Secondly, all three are fortunate enough to have loving partners, and love is a healer. Not a curer, but a healer. Loved cancer patients in stable relationships recover more often and cope better.
When my mother was first diagnosed and things looked very grim, I was teaching at uni one day and one of the students came up to me and explained that she had nursed her mother the last year of her life in America (this was in Denmark) and she had received a piece of advice that had given both her and her mother great comfort and made the journey bearable. She called it
It is all about endorphins. By doing and repeating things one loves, and by remembering happy times and funny episodes, one can produce the happy hormone Endorphin - and it HELPS. It helps bringing perspective to a meaningless situation, it helps bringing a smile to a frown and it helps overcome really unpleasant treatments and such. Repetition and familiarity is key to a calm existence and happy memories.
Loving next to people that you know you might lose soon is a complete surreal and in many ways magical experience. I defy anyone to ever be the same again. But not in a bad way necessarily! The absolutely WORST thing people can say to me in their attempt to support me is: If I were you I would have probably killed myself. You would be surprised how many well-meaning people say that.
A lot of you have asked me - 'how come your paintings are always so happy and colourful?' - I have to tell you, it is because I AM happy, or should I say I am ALSO happy. And I am so grateful to still have time. I love to paint, they love that I paint - win win.
So I set about to share my happy therapy exhibiting in doctor's waiting rooms and staff rooms; hospital staff rooms and dentist's waiting areas; beauty shops and physiotherapists. Basically sharing colourful happy painting with people like myself, surrounded by sickness or pain, people who are sick and in pain. And the response has been tremendous. Gallery Livsmaleri has had hundreds of visitors, thousands on this blog and I keep getting requests.
My ambition is to show that happiness is in us all, even in the worst of times. Everyday life is a fountain of little droplets of sunlight, little bursts of colour. And at the heart of it all is love.
I am not being overly sentimental or soppy, I am being real. Sometimes we forget, because everything is so overwhelming. But look up - find a horizon - breathe in and as you breathe out say love. And it will come back to you manifold. I promise.
Below I have made a small cavalcade of the happy paintings I have made the last two years. I hope you enjoy. I did.