IHF – Lynn, David, and Carmel

“We have an extensive program for our service users here in St. Michael’s House. We have, art classes, aerobic classes, swimming, bowling, and cinema!” “Oh… David loves the cinema!” “I love horror movies and Gandalf (Lord of the Rings).” “And soap operas, he watches them all! He’s got his own tv.”“I like American wrestling! My favourites are Kane, Dwayne Johnson, and the Undertaker!”
“I am his sister, his main carer. I’ve looked after David for over 35 years now. We came from a family of 13 siblings, and I was always the one looking after David. He has got his own routine that he likes to follow to the dot. He doesn’t like changes to his schedule, so going through the pandemic was quite difficult.”
“Yeah, David lost three of his friends during the lockdowns. We also lost a brother last year. David was very quiet about it; he never really spoke about any of them. We assumed that he was handling it well enough. One day, something reminded me of my brother and I had a lovely chat about him with David. Afterward, David said he never talked about him again because he thought that I would get upset if he said his name…”
“We have an aging group of 41 service users here and, in the past years, we had an increased number of bereavements. Besides losing friends, they also had to endure social distancing, long separations, and loneliness. We were looking for a new way to deal with all the losses. Initially, we felt quite unprepared and afraid that bringing in such a sensitive topic would open a door for something we couldn’t control. This is how I found the Seed Grant from Irish Hospice Foundation.
“We all love visual arts here so we created ‘The Mosaic Project’. We invited a visual artist to help us out and we worked in small groups. Using art, David and other service users were able to explore and communicate how they were feeling while they were focusing on the art itself. It helped to acknowledge their losses in a safe setting. It was wonderful to be able to collaborate on something so special. We created a series of mosaics and installed them in a garden outside, which became a memorial space where we can go to sit and reflect on the people we have lost.”
This post was highlighted by Irish Hospice Foundation.

David participated in a series of workshops facilitated by Irish Hospice Foundation’s seed grants. He created mosaics to adorn his daycare centre’s memorial garden in memory of the beloved people he had lost. The process of creating these artistic pieces proved extremely therapeutic and enjoyable for everyone.  

Find out more about this project at hospicefoundation.ie/mosaic