My son, St John, came home one day and we were discussing ideas for his art project submission for school. My mother-in-law is suffering from dementia and I’ve always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind, such as how we have consciousness and the concept of a soul and so on. So I suggested to my son that he depict what was going on in the mind of my mother-in-law.
According to studies, the older memories are the last to go away. While the main image could be an imagining of how my mother-in-law sees herself, the rest of of the images are done to look more fluid because memory is fluid. You can see impressions of their family car at the time, her early memories of Chinatown which she insisted on calling by its then Chinese name, her parents and relatives and then her daughter who became The Wife as well as my own two sons whom I like to think she still loves dearly in the depths of her memories.
We won’t be able to tell what goes on inside of her head anymore as she has stopped communicating. Of all of St John’s graduation work showcased at his school exhibition, this was my favourite. I am still impressed by how he imagined what was going on in the mind of a dementia sufferer. Of all the diseases, dementia is the one I fear most. Forgetting what matters to me and being unable to express myself to the ones I hold dear.