Monday, March 22, 2010

We Are Always Connected, Val.

We Are Always Connected.


about the piece.
Janis describes the piece, "This drawing was made by my daughter, Val, last July. For (my son Ferdinand's) anniversary, we had burned pictures and cards, sending our words and love into the flame, that immediately is transformed to smoke and merges with the air, and the Universe. Val drew a tree with seven different types of leaves and she and her brother connected by a cord. She said, 'We are always connected.' Watching how my daughters grieve and remember, I know we are always connected."

about the contributor.
Val's mother Janis talks about her daughter. "Val, who will be 9 in May, was extremely sad when she found out her baby brother had died. After we broke the news to her, she wailed loudly and told us, 'It is the saddest thing when your baby brother has died!' Whenever I cried over Ferdinand, she was always there to hug me, and she would never let go first, always staying there silently until I am done with my sobs. And she was also always saying that Ferdinand is close to us, in our hearts, and very nearby.  Last year on the birthday card that she drew for me she wrote, 'Ferdinand's spirit guides you.'

"It seems on most days she accepts that her brother is not with her, and she was perfectly fine with him being close by, and being the star in the dark sky. But there have also been certain days when grief hits her strong, and that is when I feel horribly adequate as a mother- both to my dead son, and my living daughter. I can only barely demonstrate how to live life even fuller, because that is how her brother's spirit can manifest through us. Of late Val had been very moved and inspired by this song that she learned in her choir.

"Val is homeschooled. She loves to sing. She also wonders if there is a way to travel beyond this Universe."

Janis Tan blogs at Ferdinand's Gifts.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. A lovely picture and a beautiful connection with Ferdinand.

    Kids grief is often overlooked and we often don't have the bandwidth to focus on them. But I think we also want so much to care for them and make sure they are not too scarred but remember their baby sibling in a beautiful way.

    Peace and Healing to your family

  2. This drawing is so very beautiful, and so very moving. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I think it is beautiful when children express themselves like this. Grief is so huge, but she found such a lovely way to honor her baby brother with this drawing. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Children bring a completely new dimension of life and death to grieving. Thank you for letting us share with you your two children. I like the song Val sings, I never heard i before, I used to sing in choirs when in school and there is something special about a group of people singing together like that, goose bumps.


  5. Janis, thank you for sharing your extraordinary children with us. Val's drawing is incredibly expressive and beautiful. x

  6. What a beautiful drawing. Val is very wise. xo

  7. So glad you shared this. Her grief and expression of her connection with Ferdinand is beautiful.

  8. That is so beautiful and touching. I agree with the others, very expressive as well. And full of so much love.


What do you think?