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  • Since I have entered Cowbird and until her death through suicide on December 21st, 2012, I have written here about my schizophrenic daughter - in - law, Ulaí The End Of Her World

    Ulaí is an urn filled with ashes since last Dec. 22nd. She stands on an altar in my son´s house, decorated with photographs, flowers, souvenirs. She has freed herself and us. I think of her a lot, though. In my wallet I carry her identification card. Once the boys, my two grandsons, her sons, saw the card falling out of my purse, the recognized the card and asked me why I carried it. “It helps me to feel your mother near!" I answered. They kept silent.

    The boys, 11 and 9 years old never really had a mother, but they did have her. She was a dark hill under the bed sheets, a screaming witch, a scary monster, a gifted artist, a beautiful woman; actually she looked a lot like Natasha Kinsky, but with dark skin and hair.

    In her coffin she looked absolutely gorgeous and for once in peace.

    The boys saw their father, my son, breaking down, they watched all of us crying and talking, they looked at their beautiful dead mother during the long hours of the wake once and again.

    Then they never ever mentioned her again during 5 months. It was as if she had never existed for them. It was eerie.

    I know very well that children have their own ways of mourning and I respect that. Two or 3 times, though, I mentioned her to see if they gave me any reaction, but it was just like that moment when they saw her identity card falling out of my purse. Silence.

    2 weeks ago I had the idea to paint a little painting for each of my two older sons for their birthdays in July: depicting them with their families and dogs and cats and what else.

    Saret and Milo, the two sons of Daniel and Ulaí came running in and saw me working on the painting for their Dad. They immediately recognized themselves, their stepmother, the new baby - sister and their step - sister. I had drawn a tiny whirly angle on top of their two heads.

    Milo asked me," Who is that?"

    “I wanted to include your mother," I explained," I imagine her as an angel protecting you!"

    Both boys nodded, they obviously liked that.

    "Kiki, I really like that you have not put color on her," judged Milo," I like that she is just in black and white, because she is in another world now."

    I asked them to please not tell their Dad about the painting as I want it to be a surprise.

    Two days later Milo, the 9 year - old, painted his family in school. This is his version of the family, obviously inspired by mine. I was deeply moved to see that a painted a much bigger angel hovering above him and his brother and in full color: his dead mother, Ulaí!

    This gave me the courage to ask him about his painting. “You put color on her," I commented," so I will also put some color on her, some red lips, do you agree? She was such a beautiful woman!"

    He agreed and I dared ask them, if they sometimes dreamt of her. Both boys nodded. Milo said, he did not remember these dreams, though. His older brother told me that he had just dreamt that Ulaí had come to pick him up from school.

    A day later my son told me that while he and his new wife, who knew Ulaí well for many years, talked about Ulaí and common memories with the boys present. He suddenly asked Saret," Do you sometimes think of your mother?"

    Saret nodded and said," Yes, very often too often!"

    That was the entrance to a long talk about Ulaí in between father and son.

    A wall seems to be crumbling down.

    Maybe this is the power of art?

    Art by Emilio Suárez Ortega

    More Paintings
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