2012 – Dementia Series
While working on drawings in my brain series, I was searching the internet for some inspiration. I found a term, “ambiguous loss” which was used to explain the loss of someone who is not really gone. This is a very apt description for the loss experienced by those touched by brain injury. The term when I found it was used in the context of dementia. Around the same time I read Still Alice by Lisa Genova and later saw the film Away from Her directed by Sarah Polley (based on the short story by Alice Munro The Bear Came over the Mountain from the 2001 collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage). These things brought to mind stories I had heard about people’s experiences with dementia. I began to think of dementia from the caregiver’s point of view. Losing someone you love, and yet they are not really gone. As I worked through the series, I began to envision the connection between the caregiver and their loved one as threads, slowly unravelling until there is only one left, and then it’s gone.