Grief

I recently posted about aging (Diminishment) and disability (Comfort Zone). Some reduction of faculties are gradual and can be tolerated I imagine, much as one gets used to the shock of jumping into a pool of cold water. Although frightening, this aspect of the human condition is often a topic that people in older age groups can talk about amongst themselves: “My doctor gave me [this medication] for that condition,” and “Yes, but my doc says I should be doing [more exercise, less exercise, more anti-oxidants, etc, etc.].”  Inter-age conversations are more in the realm of platitudes such as: Getting old is not for sissies; or my favorite [from my mother]: Getting old stinks.

I see the prospect of losing either sight of hearing as more like jumping into a pool where there is no water at all: Terrifying.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

My watercolor Comfort Zone was a depiction of a blind person unaware of a dangerous obstacle in her path. The subtitle was a little flippant: Madge is About to Get the Point. But there is nothing humorous about the dangers that confront many disabled people.

Today’s study focuses on the reaction of Madge’s husband after she hurt herself. Grief and sadness for his injured partner are hard to describe in words.

Perhaps grief and sadness are within the spectrum of feelings caregivers and family members have for their charges. As the brother of a severely low functioning, autistic and nonverbal individual, I have experienced these emotions to different degrees. I can’t imagine what it must be like to care for a person who understands a just little bit of the world around them, but not enough to be able to protect him or herself against hurt.

Watercolor - Abstract Face and Free Form Body Embracing Triangle in Grief

Grief
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

This study is about the caregiver rather than the injured party. Grief is not restricted to the one facing the loss.

Process:

I must have been ruminating on this idea for a couple of days. Last night I dreamed about the form of the grieving husband. Paul Klee would have been proud of me because the outline was one continuous line. I borrowed Madge’s form from Comfort Zone.

To indicate the hotness of grief, I used alizarine crimson for the face; French ultramarine painted the coolness of the outside of the arms enveloping Madge’s head which was colored with English yellow.

Comment:

Although I did not include the rest of Madge’s body, I think she is alive and well and that her husband will take good care of her. If he can just stop crying.

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