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So this will be a slightly different painting to take on! A customer asked if I had ever painted poetry, which I haven't, and could she send me something she had written to see what I came up with. Her name is Sarah Pirie and she is a nurse from Glasgow who wrote this heartbreaking poem about her experience of working with coronavirus patients. Be warned, it's probably going to reduce you to tears, but it's very beautiful at the same time! The painting brain is now in overdrive to work out how to actually do this...
Tonight I held you,
As I fought back the tears,
And grieved for your family,
Who have loved you for years.
You became unwell,
There was nothing we could do,
We watched through the window,
And we increased your o2.
I called your family,
To see if anyone could attend,
Your family needed to know,
That is was the end.
But this virus is terrifying,
And people are shielding,
How can they be there,
When covid is so unyielding.
I held your hand,
I wiped your face,
My gloved hand on your skin,
As your breathing slows pace.
You'd still smile behind your mask,
And I'd try smile back,
To comfort and reassure you,
Is now my one and only task.
Your family called,
To say their goodbyes,
We stood with the phone,
And listened to their cries.
With tears rolling down our faces,
Into the masks we all wear,
We really wanted to help them,
And show them we care.
We woke you up,
So you could hear their voice,
We described your actions,
We had no other choice.
Their words filled with sorrow,
Their hearts layed bare,
They wanted the time,
To show you they care.
You looked peaceful,
And smiled at their call,
I hope it brought you comfort,
Standing there took my all.
We deal with death,
But not like this,
No family allowed,
To give one last kiss.
But the next family will need us,
We will need to do the same,
I hope I gave you good care,
And I will always remember your name.
Please feel free to share, I think as many people should read this as possible, as moving as it is!
A few months ago I received an enquiry for a commission painting that was a bit of a buzz for me. Not only because it was of a favourite and very special place for me, The Lost Valley in Glencoe, but it was also for the author and television presenter Simon Reeve who's books and television shows I think are great.
So the first thing to do was to read Simon's new book Step By Step. If anyone has read the book (I can definitely recommend it) you will know there is a chapter on The Lost Valley and that was to be the subject of the painting. Then it was a trip back up to Glencoe to visit the Valley again for a bit of added inspiration, albeit at a slightly brighter time of day than the trip Simon made.