I write this tonight with a heavy heart. It is with great sadness that I share the fact that my dear cousin committed suicide last week. He was 51 years old and like a brother to me. He was an amazing and tortured human being. He did everything….EVERYTHING to the extreme. Everything was huge, both his joy and his pain. We had just spent the last three weeks talking to one another every day and night and morning. He was struggling and I knew it. We talked and talked about art. He was both an artist, a sculptor, and an avid collector of eclectic art….installations of bottles, bronzes, Native American oils, sunsets…and on and on and on. I had only recently shared the fact that I had created my own website showcasing my oil paintings and photography. He called me after viewing it and told me it made him cry. When I asked him why…he replied, “Because I never knew you were so talented. I am so proud of you Kimby.” What a gift to me….a rare gift. I will never forget those words. When I am feeling insecure I will remember what Webster said to me. He had a very discerning and amazing eye for good art as well as was not one to haphazardly hand out compliments.
He told me he was excited to get back to his sculpting. He wanted to mail me a huge canvas that had a “crazy history behind it.” I never got to hear what exactly that history was. He sent me pictures of his stretcher tools. He wanted to teach me how to make my own frames for my paintings.
He never got to fulfill those promises and I will never get the opportunity to benefit from his knowledge, sadly.
I have been feeling very apathetic since learning of his death. It has consumed me. Suicide is particularly brutal to those left behind. So many unanswered questions…unfinished business. I have been doing my best to continue to manage my life and do what I need to do, begrudgingly. The other night, I decided that I needed to pick up my brush and paint something….something happy, something that embodied hope, something that was colorful, something new. So, the painting of the hydrangea was the result of this effort. It is the first time I have ever attempted to paint this flower. This flower reminds me of my father….Web’s uncle. I hope they have found one another wherever they are, in whatever dimension they now find themselves. I miss both of them profoudly…and I always will.
In closing, this flower is for you Webbie….thank you for the memories. I will miss you for the rest of my life.