So inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources.
This particular insight has come from the recent death of my grandma, Marcella. She was a tough old bitch, lived to be 82, had survived many years of smoking and few open heart surgeries. As she was... fading is the only word I can think of... fading, I would go to the nursing home she was at and sit by her bedside. It was over an hour away, going slightly over the speed limit. One particularly bad weekend I was there, by her side, for about 35 hours in a 2 1/2 day period. I just wanted to be there when she woke up, so she knew she wasn't alone. That it was ok. Sometimes I fell asleep sitting there, and was more than a little amazed that I didn't fall over yanking her out of her bed because I was holding her hand. You have to understand that Marcella refused hospice, that she was feeling better and that's the cruel irony part. She wanted to live. A slight change in her medication made her feel wonderful... mentally alert & hungry (she hadn't really eaten anything for days and was barely taking enough fluids)... while her body was still breaking down. She even left her room to go play dominos with the girls down the hall the day she died, that's how good she felt.
It was sitting there, between bouts of nodding off, that the new LTE function of my phone was refusing to work. I was far enough removed from civilization that cell service was spotty. Ok. So I started doing what any tech-addicted person does when they don't have their fix, fidget. Probably just safer to read as addict. But the strange part was that the fidgeting manifested in taking pictures and video of the spot I was sitting in, the bedside of a dying family member. This resulted in several photographs and more than a few, short, videos of Marcella trying to survive. So questions of the morality of mortality, and the moment, were a constant.
Yes I realize there is a certain morbidity to the situation, especially since it was family. I also realize that not everyone chooses that, to be there when someone they love dies. To see the breath leave, the chest stop, and realize you need to get the nurse to check her vitals... it's a formality, you already know the answer, but you have to do it anyway. As I'm sitting there (and here as I type this), the idea of how to get this situation into the gallery keeps... presenting itself. It won't go away. In fact it's gotten stronger. But how do you share that without becoming, or being perceived, as a monster? Or is that MY joke, that there is no way to escape that label fully.
There wouldn't be much from her room in the piece, most of that was all divvied up or donated to the community. I did take the hoses and masks for her breathing treatments, and oxygen supply, the last things to touch her breath. The things that would have been destroyed anyway. I have taken enough pictures to recreate the corner where her bed was. Finding the holiday decorations might prove difficult since her room was still decorated for Valentines Day.
To be honest, I don't really know how much of this post is therapy for me... or even necessary for you. I felt it important to get out but not advertise completely as my blog isn't super well known. Like most conversations this post will be buried with the newest offering of potential engagement and will fade into the bowels of this blog. Yes, I did just see what I typed as well.