Woman in Black Hat and Dress

The Lady in the Black Hat

When I saw this photo a few years ago, it drew me in. The combination of elements in the photo are open for interpretation. Perhaps the pearls are her fav necklace? And, she might be quite the style queen with the black hat? The dark red lipstick with gloss might indicate that she’s celebrating her womanhood?

What do you think? Does something about her make you wonder what may seem like a weird combo? After all, black is usually typical of funeral dress, right? And the pearls? They may be the “pop-together” pearls that were popular back in the day. As you envision the rest of her in imaginary portrait style, do you see her in a black dress and white gloves?

In my more-than-plentiful adoptee imagination, this is how I see myself at this stage of life. I’ve gone through more than my share of loss, rejection, and grief. I’ve had to pull my car over years ago when I couldn’t see through an avalanche of tears, Yet on that side of the road, God told me that He was there on the day I was born and that I am His jewel.

Thus, today, I choose a black hat, signifying that I walk on a daily basis free of that grief, yet I ask myself if it really ever goes completely goes away. What do you think? I’m sure my body and brain have recorded it. But, it’s simply a fleeting memory now and I can put on my black hat every morning to remind myself that all pain won’t be released until I see my Savior.

I will also put on the beautiful pearls. So, she’s gained the pearls through hard inner work and the pearls are proof that she’s gained inner strength through processing grief. Thus, she walks with confidence.I also see them as pearls of wisdom while walking through daily life on planet earth. Throughout my day, I might hold one or two of them in my fingers and feel their smooth edges…or look at them in the mirror and see their beautiful luster. I may smile, and give thanks for each one.

And, how about the dark, red shining lips? The lipstick is finely applied, with a touch of gloss on top. This suggests maturity, sophistication, and an eloquent sense of style. I will claim all that for myself and wear MAC red lipstick as proof that I am one awesome woman, made in the image of God.

Let me challenge you? What do the elements in this photo suggest to you?

  1. What losses have you experienced and where are you with the grieving process?
  2. Would you choose the black hat, and if so, what would it mean to you?
  3. What are your pearls? What wisdom and growth have occurred in the midst of or in the wake of loss and grief?
  4. For women friends, what about the lipstick? What does it signify to you? For men friends, maybe it’s your beard? How can you celebrate who you are?

If you need a resource to help you grieve, here is a book I love:

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