Susan B. Larrivee is a staff nurse in the MultiCare Family Birth Center at Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, WA, and an artist.
Loss, one of a series of watercolors inspired by the artist’s work at the center, is the one she felt “most compelled” to paint. She explains, “I used discomfiting colors and sharp lines to convey the intense grief and lost hopes that accompany the loss of a newborn. The medical equipment stands off to the side, useless. The father gasps, and the tired, stunned mother can barely look at her lifeless child. The nurse, quietly backing the delivery table away, bears witness to their unbearable loss.” The painting is another way of bearing witness to “human life and its brief, fragile, intimate bonds.”
Art of Nursing is coordinated by Sylvia Foley, senior editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.