Alzheimer's, art, artist, Buddha, dad, dementia, dementia care facilities, Emily Page, Emily Page Art, father, Fractured Memories, frontal lobe dementia, frontotemporal dementia, FTD, oil on board, oil painting, paint, painter, painting, Raleigh artist, statue
It’s been a tough few days for me. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my dad’s death, and I’m missing him somethin’ fierce. Images from his final, painful days keep creeping into my head and stealing my breath, even though I thought I was past that trauma. I’ve been in duck and cover mode as a result, and wanting to just hide under a rock somewhere far, far away from the world. But that’s not how life works, so I’m turning to paint. With brush in hand, I’ve been tapping and dabbing and flicking my way through the pain, trying to find a more meditative state. It’s been hard, so I took the whole meditative, zen thing a little more literally, this time focusing on the Buddha.
My dad had loved yoga in the years prior to the dementia hitting, and he still practiced it for awhile after we moved him to a dementia care facility. There was a statue of the Virgin Mary in the courtyard of the facility, and every morning, my dad would go outside, bow to the statue and say, “Namaste.” Thinking of that now, even in the midst of all this sadness, brings a quiet smile. Namaste, papa.