CAPUT MORTUUM

Beautiful Life and Death, Love and Decay watercolor bird and mushroom watercolor painting by Idania salcido, the artist behind Danita Art

I want to share with you one of the most meaningful paintings I’ve made in my entire life, and the nightmare that inspired it.

You know how I have been really inactive lately, and I told you how I’ve had insomnia for weeks now and felt totally depressed and out of touch with the world? It’s like a dementor took a hold of me and will not let go.

It’s been a very rough month for my family, and I think I’m finally ready to share why. My youngest sister had been trying to get pregnant for 11 years with no success. She and her husband finally had enough and decided they would not try anymore, it got way too expensive and the emotional drain was too much to bear, so they stopped trying. And then, just like that, without even thinking about it, she got pregnant. With twins.

This has been the best news our family has had in many years. We were all celebrating and making plans and teasing them about the challenge of having twins. We were all very happy and hopeful and excited. We already knew they were two boys and they already had names for them: Ezequiel and Benjamin.

And then, a month ago, my sister had her routine checkup. She had to be in bed rest since the beginning of the pregnancy and was doing really well. The babies were moving and she checked their heart beat twice a day. She went to the doctor as usual for her 7 month checkup but this time the doctor couldn’t find one of the twins’ heartbeat. She was sent immediately to the hospital and had an emergency c-section. And one of the  babies was dead. A bacteria snuck in and he had an infection he couldn’t fight. Not only that, but the other baby had it too and my sister had it very rough at the surgery since they had to clean up any trace of the infection or she would get it too.

In a matter of hours, the whole family went from celebrating and joking and making plans to being devastated and worried and living one hour at a time. The baby went straight to the NICU. The funeral services for my nephew happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was hard to choose, which one was Benjamin and which one Ezequiel. Benjamin lived.

There was no touching, no hugs, no more than 5 people at the cemetery. And then, straight back to the hospital. Undoubtedly, It’s been some of the worst days of our lives. There are no words to help someone in a situation like that, and we couldn’t even hug the parents or hold the baby.

A situation that should have been pure happiness and joy turned into a nightmare. Baby Benjamin is still at the NICU and we have our hearts torn in 2 pieces. One is still grieving and the other is happy because he’s making progress. He’s finally fighting the infection and gaining weight. And now that a month has passed, it’s time to deal with reality and the problems that undoubtedly come with death and sickness: money.

Their medical insurance did not cover the initial NICU Services because the nearest hospital was out of network and once admitted, the baby couldn’t be moved because his survival was at stake. As soon as the doctors gave them green light, he was moved to another hospital that the insurance is now covering, but they were left with a huge debt. And I mean, huge. They live in a city 250 miles away from me, and they’re doing what they can to raise funds, selling food during the weekends with the help of friends and family.

I want to help them too, and believe me, I would be there helping them making food and setting up a popup store if I could, but this pandemic makes it impossible for me to travel and help my family.

So I’m having a sale on my online store this week and the profits will go to help pay for the expenses of Baby Benjamin and his brother Ezequiel. I created a 50% discount code that you can use on anything on my online shop.

There are Original Paintings and Dolls, and beautiful signed prints from my previous paintings, including this one, the feature of this charity event.

 

I made this painting the same night that I heard the terrible news. For me, art has a cathartic effect and many times it helps me express what words and tears cannot, I made it while my heart was a storm of emotions and tears and It is now in my sister’s hands.

 

The joined birds are my nephew’s souls, the one with eyes closed is now feeding a new cycle of life. It turned out that Ezekiel took the blunt force of the infections so his brother could survive, and in doing so, he sacrificed his life force.

 

The painting is called caput mortuum, an alchemy term used for the iron oxide that remains after metal transmutation. It has spent all its energy helping the alchemical transformation and now it’s dead, never to be used again. In its death, it brought life. It is a fitting tribute for a beautiful sacrifice.

 

The fundraiser sale will be this week starting today and ending on Sunday, July 19th 2020, and you get 50% OFF everything on my shop with coupon code BABYBENJAMIN during checkout.
If you wish to help us even more and you are able to do it, you may skip the coupon and buy anything at regular price.

 

There’s also a GoFund me page where you can donate if you wish. I know I have a really supporting community with very generous hearts and together, we will make a difference for Baby Benjamin.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for any support you can give us.

 

Love,

Danita.

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