How my mum got me to stop breaking Oma’s cigarettes…

en nu diep inademen 200dpi

I’ve been working on a graphic novel telling my mum’s story. At the moment I am letting memories flow and eventually I will put them together. I realised this story is not just about my mum’s illness and her choice to end her life by means of Euthanasia. It is also about my relationship with her. Her illness is closely linked with my history with depression. It is a story of pure love and emotional chaos.

But it is not all serious! My mum was a wonderful, warm-hearted and passionate woman…with her own special way of dealing with toddler problems; I used to break my grandmother’s cigarettes, which were always in a glass jar on her table. To be fair, it must feel incredibly satisfying to break a cigarette, I can just imagine it now…and I always like to think that in my innocence I was trying to tell my Oma that this was an unhealthy habit and she should just stop it πŸ˜‰

One day my mum told me to put one of the cigarettes in my mouth and she lit it, instructing me to inhale deeply. “En nu heel diep inademen.”

She’d told me that for a moment she feared she’d actually killed me but luckily I managed to breathe again…eventually!

I’ve never touched a cigarette since. I never even smoked, though there were other factors that played a part in my teenage years why I didn’t choose to smoke. Still, being nearly choked to death by cigarette smoke undoubtedly played a big part!

The joys of 1970’s parenting! πŸ˜‰

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The Search For Dolores – chapter 12

the search for dolores

This painting is nearly finished, am adding some details. I have no idea where the story is leading to. I’m just following Flow and Rosado ….hopefully they’ll find Dolores πŸ˜‰

Let’s talk about death, baby

date with death
Date with Death

In May it’ll be a year since my mum passed. Overall I’ve been able to talk about it quite well and art has been my saving grace. But I often avoid talking about euthanasia. My mum chose to die.
I rarely talk about it.
I’m afraid people might judge or say stupid things. But talking about it is important. It is a controversial subject and brings up all sorts of beliefs about life and death.
It comes down to respecting the choices the person you love has made. Honouring an other person’s view.
I found it difficult but fully supported my mum’s decision. And the alternative wasn’t really an option either.
I did wish my mum would go on her own before the gp would arrive. The day and night before she was already with one foot on the other side. I told her it was okay to let go.

date with death detail
Date with Death – detail

Having aΒ date with death at precisely 1.30pm is tough. As much as I wanted to stretch out the days before to have as much time with her as possible, that early afternoon the minutes dragged and I just sat with this heaviness in me, dreading that very last goodbye, wishing it to be over and at the same time not.
My mum choose her ending. After a life of pain all she wanted was rest and see her mum, oma.

It suited her. Being in charge to the last second. And I love her for that.
The GP was a wonderful man and the nurse who came daily was a blessing.
In all the heavy emotions it was a beautiful goodbye filled with love.
She died holding my hand, on her way to oma πŸ’–

Emotional Flow

oh-flow

I’m currently working on a Flow series based on strong emotions.

Flow is a girl who came to visit us humans on Earth, and experiences human life in all its riches and intensities, with curiosity.

She experiences emotions like a toddler; you feel it, express it and let it go.

No hanging on to the past, no lingering in the stories…just letting it go…

Sounds so easy…