top of page
'Eulogy', 2022.jpg



Matte giclée print on paper, wooden lectern

Variable dimensions

20/05 - 25/09/2022:

West Midlands Open

New Art Gallery Walsall, WS2 8LG

Published in Grief (In Few Forms)

When I think of my Dad now, I think of peace.


Dry humour, cracking wit and a wry smile.


Porridge with honey and blueberries, pancakes with lemon and sugar.


When I hear Bowie sing of 'Sorrow', now, I understand more than I ever have done before. "I never knew just how much I missed you, sorrow, sorrow."


Everything I care for dearly, everything I have passion and love for was influenced by my Dad.


Music, art, life... every last little bit of it.


I feel eternally grateful that he came to see my art studio, even if only for the first and last time.


Bemused, overwhelmed but ultimately elated, after huffing and puffing from a sore hip, my Dad turned to me and taking his phone from his coat pocket, asked warmly "Stand just in the middle there, let me take your photo."


There I am with frizzy curls and a beaming smile, proudly showing off everything I've built in honour of him.


"You've got to get your own unit" he'd say.


I remember warm Saturdays driving down with my Mom and Jack to his unit, Telford or maybe Wolverhampton (which both felt like the Dark Ages) that I now come to know as 'Auto Valet', from a keyring of his I'd discovered days ago tucked away in a bedroom drawer.


Rays of sunlight would cast across rows of squeaky clean cars, each so glossy I could see my tiny face reflected back at me with ease.


Engine oil pooled in pot holes on the entryway, blossoming delicate rainbows from the hot sticky tarmac.


When I think of my Dad now, I smile.


A dozen baseball caps, twenty pairs of reading glasses, hundreds of CDs. A songbook by Bob Dylan... hidden inside, a college report card stating 'Stephen must concentrate harder...'


Travel books on Southern France, on nature and the English countryside.


Beer and strange spirits I don't quite like the taste of.


A warm blanket.


I grow to miss my Dad more and more with each passing day and as many others have said before me I imagine it will become easier with time.


Rather than simply 'getting over' grief, you learn to live with it and it becomes a foundational part of you, shaping who you are.


Grief is meant to be a kind of love that has nowhere to turn.


You must grow around it, tall, confident and blooming outwards like a sunflower with a few lost petals.


I love my Dad, definitively, in spite of all his neuroses, hang ups and quirks.


Cans of soup in date order, letters unopened and piled high.


My Dad was a blessing, a gem, a mystery.


My introduction to Aladdin Sane and Abbey Road.


Late nights and early mornings.


Often offhand, often grumpy, I'll think of you always.

Copyright © 2024 Leah Hickey. All rights reserved.

bottom of page