It’s been over three weeks since Kevin died. Three weeks. The thing I worry about the most is forgetting. Forgetting the sound of his voice, his laughter, even, God forbid, his snoring. I worry that he will forget me, wherever he is. Will he remember me, our kids, our life together? I guess I worry about what’s next, what happens when we die? I am not an overly religious woman, I simply had too much religion pressed upon me during my youth. I’ve never guided my children towards or away from religion. I am tolerant of other’s beliefs as long as they stay that – their beliefs – don’t try and make them mine. But now, now that Kevin’s gone, I wonder, where is he and what is next for him? I am a little jealous of those around me, participants of some religious order, who have their faith to anchor them and provide them solace and comfort. Regardless, I am still comfortable with being agnostic, I simply don’t know what is out there, consequently, I can wonder what’s next because it is part of the great unknown. For me it is a matter of what the heart holds true and this will be different for each and everyone of us.
Today I looked at the cards, letters and notes of sympathy I received. It’s the first time I’ve been physically and mentally capable of doing this since the funeral. I also watched the video collage that Kevin’s buddy from school, Stu, had put together and that played during the reception held afterwards. The video allowed me to hear Kevin’s voice, to watch him through stills and video clips, it gave a chronology of sorts over the years of the broad spectrum of his life. It was painful to watch beyond a doubt, but at the same time quite joyful. He was a man that loved people, places, performing, teaching, joking and whatever else life threw at him. Darwin stated, “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” Kevin valued his friendships and it showed, his friends came out by the hundreds for his funeral. The support that was given to his Endowment Fund was quite substantial; the Gallery has committed to forwarding me a list of names and addresses by next Monday and I will then start on the thank you cards – I just feel that for me it will be easier to do all the cards at once.
With respect to the Endowment Fund, the Gallery plans on issuing the first Kevin J. Batchelor Award this October so that is fairly exciting news. It will be part of a national juried art exhibition and Kevin’s award will be specifically for paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolour) by emerging artists of any age, self taught or formally trained. For the inaugural award I hope to have at least one of my children present the first $1,000 cheque to the 2015 recipient. We are so thankful for all the financial support that people have provided in this regard. It is, however, bittersweet to have this award at all, since it is the result of a life lost far too soon.