I was told it would just hit.
That grief is not linear.
That I would find myself mysteriously emotional.
After my mom’s passing in July, the outpouring of love and support provided comfort. A false sense of things may just be o.k. with this new chapter of life entitled Life After Mom. Then I got back into routine and sadness hit me like a ton of terra cotta bricks. I cried. A lot. Without warning. The tears just flowed, productivity halted, and each time I got in front of my computer screen I froze.
Work should have been a distraction. Rather, I just couldn’t get my head into the game. Having spent the better part of two years in Florence teleworking was common practise for the NUVO team well before COVID forced the world to adapt and change working habits. I tried to force myself to get over my sorrow. I tried to will myself to be productive. I had the best intentions. Communicating to the outside world meant I should have my emotions in check. I came up short. How could I possibly cry it all out on screen?
Leah Scott wrote a story about grief for NUVOmagazine.com in which she states, “We have a name for making sense of voids that should be full. But naming grief doesn’t make it less elusive, less relentless. Grief is a shapeshifter, a creature with many faces—a moon with many phases. It’s not as simple as a single syllable might suggest. It hovers over us, constant and spectral, hiding from view until we find ourselves in its pull. At once strikingly subjective and as universal as breath, the abstraction is something we all understand. But we don’t know grief—we can’t know it—until we meet it for ourselves.”
Things that once seemed so important now feel trivial. And all those small things now feel like the most important. I realize how unprepared you are, and how unprepared you could possibly be. In my time of lull, the NUVO crew kept the gears turning sourcing what there is to know about a given subject and pulling it together in a compelling narrative. Our photographers continue to find creative visually arresting ways to reveal truths about their subjects in images that will stand up to—and effectively augment—any words they’re paired with. Magazines are a collective effort, a group of words and pictures conceived by a team of creatives whose goal is journalistic excellence.
Reading a lifestyle magazine is more an aesthetic than a functional choice, a way of pursuing higher or at least immediate interests like art, fashion, architecture, and design. This winter edition of NUVO is a collection of stories—Shary Boyle, Michael Green, Zacharias Kunuk, George Sully—that celebrate Canada and beyond.
I am not certain I’ll ever stop being sad that mom has died. I’ll always want her back. But the other stark truth is that I will have to find a way to thrive again—even if my heart aches while doing it. I am yet able to say “my mom died” out loud yet I boastfully say the NUVO team is stellar. I tip my proverbial hat to you Ayesha, Ben, Caitlin, Felicity, Marius, Sandra—a creative crew that has held me up even though I may still be hiding out; at least now, it’s in the sweet smell of the printed word of this issue 91.
Keep an eye on NUVOmagazine.com over the coming weeks for stories from the winter edition of NUVO, Issue 91. Click here to receive a copy of your own.