After her mom died, Loretta stuck all the original photographs in a drawer. “I would look at the photos,” says Loretta, “and depending on the day – sometime they made me cry and sometimes they made me feel really good.” Anna had not been the warmest of mothers.
Today, Loretta uses the Healing Dreamscape I made of her mother as a means of reflection. It hangs in her office where she spends most of her time. When she gave each of her siblings a copy, Loretta told me:
“They didn’t know why the roses were falling on mom’s head – that the petals were my last gift to Mom [at hospice]. It was the Queen part of her. A finale.”
Looking at her end-of-life Dreamscape, Loretta shared the following insights about her unhealthy mother-daughter relationship:
“For the first 53 years of my life, my mom and I had a relationship that was hostile, critical, symbiotic, painful and shaming. For the last 3 years of her life, we fell in love.
Fall in love. Our mothers are our portals into this world, our anchors. The plan is that you’re always in love with your mom. It’s the given: no one loves you more; she knew you before anyone. Except on account of me, my mom was tied to the house, and didn’t have girlfriends – I ended her social life.
I think seeing the rose petals, the last gift I gave her – the Queen part – and the small butterfly, sitting on the stool as I once did as a child, is healing. Back then, the city was full of butterflies. I was always fascinated by the transformation process.
When I look at Anna’s Dreamscape, it makes me feel open; I feel I’m communicating with my mother. Touching my feelings – feelings that erupt from the photomontage. The Dreamscape never made me cry, except for the first time I saw it, but it was more about the beauty of it.
Funny, butterflies don’t live very long.”