Monday, February 18, 2008

Life's Milestones

This past week was another life milestone for me as I said goodbye to my father in this world. He passed away this past week - fortunately without suffering but after a period of dementia and confusion. In many ways this caused mixed emotions - the desire to see him continue in this life and the knowledge that he had lost touch with it.

Always an emotional time, the connection with family was good and helped bring a certain closure to this chapter.

On the artistic note - it we amazing to me to notice the many touches of artistic endeavor attached to a funeral. The intricate finishes of wheat sheaves on the casket, the flower arrangements, the arrangements of dried grain and flowers on the casket, the music and even the solemn processions and the way people dressed and stood during the grave side service. As I view pictures of this, I realize that these images are implanted in my mind as much as a great piece of art.

6 comments:

Cecelia said...

My sympathies to you on the loss of your father.
I've lost all but one of the older members of my family, and one son. Each life and death was different.
I hope that you are writing down all the stories and information that you know, can remember, and can gather from your family. I thought I would never forget those stories, but, after they were gone, I realized that I can't remember so many things-and some things, I never did know. At that point, when I had only one aunt left, I started writing down every little story she told. We were going to label each family picture that we could identify, and I wrote down what she remembered of that, too.
But, she had a stroke that affected her vision, then she broke a hip and had the beginnings of dementia. She's in a nursing home now. Occasionally, she will remember something. But, now, I find that I have to question her to get any conversation, or I am reading old things to her, showing old pictures and, sometimes, she will remember something.
I hope that you will be able to have those precious memories of your father to pass down to future generations.
The old pictures, documents, newspaper clippings, and stories passed down, can be the most prized things that we can keep.

Myron D. Arndt said...

Thank You! That is good advice!

Kelly Schwark said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

I come from a rather large family, and in return have been to many wakes and funerals. The imagery that you descibed, the symbolic wheat, the dried flowers, the music, the dress, each one was chosen to try and express sorrow and sympathy for the loss. Each element was a deliberate choice, a prayer in some way for the life that your father lead and for the lives that he leaves behind. May those images remind you of those prayers and thoughts and ease your pain in this difficult time.

Myron D. Arndt said...

Thank you, Kelly. I am sure that those images will stay with me and be great reminders of my Dad's life!

Barney Davey said...

Dear Myron,

I'm sorry for your loss. It has to be painful to watch one you love slip away slowly. Having lost my father at age 10, I will tell you to rejoice you were able to know your father into your own adulthood. For him to have watched you grow and become who you are had to be a blessing for him as well.

Thanks for adding your wisdom and compassion to the discussion on the business of art.

All the best,

Barney

Myron D. Arndt said...

Thanks Barney for your always wise and welcome comments. Your blog and point of view continues to be an inspiration to me along with the many people who respect and follow your referrals and comments.
Thank you!