Beside Me Always: My personal journey of healing, from tragic loss to finding joy through my love of music.
“Beside Me Always” is a book about grief and healing. The ten stories in this book share my experiences of grief and how I embraced music once again.
I have been a commercial illustrator since 1981 and my illustrations can be seen on many well-known food labels. For thirty years, I focused on my art career and family. I gave up songwriting and playing guitar, which was something I had loved as a young girl.
My book begins with the story of Jason, my first-born child who died due to a severe congenital heart defect. I wanted to be buried with him and grief swallowed up my life for almost two decades.
In 2010, at age fifty, I was hardly working as an artist. I was caring for my parents and coping with the challenges I faced with my three surviving children. During that time I became exhausted, uninspired and sad. It truly was a miracle that at the age of 50, I was able to experience a creative and emotional renaissance.
When I opened my heart to write the deeply painful experience of losing Jason that my journey toward healing began. Sharing the story of his brief life transformed me, and the grief I carried was lifted.
Finding joy after 18 years of sorrow was a gift I never imagined. Music was a magic carpet that lifted me over all of my stress. I was very close to both my parents and it was hard to watch them suffer. My songs eased my pain. I am especially grateful that both my parents witnessed my joy before they died.
I am a passionate songwriter; my songs comprise a musical of my life. Many of my songs are dedicated to Jason. I rediscovered the songs I composed in my youth and wrote new songs that helped me cope with current challenges.
My music is featured on Insight Timer, a popular meditation app, and my blogs myjourneysinsight.com and Illustrating My Life have reached people all over the world. I perform regularly where I live in Southern California.
I want to convey my optimism and belief that if I could heal, perhaps others could find hope with my story. If my words and music can bring any level of comfort to another person, then I have achieved more in my lifetime than I ever dreamed.