A message from Maree to celebrate her 50th Birthday.
"I learned of the Reflected Legacy Project from my friend Jennifer who works in the Palliative Care Ward of Liverpool Hospital. It struck a chord with me because I'm really grateful for, and feel the loving legacy and connection, that i've received from you all, in particular, Mum, my Grandparents and some special friends who've died. I also understand how important it is to know who we are and where we come from to live life fully. Every one of us hold gems, strengths and lessons particular to our character and experience. Ideally, we might share these in our daily life, but I know I can be distracted from what's real and what truly matters by a busy existence.
End of life won't wait for a break in my schedule.
I can see that the Reflected Legacy Project finds diamonds in this moment. Reflected Legacy encourages families to communicate in this loving space, enabling an honouring of, and gratefulness for, each other with the potential for honesty, deeper connection and a clearer sense of identity. This meaningful communication may assist us to peacefully let go of this world or nurture us in times of grief, growing our confidence and passion for life.
The Arts have an uncanny way of unlocking the depths of our emotions, often hidden to our thinking brain, and can access deep healing. I read this in the stories of the families that benefited from Reflected Legacy and see it in the beautiful watercolour representations of each life by Flutter Lyon.
You can read more detail about this process and some personal stories on this site. If it strikes a chord with you too, I know they'd be so grateful for a donation.
the Reflected Legacy project
How the Program Works
Flutter Lyon hosts Pressing Sessions in patient rooms; profound, interactive experiences between the artist and the patient that combine storytelling and art making. Through a series of questions and storytelling exercises Flutter captures the life stories of people in the last days and weeks of their life in unique Ink-Pressing artworks and sound recordings, which are then given to the patient and their family as a gift of art and legacy.
Why the Program Exists
Connection. Insight. Healing.
When we tell our stories, it gives us a way of sharing and reflecting upon the life we are living. Free expression and storytelling in this setting offers a deepened sense of connection to the value and meaning of our individual and shared life experiences.
It can bring comfort, celebration and beauty during a challenging time in our lives, encouraging the recall of memories and key points in our life that we have felt free, joyous, loving and loved, strong and hopeful. By remembering what we have done and seeing the powerful nature of our human experience, it can help empower us to find the strength and bravery we might desire now.
1. Provides a space to openly share their life stories - based upon questions asked by the artist about the patient's experiences of joy, courage, freedom, love and resilience. Patients are able to go as deep as they like or to take the Pressing Session in a direction is of the most value to them. The artist responds in real time to cues and responses from the patient, balancing sensitivity and valuable inquiry. The outcome of an experience like this can be highly cathartic and relieving to someone's who's identity and story has become secondary to their diagnosis.
2. By sharing their stories in this way, it provides a mechanism for the patient to form a more meaning-based narrative of their lives. A meaning-based narrative is different to a straight inventory of life events - it is a memory, emotion and sensory rich process that can help to reflect the essential experiences of a human life
3. The recording of legacy - a patient can experience a sense of security knowing that they will be remembered and reflected upon by the people on their life.
1. A moment for them to share their grief, their appreciation, their love and respect. A moment when dual and multiple emotions are given permission and understanding to co-exist. To feel great love and warmth towards their spouse whilst also feeling a great sense of loss and sadness. This is an example of the reality of dual emotional experiences, that often in order to feel love we must also feel fear and sadness.
To care is to engage with a sense of attachment to outcome - to be affected by the wellness and experiences of someone else. Empathy is an experience that has hazy bounds - to care just enough for the wellbeing of another human whilst also retaining a sense of boundary in order to live our own emotional experience that runs alongside the care of a loved one.
There is a potency that comes with the words being spoken by a dying person. People tend to take notice and receive these messages with a depth of understanding and connection that simply cannot be simulated in any other way.