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.
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.
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.
Death was so close he could
He fluctuated in and out of
Like trying a new suit to see how it fit.
If he liked the colour,
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.
(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
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!