Colours Of Kate
Turning Grief into Gratitude
Painting saved my life. After losing our only child Kate 3 months short of her 3rd birthday, I was completely lost. She was our only child and it devastated us to have to say goodbye to her following complications that arose from a stem cell transplant.
For the next 4 years I struggled with the type of grief only known to those who suffer the loss of a child. I threw myself into work by day and oblivion at night, using alcohol to escape the crushing despair and deep sorrow that was the undercurrent to my days.
I was a mother without a child and longed for another, but we were warned there was a 1 in 4 chance of the illness happening again. Having another baby was not an option for us. We couldn't put another child through all the pain and isolation we watched Katie endure. I continued on the dark road I was on.
By some miracle, and I can only describe it as a miracle, there was a moment when I realised that my life had turned into something I didn't recognise.
There was no laughter, no light and no hope. I also knew in that moment my little girl would not recognise the mother she once knew. So, I made a decision to put down my crutch and pick up a paintbrush and with that the light came flooding in.
As I began to paint, I began to feel. Celebrating her life and not mourning her loss and from that shift in thinking, dark to light there began a profound change in me and I embraced it wholeheartedly.
I hope my journey can show others that there can be life with meaning and gratitude after child loss no matter the age of the child. That your journey through the grief can start at any stage.
Kate's bedroom is now my studio. I paint and I create. Every time I stand in front of a blank canvas or an object of creativity, I feel her spirit with me, cheering me on and it's her colours that are shining through.
Meet The Team
Introducing Mal, Kate’s dad. He is the 2nd half of Colours of Kate. Childhood sweethearts, growing up exploring the freedom of the Dublin mountains together. We forged a deep bond that would hold us together through the most difficult of times. Giving up his own job to become Kate’s full-time carer when she was born with immune problems. Mal became an integral part in keeping Kate home and away from hospital as much as possible.
She needed 24/7 care by trained professionals, and we became trained with the support of the Nurse specialists in Crumlin Children's Hospital. We learned how to feed Kate through a line in her stomach. We learned to administer lifesaving medication through a central line into her heart and take regular bloods and a litany of tests daily to ensure her survival.
This unwavering love and support for his family has continued and now Mal is at the heart of this family business, supporting me in the decision to put down the drink by following suit, and also supporting me to do what I do best – Create!!
Unless of course some sanding and prep work in the furniture department is needed!