When a person experiences illness, so too do their loved ones experience the layers that come with the impact of that illness. It is important that we consider the needs of the family and circle of care around a patient. By providing a space for Marie to share her emotions and stories surrounding her husband’s illness, it allowed her to feel understood and supported on a greater level.

Often the grieving process for a family begins before a patient dies. Remaining strong and positive for that patient can ask a lot of a loved one who is grieving. By creating something beautiful from the realities of the human experience, it can really change things. It gives someone a tangible symbol that represents strength, connection and legacy - invaluable areas of focus during a time of this nature.
— Kelly McCann, Social Worker

A love story, spanning decades. A connection between two human beings that finally found its official form after many years of separation. This is Marie and Jean-Claude's story.

Jean-Claude is a patient on the ward and I offered him a Pressing Session. He didn't take-up the offer, not feeling open to sharing in such a way at this time. But I noticed something in his wife Marie. I could feel a story untold. A need to be nurtured and given caring presence. I offered her a Session of her own.

We sat together in a family room on the ward. A moment for her to share her own perspective on seeing her husband be unwell and vulnerable. 

She loves him. She has known him for a long time. She wishes he wasn't unwell. She doesn't want him to go.

A deeply understandable, real, uneasy human experience.

Sometimes I just wish I could take away someone's pain, when it is shared so openly in front of me.

Yet, this is not always possible. We cannot always take away pain. It is part of the landscape of life. It's even challenging for me to write this. To fully accept that my role as an artist is not to take away someone else's experience but to simply support it for what it is. When a person feels their experience is validated, they find their own way through. The strength and resilience that comes as one of the bittersweet rewards of a journey like this becomes autonomously theirs to feel and know.

What we can do, in lieu of changing someone's reality, is to sit with and allow space for an exploration of that reality - courage and compassion, with understanding, acceptance and strength.

As Marie shared her experience with me, I reflected her stories and energy in that moment. I created a visual form that was crystal-like. Refractions of light collecting their story along lived story lines.

I gave this artwork and sound recording to Marie as a tangible element of human connection - I see you, I hear you, I feel you. You are strong, soft, wise and able.