Artist movingly captures final moments of wife dying of Alzheimer's disease
After Norman Gilbert's wife suffered a stroke, the artist sat by her bed in hospital and sketched his wife of 65 years. Gilbert, who is 91 years old, has always included his family in his work. Hiw wife, pat, had been featured in his paintings since they met as students of art in the 1940s.
Pat died in August 2016, two hours after their wedding anniversary. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a number of years and Gilbert cared for her until she had to be hospitalised after a severe stroke.
Gilbert had a chair set up in the hospital room so he could be with her always. He decided to start drawing her as she lay in bed. She was probably unaware after the first day when she stopped squeezing his hand in response to his touches.
Gilbert completed about 30 drawings - simple, honest sketches but enormously moving and emotional to someone who has been at the bedside of a loved one in their final days.
Apart from helping Gilbert, the sketches were important to his four sons, two of whom could not be at their mother's bedside for the whole time.