The New Year often brings a pang of sadness. January is the month of my daughter’s passing and each new year I am reminded of the years passing by without her. I think of how much I miss her and all that she is missing.

For so many years the pain felt like my only connection to her. I remember being so afraid that without the pain, she would drift further and further away from me. When eventually I reached a point where I had no room left inside me for the pain, I found a poem she’d written in one of her sketchbooks. When I read it, I felt as if she was speaking to me…

Pain can only be what you make of it.

If you give it all your power then you are giving into it.

Fight the pain and look one step beyond your hurt

And you will broaden your own self-worth.

If you love yourself enough you are worth it.

If you don’t you are not.

I knew how much I loved my daughter, but the question remained—How much did I love myself?

I had to think long and hard about my own self-worth and a life worth living.

How powerfully my daughter’s words impacted my life!

Ironically, this past month I led an art therapy program for COPE parents in my studio. Each one made a collage with a photo of their child and words and images they found in magazines. I asked the group to consider this question. If your child could speak to you, what would they say? If they could create your vision board, what would it look like?

As we begin a new year, you might ask yourself to imagine—what message would your child want to communicate to you in 2014?

Wishing you answers that bring you peace and comfort in the New Year.