FORGOTTEN LOSSClick here for Dutch

2022 - 41,9 x 59,4 cm - India ink on paper
Forgetting and remembering this forgetfulness - dementia is a horrible process for the person in question and their environment. For me, this person is my grandmother. She has been suffering dementia for a few years now. However, lately I discovered some unexpected beauty in her forgetfulness, which I tried to capture in this piece.

I depicted my grandmother sitting at a table. The calendar clock and the bed with the trapeze bar show us that she is not at home but in a nursing home. The room has a somewhat hollow sense, it is not like home. Some of her own furniture is now scattered around it here and there, just like the fragments of her memories in her vanishing mind. She sits in front of a mirror, facing my grandfather. He holds her hands tight and looks at her lovingly. However, in reality, he is not there at all – she is facing an empty chair.

My grandmother has forgotten that my grandfather passed away. She lives under the assumption that he is in his wood workshop building furniture or making trinkets and that he might come home anytime to have lunch with her. This thought comforts her for now, it gives a sparkle in her eyes and makes that every now and then, she has something to look forward to. Then, who would I be to tell her that her thoughts are not real, since the feelings themselves are real enough.

Hint for on your smartphone: zoom in!

Would you like to see my grandma's treasured memory in greater detail? Please see the video below: