Donegal-based artist publishes poignant new illustrated book on navigating Covid-19 loss

Lily's Grandpa is Angel Front cover

Lily's Grandpa is Angel Front cover

A Donegal-based artist has published a poignant new illustrated book on navigating Covid-19 loss.

Lily’s Grandpa Is an Angel is a brand-new illustrated digital book about grief and love by Maria Gasol.  
 
Originally from Barcelona, Maria has lived with her husband and two children in Gortahork for the past 16 years. The story is inspired by her own personal experience of Covid-19 bereavement following the death of her father in Spain last year. 
 
Through its 20 illustrated pages, we see a little girl whose grandpa has died, trying to console her heartbroken mother through her belief that he is an angel with superpowers, having fun and watching over his family.  
 
Maria said: “I had written it last year when I was in the depths of bereavement. My daughter would see me crying a lot, and she tried to console me and cheer me up by telling me my dad was an angel, and also drawing him as an angel, and both combined really lifted my spirits.

"According to her, angels had superpowers, had fun and they watched over us. It was her efforts, her empathy, her caring ways and her wonderful imagination that really inspired me."

The book is one of 11 projects to receive support through the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Seed grant scheme in partnership with the Creative Ireland programme to support artists, craftspeople and community groups to explore the themes of death, dying and bereavement through creativity during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
 
“Creating something that was so personal and yet so universal was very healing. For me personally I felt like I was paying tribute to my deceased father and also to my caring, imaginative children, in particular in this case my daughter. I hope it will bring a bit of comfort, hope or joy to those grieving, adults and children alike,” Maria aded. 

Dominic Campbell is Arts & Cultural Engagement Officer at Irish Hospice Foundation: “The spectrum of pandemic losses run from inconvenient to tragic.

"I am awed by how Maria’s response to personal tragedy was to create beauty for many. We make art to make meaning. The simple story Maria’s drawings tell in story book form are a gift to help many to make meaning from loss.”
 
The book is available to download for free from: www.mariagasol.com  

For more information about the IHF Seed Grant Scheme, visit: www.hospicefoundation. ie  

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