When grief darkens my sky and bleak emotional clouds roll in, I know my late husband Rob is nearby supporting me…through the veil, that faint partition between life and death. I’ve counted on his presence as unquestionably as the air I breathe, even though I can’t see or touch him. On those difficult days, it makes all the difference.
I’ve tried to explain how I sense him to friends and family. It wasn’t enough to describe his presence with words; as a designer, I felt the need for something visual. So I set out to design a statue to illustrate the role my husband continues to play in my life - protector, comforter, and encourager - even though he has passed away.
My vision needed a sculptor, so I partnered with an artist to create a visual representation of what I could feel, but couldn’t see. It had to exude emotion.
His talented hands worked to transform my thoughts to clay. At first it didn’t go well, I’d see his sculpture and while it was beautiful, it didn’t show what I was feeling. We tried again, and again, and finally, my vision had physical form. I knew it was right when it yanked emotions up from my gut.
Once a mold was prepared from the clay figure it was time to cast the bronze. Was I crazy to go to such lengths to “see” my feelings? No, inside it felt like something I had to do.
That first statue was a tremendous comfort. Before long, I felt “called” to create additional statues to represent stories of undying love which other people had shared with me. Children who had lost parents, parents who had lost children, husbands who could still feel the loving guidance of their wife as they raised a family alone…each needed a reminder that they were not alone. Soon I was collecting stories, letters, and photos sent by the bereaved. I found myself designing more and more statues. Each one was a heartfelt process from story, to clay, to mold, and then casting in bronze.
Eventually, I realized that the statues were truly comforting people and needed to be more widely shared, so I founded Still With You.
It is my sincerest hope that the artwork created from my grief can ease yours.