There is nothing we won’t do for those we truly love.
Whether it’s a simple or monumental task, the people we love are worth any effort.
This carries on after life has expired.
This man, a painting instructor, lost his wife, Alba, to a glioblastoma, a malignant tumor in her frontal lobe, when she was only 31.
Prior to that, he had spent the year caring for her.
I had to be strong three years ago when my wife began to have strange symptoms that the doctors couldn’t explain. I had to be strong when they called me from the emergency room to tell me that my wife’s panic attack was actually a huge brain tumor in her frontal lobe. I had to be strong when they told me, but not her, how serious it was.
I had to be strong during the eight hour operation when the doctors told me she probably wouldn’t walk or talk normally afterwards. I had to be strong when I fed her in intensive care. I had to be strong while we waited for the biopsy. I had to be strong when she got worse this year. The tumor was in the frontal lobe, so her personality changed dramatically. I had to be strong when the physical symptoms started showing up.
I had to be strong when her doctor told me there was nothing to be done and she would be dead in a month. Actually, to be honest, I wasn’t strong here, I cried like a child in his office. I had to be strong when a day later she could no longer move or talk or open her eyes. I had to be strong when the most beautiful creature I had ever seen died. I had to be strong when the first dead person I ever saw was my 31 year old wife.
Now its all over. I’m alone in our house. I am so sick of being strong
A month after her death, he undertook another labor for his love, sculpting Alba’s grave marker. See the mournfully beautiful tribute below.
I did her originally in clay, then had that laser-scanned and roughed out in marble by robot. I then refined it with a dremel and polished with sandpaper.
Creating the clay basis in a studio from a wall of pictures of Alba.
Working at home to capture the images of Emma, his wife’s beloved dog.
The giant, marble-carving machine in Carrara, Italy.
This is what the marble looks like after the machine is done.
A profile of the finished bust.
Her hair is styled from photos of their wedding day, done up with orchids.
Incredibly, he had never sculpted anything before.
I’ve worked as a professional portrait painter for years. Normally, the process with portraiture is that the closer you get to a likeness the happier you feel about the work. When sculpting your wife a month after her death, the dynamic is very different.