I was wondering if I should write about Palliative Care in my blog. This is a private website. This is about art, taking pictures, about writing, poetry and finding expression. And now Palliative Care? Why should I write about that?
It is true that I make a clear difference between my private life and my profession. I try to leave my work at my work place. But working in Palliative Care has an impact, has an influence on my art. Not in the way that I find my artistic topics in that field. But working with dying human beings enhances your sensitivity. It tells you about the worth of life, how precious it is and how fragile. And this influences your artistic expression, if you want this or not.
What does dying mean? What is happening when we die? We are in one moment. And in the next moment we are no more. What happened? Physically it seems to be clear. The heart stops. The breathing stops. The brain stops working. But can we really explain what is happening? Why is this "machine" arresting on that very moment? Not sooner, not later. What makes all this happen? What is cancer doing on our body, what old age? And no, we can't explain this.
And what happens to our mind when we die? To all the knowledge that we accumulated over the years. What happens to our memories, to our feelings and to our soul? (Soul - what is that?) Is it all over? Extinct? Gone?
Every person has his or her own opinion about this. We call it believes. We call it religion. Or we call it philosophy when we are a little more matter of fact. We believe. We disbelieve. We find answers in believing because we don't know.
It is a mystery. Huge, impermeable mystery. And even if you have seen many beings dying you still don't understand what is happening.
I am realising that I am writing question after question. But no answer. The quintessence after 15 years in Palliative Care is that I don't know about the mystery of death. And I am probably not the only one who doesn't know.
Let's return to art and photography. Does the fact that I create very often dark images have to do with my work? Maybe a little. I have ever been interested in the dark side of life, in our shadows, our ghosts that haunt us. Palliative Care has not changed or enhanced that. But it has sharpened my sensitivity. And it has helped shaping my personality. So this is my way of expressing myself.
This was a first attempt of writing about Palliative Care. About death. About the borderland between life and death. Maybe I will write more one day.