an eagle presents itself to you, you are being given the reminder to use your gifts to help others move out of their darkness, remembering that all things are possible. Presently part of an exhibition and not for sale.
Flying Free
God-ess Great
God-ess Great
God-ess Great speaks to reaffirming one's faith from childhood. She possesses the ability for you to see yourself and all of the wonder that surrounds you.
When Gardens Dream
Even gardens dream of better days... of being the best they can be, however, it is not always up to the gardens as to how they grow... Even gardens that are overgrown or dying teach someone, something...
When Gardens Dream
Flower Child
Flower Child
Who you were is who you still are, only different. So much I can't remember. Do others see me as the same? I have fewer bouts of grief now and even though I can't remember who I was, I still have stirrings as I sit in a field of flowers as if I can remember being a flower child of the past.
Se'er
11x14 acrylic reverse painted young woman with silky fabric behind her. Her clothing is adorned in 18 karat gold leaf and she wears a headdress of roses to match her ornamental vest. A Se'er is someone who sees and foresees... I see these qualities as something I want to nurture in my life to bring peace and help me connect to my spiritual truth.
Se'er
Calm
Calm
Acrylic reverse painted whale backed with irridescent blueish lavendar stained glass. Framed in an antique 11x15 (edge to edge) frame. And then there is calm and although I know that reinventing oneself is like a spiral passing in and out of stages, I pray that it is the calm after the storm.

Exhibit 1

My art is a personal journey of healing after my life dramatically changed with a brain injury. I was blessed with retaining many capabilities, however, the four year journey has been long, scary, and full of twists and turns that has kept my family and I wondering what will happen next. In the past year I have had the opportunity to attend rehab for people with brain injuries and have discovered that our journeys of healing are very similar. The process of recovery is like a spiral entering in and out of the five stages of grief from the loss of how life use to be to reinventing oneself. Regardless of your type of loss, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross recognized the universality of the 5 stages of recovery. They are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
This is my personal journey of reinventing myself after a brain injury. I went from being an elementary school teacher, flute player, mother of grown children, wife and a passionate horseback rider to being a person who needed to reinvent myself, I felt the void of no more horses, no more teaching, no more flute playing. I needed to develop new relationships, beg for rides, sit alone in my house and learn to count my blessings. With my recovery I have become able to cherish the new friends in my life and the wonderful door that opened to being able to play with mosaics and art. I didnít really do art before my injury, but after my neurologist put me on brain waker-upper medications, I dreamt beautiful colors, pictures and creative ideas to construct. I am a self taught artist with mentors along the way. They have taught me skills, ways to look at art and techniques to move forward. I thank them very much. I also thank the people who gave me rides so that my journey of healing could actually take place and I thank my family for all of their support, website writing www.mozaicmama.com and my husband who was and is constantly by my side taking me to art stores, Home Depot, doctors and places so I can get out and be with other people and also do my art.



Recovery After a Brain Injury | Brain Injury Rehab | Recalculating Life After Rehab | Repurposing | Plan B | Leap of Faith | Tears in a Bottle | Spring


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