FORTVILLE – People find ways to express their feelings and thoughts in different ways, creating outlets to help understand and handle their emotions through hobbies or interests.

For Morgan Carr, a senior at Mt. Vernon High School, creating art and working with ceramics has allowed her to express her emotions in the aftermath of losing her mother just seven months ago.

Throughout her life, Carr saw her mother having health issues, but “she always made it out.” Carr said the last time her mother went to the hospital she passed away 57 days later.

Dealing with such a loss, Carr tries not to hold onto her grief even though it is harder some days than others. She tries to think about what her mother would have wanted and hoped for her in her life.

“Not let it go in the sense that I don’t care anymore. It’s just like she would want me to be happy. She wouldn’t want me to hang on and be sad,” Carr said.

Carr said that for her senior year, she took her AP Art portfolio, which consisted of sculptures made from different materials, and she had a concentration on different types of death and how people interpret death. Some of her sculptures demonstrated funerals, celebrations of life and the history aspect of death.

Carr said she had started working on her AP Art portfolio before her mother had passed — one art piece being a ceramic coffin glazed in blue. After her mother passed, coincidentally, they ended up choosing a blue coffin for her. Now that piece of art is the one she holds close to her.

When creating her art, Carr knew and felt that her mother would have been proud of her for the sculptures she made for her portfolio.

“Because when some people grieve, they let go of things they love and just hang onto it (grief), but I embraced it,” Carr said.

Carr said her mother helped inspire her to keep going, and that every time she felt like quitting art or music, her mother always pushed her to continue. Even when Carr questioned her mother on why she couldn’t just quit, she said her mother always ended up being right.

When giving advice to someone who is experiencing such a loss, Carr said that while it is tough, it is important to always remember the happy memories and to continue to make happy memories even though a loved one is not there because that’s what they would have wanted.

Carr said it was also important for her to have a few people in her life that she was able to go to and talk about what she was experiencing and feeling. Some of those people are her art teachers at school.

Carr said Mr. Wheeler and Mrs. Evans were two of the teachers that were there for her to lend a listening ear when her mother passed away, even going to her mother’s funeral to show support.

Carr added that while she doesn’t talk about her loss with everyone, she has found those few people she can confide in that have had similar experiences, which makes understanding and dealing with her loss easier because they too understand and it lets her know that she isn’t alone.

After graduation on Friday, Carr will be going to Indiana University Indianapolis for a major in art education and a minor in ceramics.

Car said her choice to study art education came from the impact that her art teachers have made in her life and that she wants to be able to do that for other kids one day.

“You should have somebody like that … nobody else really knows what you’re going through, but if you have a teacher you can confide in and talk to casually, you can tell them and it won’t be a big deal… It’ll be OK,” Carr said.

 Mt. Vernon High School senior Morgan Carr during choir class. Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Tom Russo | Daily Reporter