Remembrance in Art

I did not do a very good job of taking a picture, but this image should illustrate reasonably well what the urn I had made for Janine’s ashes looks like. Her favorite color was purple, so I had the urn made with three bands of purple heart. The other wood is ambrosia maple, any of various varieties of maple that have been stained when beetles bore into the maple and leave acidic trails. I think she would have been extremely impressed by the work of Craig Annen, who made the urn, and June Lamoureux, who painted the dragon fly. Dragon flies were Janine’s favorite insect creatures. She had t-shirts with dragon fly motifs, she had garden art depicting dragon flies, and she had wall art with multiple dragon flies shown in multiple “shadow box” type displays. And more. Craig is an incredibly talented wood-turner and June is an amazing, well-regarded and well-known artist. I haven’t thanked her yet for the dragon fly art, but I will.

I asked Craig to make something elegant, but simple. Janine like clean lines, simple presentations, and superior quality. That’s what Craig produced for us. He was Janine’s friend, too, and he was happy and honored to craft her urn. He spent many, many hours on the project. In an ideal world, I would have paid him $50 per hour for his work, but this world, I’m afraid, is not ideal.

In just a few days, it will be three months since Janine died. It is a tiny bit easier, but at this rate, I’ll be a very, very old man before I can accept that she’s gone and I am completely alone. Friends, as wonderful as they are, can never take the place of a spouse. I guess no one can. But maybe one day someone will find a way to me; someone who can accept and understand my perpetual love of my wife and someone for whom I can provide the same protective anchor. The likelihood, though, is slim. Very, very slim.

I do need to try to adjust. Not get over it, but adjust. I don’t know whether that will ever happen, either.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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5 Responses to Remembrance in Art

  1. We were married almost 41 years, Tara. Would have been 41 years on April 13. The adjustment already seems years long and completely unfulfilling. But I know it will get better. I also know, as anyone who has lost a spouse knows, I will never get over it.

  2. Tara says:

    a beautiful urn that is suited to Janine’s love of dragonfly and quality art. You done, good, John. How long were you two married? I imagine it’s going to be a long period of adjustment, with many ups and downs. It is a very weird thing to move through life now without your spouse – I get it. Slowly, oh so slowly, life will seem more normal again, and though you will think of her every day (hopefully) you will look around and find other people and things that bring you joy. This is my wish for you.

  3. David and Bev, thank you for your comments. I think Janine would echo your words.

  4. Bev says:

    Beautiful urn — the dragonfly is a very lovely addition.

  5. davidlegan says:

    Well, the good news is that I think the urn is stunning. The OTHER good news is that the odds are better than you think.

Please talk to me about what I've written. I get lonely when I'm the only one saying anything.

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