Clarissa Rizal's Medical Fund
At the time of diagnosis, Clarissa was living in a Tulsa Artist Fellowship residency apartment and her energy levels had her bed-ridden 23 hours per day. Her daughter then retreived her from Tulsa, Oaklahoma, packed up her studio, and brought her home to the Southwest where she is now being cared for in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
The past several months have been extremely strenuous — although incredibly rewarding — which has contributed significantly to Clarissa's rapidly declining health. This year her passion for community participation in artistic creative projects recently led to the creation of “Weavers Across the Water,” a Chilkat-Ravenstail robe composed of squares woven by 54 weavers which she sewed together to create blanket that will be used in celebrations of Northwest Coast canoe launchings and other ceremonies. She was also one of the 9 recipients awarded with a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, which is a government-sponsored award that recognizes recipients' artistic excellence and supports their continuing contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage. She has been supported by the Tulsa Artists Residency since January of this year, as one of 12 artists from around the country. Her residency ends at the end of this year.
Clarissa Rizal, member of the Raven T’akDein Taan (black-legged kittiwake) Clan of Hoonah/Glacier Bay, Alaska, is a highly respected cultural leader and a multitalented artist who has contributed to the revival and perpetuation of Chilkat blanket weaving. Visit this link to read her NEA National Heritage Fellowship artist bio: https://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/clarissa-rizal
This tragic diagnosis has created a financial hardship for Clarissa and her family, in order to bring Clarissa back and be cared for by her children, their spouses, and her grand-children. The costs associated with packing up and moving of her densely-packed studio in Oaklahoma, travel expenses for her children and friends to support her during her move, transportation and accommodation costs for her alternative treatment, and living expenses while Clarissa is unable to work needs to be rounded up in order to encourage a healing environment with minimal stress and maximum support.
Clarissa is on a veggie, fruit, and seed/nut diet, is using a dietary suppliment called Asea that has cured her friends' cancers, is undergoing CBD/THC treatment, is drinking Essiac tea that is an effective age-old cancer-fighting tea, is participating in in-person and virtual physical and spiritual healing sessions, applies herbal wraps twice daily, and is supplimenting all this treatment with teas, herbs, spices, vitamins, messages, water, and sunshine.
At this time, Clarissa has requested not to receive visitors, as it has proven to be very hard on her system. If you would like to gain access to her healing journal on CaringBridge, please contact her daughter, Ursala Hudson, with your request via the contact from below or on Facebook.
We are extremely grateful for all the love and concern coming from countless corners of the world. Thank you so much to all of you who are sending your positive thoughts and proactive energy towards our mother.
At this time we are suspended in grief and awe, acknowledging the path our mother has blazed, infusing us all with immeasurable love, compassion and grace. While our mother never had the ability to contain her expansive spirit within the confines of her physical body, it is only now that she has access to the Universe's most precious tools and creative mediums to carry out her greatest work of all.
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” — Kahlil Gibran
Next weekend we will share food and drink in Pagosa Springs, CO to honor our mother's life. Please check Facebook for the online announcement. A non-traditional celebration of life will be held in Juneau, AK next summer, followed by the spreading of her ashes at her beloved Paradise Cove in Haines, AK.
All further monetary contributions will be applied to after-life expenses, most specifically funding her memorial party, which will include a giving-back to her immediate and global community that was always her top priority.
As our family works through the logistics of what is soon to come, we appreciate all your kind words, letters of prayer, sharing of photos and stories, and gestures of support. These things make the process easier to bare, reminding us that we will get through this. Her dreams and actions always revolved around her friends, family and ancestors, and will continue to do so. Therefore, your expressions of love also help to reiterate our mother's after-life wishes, giving us the imagery and emotion necessary to carry out her eternal deep-seeded desires that she planted in all of us.
Support in the form of childcare, meals, snacks, airline points, event planning, organization, housekeeping, after-life advice, distractions, hugs and conversation is increasingly helpful and humbly accepted. You may send Lily (Lily Hope) or I (Ursala Hudson) a message via GoFundMe or Facebook if you'd like to contribute time, energy and/or larger monetary donations. Our meal train sign-up can be accessed here: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/enzvno To read previous Health Journal updates made throughout the month, visit: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/clarissa
We can't imagine what this journey would have been like without our Alaska, Colorado, and international communities. You've eased the hardship and filled our hearts with strength. Gunalchéesh.
Latest update has been posted to the CaringBridge journal! For those of you who have already signed to view her health journal, you must also sign up to receive notifications on updates. For those who have not, and wish to, you may visit the following page that will require you to be a member of CaringBridge to view: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/clarissa
Heard of Clarissa's passing last night. It sounds as though she took her leave of this world with strength, beauty and dignity, weaving her path to the next world with the same quiet, elegant skill with which she wove all those blankets. Now, as the poem says "she walks in beauty", and will weave in beauty forever. Mourn, yes, for the loss is deep...and celebrate, for now she is free.
If I were only closer to you geographically - - I would love to assist with food, childcare or anything to support your loving care of your Mother. Washington to Colorado is quite a trek. Please know that I continue to pray for you, Clarissa, Lily and all your family. Love and Light.
Clarrisa...just get better. I'm your old next door neighbor from way back when we were kids. I think of you often and hope you recover soon. Best wishes to you and your family. Prayers always, Amen
Light and love to your mom. I have a friend in Santa fe who had breast cancer and worked with some wonderful people there. She is an artist and an art therapy person. She may have some insight for you. Let me know if you are interested in connecting with her.