Ben’s Angel

Ben’s Angel is the title of a painting and poem I wrote about a friend of mine who was dying. I asked the question before in my blog, Might Angels Walk Among Us? This was one occasion when I really feel they do.

Ben’s Angel

The Story Behind Ben’s Angel

I had a friend called Ben with terminal brain cancer. A lovely man who survived much longer than expected. His determination to live was incredible. Towards the end of his life he was very frail and his head and neck had swollen owing to medication. He was a shadow of his former self and he didn’t recognise me when I last saw him.

I was sitting looking at him and I couldn’t believe how he was able to still be sitting in his chair. The chair had no armrests and he was leaning at such an incredible angle that I kept expecting him to fall off.  Sun rays were pouring through a window on to him. At that moment I had a vision of his guardian angel patiently kneeling on the floor next to him supporting him, holding him up. It was so real to me that I looked at other people in the room wondering why no-one was commenting on it.

That experience was the inspiration for my piece entitled ‘Ben’s Angel’ and the poem that accompanied it.

Ben died a short time after my visit.

The Painting

A painting depicting two figures in stylized form against a swirling background of muddy green, brown and gold. To the left, a brown figure of a human sitting and leaning to one side. That figure is being supported by a white angelic being that kneels next to the figure and has a hand up in support.
Ben’s Angel

As I drove home from meeting my friend, I couldn’t get the vision I had seen out of my head. Frantically, I went straight to paint an impression of what I had seen. My focus was on the stylized impression of a person leaning at an angle with an angelic kneeling next to it with hands up supporting the weight of the human body. I gave the image a swirly, almost dream like feel and deliberately kept the colours muted.

I also wrote a poem to accompany the painting.

The Poem

Death was so close he could
touch it
taste it
hear it.
He fluctuated in and out of
this reality.
Like trying a new suit to see how it fit.
If he liked the colour,
the cut.
But it got harder to maintain an equilibrium.
To remain upright and solid.
And he came to rely
more and more
on the support of
his angel to function.
Ben’s Angel.

(c) Dorothy Berry-Lound

Make of it what you will, it was a very powerful experience that I have never forgotten.

Where To Buy Prints

Prints of my painting ‘Ben’s Angel’ are available from:

Art Heroes with free or reduced shipping in Europe

Pictorem with free shipping in the USA and Canada; and

RedBubble with worldwide shipping.

Before you go

Mid-week Reflections
Dorothy and Barnet Boy

My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.

You can follow me on Facebook and Mastodon.

Thank you for reading!

About Dorothy Berry-Lound 439 Articles
I am having fun living half way up a mountain in Central Italy with my husband Barnet Boy, Stevie Mouse and the rest of my fur family. I am enjoying creating art that people will love having on their walls. I also love storytelling through my blog and short stories.

10 Comments

  1. Very moving and I’m glad you wrote the story behind the painting. It is also interesting to see the painting first and then the story as you can form your own opinion about what the painting shows and then get your explanation! I think when I first saw it I thought it was his spirit leaving his body but I now know better!

  2. Thank you Dorothy, for reminding us that in this transformation that we call death, there is so much unseen activity. I learned this in my mother’s final months as she wandered between the worlds a bit. At the end, with her two children holding her hands, the look of wonder on her face at the last moment was a final gift to us, her face was like a mirror of what awaits us as we pass.

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