Janet F, Bill’s widow, is about to “graduate” from her bereavement support group. Yet she still wrestles with loneliness and fear at home and at the office — running the shipping business that she and Bill owned together. Integrating all the facets of Bill’s personality and ideology in this custom legacy photomontage now provides Janet a Bill she can really talk to. Janet explains:
“The biggest thing this Dreamscape has done is help me with my struggle – which is if I let go of my grief, does it mean I’m letting go of Bill; the woe-is-me, the why me, the woulda coulda shoulda? By really looking at this piece and being with it, I learned I don’t have to be sad to be with Bill.
The whole thing – the silliness, the seriousness- it lifts me up. The public image of Bill as the happy clown. But also the deep, private, straight-laced Boy Scouty Bill who did his duty for God, country, and other people. Bill in the rear view mirror of a train, because he loved seeing the “back” of towns, people’s laundry, old cars. He was all those things.
What happened to those 20 years, Bill, when you could pick me up and leap into a swimming pool? It brings back other times – our whole married life has been around water. Funny, I was always afraid of water. But Bill was Aquarius and Pisces. And the water’s green for St. Patty’s.
Every day I wake up and in my rocking chair, I spend some time with Bill in this piece. Like the crate over our heads, the chuppah, is from our business together. It puts me in a place that I feel like I can do this. It gives me the courage I can do this.”