Dreamscaping in End of Life Care

A new creative practice, Dreamscaping, is addressing the needs of End-of-Life families at home and in vigil by offering the patient and family members “a picture of a memory you have, or wish you had.”  In the Interview/Brainstorming Phase, a memory artist teases out long-forgotten joys and regrets. In the Creation Phase, magical thinking – by all present and willing – produces a storytelling narrative that is jotted down, and then later, visualized by the memory artist (in Photoshop as a digital photomontage). This involves re-contextualizing family photos into a physical dreamscape – which pre- or post-loss can be shared in campaigns (virtually in Facebook/email, or literally, say, imprinted on a T-shirt).  Designed to re-energize the patient and the bereaved, dreamscapes fill us with newfound purpose, hope and a call to action. The case studies shown here each reflect the original photos (provided by the family or patient) and the Dreamscape made for siblings, parents, children, partners, or in the last two, for the patients themselves.

DREAMSCAPE: Even with his continual illnesses, when he made the Superman pose, his family would think: "Wow, he’s a strong man, he’s Superman, we’re going to be ok." And he would think: "I smoke my cigarettes, play my scratchies - I’m not a weak fragile person to worry about." The wristwatch shows 7:30, the time he'd race home to watch The Daily Drawing on TV.