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An artist grieves for her child "Losing Jovie" — suzanne-mcrae.com

An artist grieves for her child “Losing Jovie”

Today I had the pleasure of going to an art gallery to see an exhibition with a dear friend. Even though I am learning how to paint, it feels like I really don’t know all that much about art or even about going to art galleries for that matter.

This exhibition was entitled “Losing Jovie”… a mother’s paintings depicting the grief she experienced from giving birth to a beautiful daughter in 2011, to finding out shortly after her birth that she had a fatal syndrome called Trisomy 18. Sadly their daughter Jovie passed away on February 6, 2012.

"Losing Jovie" by Renée Lalande

“Losing Jovie” by Renée Lalande

The exhibition of huge paintings and other memories of her daughter including a beautiful video have been on display since February 6, 2013… a year to the date of losing her daughter. The exhibition ends in a few days. If you are in the area be sure to go and see it.

The picture of the painting above is the one that touched me the most. It reminded me of my great-niece that passed away at 7 weeks of age. She was a perfectly healthy baby, she died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). That is almost 7 years ago that we lost her.

I cannot begin to imagine losing a child and what it does to a family. In Renée’s mixed-media artwork she used many words in her paintings and many of them brought me back to a time with my niece when she lost her young baby and it also brought me back to a time when our son was diagnosed with autism at 3 years of age. His diagnosis was a time of intense grieving for me. Grieving for the son and the dreams I had for him and not really knowing what lie ahead for him or for us with this new autism world that we were thrown into. It took me a long time to get through those emotions and the grieving. I can only begin to imagine what Renée and her husband as well as my niece and her partner, what it must have been like for them to lose their young daughters. Her artwork showed the pain that she was feeling as a mother.

You can see an interview with Renée Lalande here showing her emotional filled artwork at the Gallery here on YouTube.

I am sharing other online articles about this family’s story of losing their daughter…

The Art Gallery (TAG) of Cornwall

Artist’s grief at losing a daughter painted in stark detail

For his daughter

What I am learning about art and also by seeing an exhibition like this one today is that a lot of what we are dealing with comes out on canvas to help us with our healing. This exhibit left both my friend and I filled with emotions.

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  1. What a great way to process grief. A very sad story.
    Amy Putkonen recently posted..Practicing Makes My Life DeeperMy Profile

  2. Dawn Conery says:

    Wonderful post, art is our hearts, poured out and made visible.

  3. Wonderful post, I sent it to a friend, who is an artist and has lost a child; I have my art journals from my grieving process of losing a sister, Mom and aunt over several months, and I can attest that art heals. Thanks again for posting this beautifully sad post. It is healing to read and view it.
    Indigene Theresa Gaskin recently posted..This Week In Studio Nookery…My Profile

  4. Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your thoughts and emotions about this exhibit. We’ve talked before about art and healing and this is truly an example of how Renée expressed deep emotions.
    Ruth Packard recently posted..The 1860 Household of Two WidowsMy Profile

  5. What a lovely post Suzannne – reminding us of how art and life aren’t separate. Art feels like such a powerful way to express emotions and in doing so allow space for healing. There are a couple of websites I’d recommend for futher exploration:
    Deborah Weber recently posted..It’s 3.14 – must be Pi dayMy Profile

  6. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.
    Yaz recently posted..The Lotus Blossoming: Israel and Iran: A Love StoryMy Profile

  7. Thank you everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each of your comments. I’m so glad that you dropped by to read my post about what I found to be a very touching art exhibition. Deborah thank you for the links that you have provided us with. I will check out them for sure. Indigene, thank you for sharing the post with your friend. I hope that it may help her in some way. xo

  8. Thank you Suzanne for sharing Jovie’s story. I’m glad that you were able to relate to my paintings through the loss of your great-niece and the diagnosis of your son. I think that everyone grieves at one point during their life, wether it would be that dream job you never had, the man of your dream you never met or the child you lost. Big or small we all grieve.
    Thank you to everyone who responded to the blog. I appreciate the support.

    • Hi Renée, it’s wonderful of you to drop by to read my post about your art exhibition. First I’d like to express my deepest condolences to you and your husband. I loved how you were able to use painting to help you work through and heal from this intense time in your life. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to attend your art exhibition. I spent well over an hour with a friend looking at all of your paintings that were so touching. And the video you created of your daughter’s short life was incredibly beautiful and profound in so many ways. Both you and your husband are in my heart and prayers. Blessings! xo

  9. i’m grateful….oh so grateful
    for healing love that is balm and salve to motherwounds
    and can stretch our hearts all the wider open
    to hope and life and solution.
    love to you in your mothering,
    Jennifer Richardson recently posted..tenderlings and clover…My Profile

  10. Suzanne, A touching and beautiful post. Blessing and healing to all.
    Janet recently posted..New website galleryMy Profile

  11. Thank you for the post and for the incredible painting. I had a miscarriage years ago. She would be in college now. I don’t know how others feel when they lose their children but I am sure it is devastating and life changing as well.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted..The obstacle is the pathMy Profile

  12. Losing a child is something no parent should ever have to experience. Her images are filled with so much emotion. Thank you for sharing this.
    Michele Bergh recently posted..Loving from the InsideMy Profile

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