“Last Breath … the end”
vintage wallpaper, found ephemera, old screen, old fabric remnants, misc. papers, graphite, acrylics on recycled 1/8″ board
Collage & Mixed Media
Carol A. More, Artist
This might sound a bit odd
….making a collage about my mother’s last breath on earth. I understand. And if it offends, I am sincerely sorry. Please understand this piece is a long time coming. My mother passed away years ago at 93 years of age. Mentally ill all her life, untreated, and suffering emotional unhealed wounds from a childhood no human being should ever have to endure, I never dreamed I would be at her bedside for her last breath. But I was. Trust me when I say our relationship was not close. I was suffering some of those inherited ancestry ‘wounds’ myself. But the ‘end’ was the first I’d witnessed in all my life (and so far, the only end I’ve witnessed). There is a struggle at the end and I guess it’s from not knowing what’s on the other side. As I coaxed my mother to let go and that everything would be fine, that she had lived long enough on this earth and the rest of us needed to feel life without her troubled shadow….I could feel the surprised hospice nurse’s breath catch behind me. Pleading, I held her hand and felt what I had heard happened at the end….a puff of air from her palm to mine. And she was finally at peace.
This work is of her room where she died living with my oldest sister in southern Ohio. The window where a brilliant red cardinal bravely perched and the crystal blue summer sky ushering the final moments of her life; the bed, the coverlet, the doorway, a throw rug. Three of her four daughters in the room. Torn fabrics, rust, remnants. Peace.