Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Tribute to Cheryl Braganza

Cheryl presenting at the Women's guild of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish

"For the last twelve years, while our mother fought bone cancer, a handwritten quote from Goethe has rested on top of her easel: "Rest not. Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time."

Little did we know how much she would take this to heart. In the last 5 years, she produced more artwork and published more writing than she ever produced in the previous 20 years. When asked why, she answered "I'm in a race against time. I have so much to say and so much more to bring into the world..." And her effect on people across the world is evident in the hundreds and thousands of awe-inspiring emails she got from fans of her work everywhere.

She lived longer than anyone in the history of medicine with myeloma cancer in the brain, and refused painkillers because she didn't want her senses affected. All she wanted was to experience every moment in living color until her last breath.

Our mother believed that in order to enjoy true happiness, she should live each moment as if it were her last. Today will never return. We may speak of the past or of the future, but the only reality we have is that of the present instant. Confronting the reality of death actually enabled her to bring forth unlimited creativity, courage and joy into each moment of her life. The more broken her body became over the years, the more she painted soaring images of birds, and butterflies, and dancing women. And even when the cancer paralyzed her body, she painted tapestries of colour and love with her face, her voice and her mind.

She died peacefully in her sleep this morning after seeing her three children; her soul soaring to the beautiful places reflected in her art. We could not have wished for a more beautiful and meaningful farewell." - a tribute by Cheryl's son Miguel on December 16th, 2016.

There is a wonderful link to various aspects of Cheryl's life, including her life story, art activism and cancer here.

Don't miss her recollections on the Partition of India either.

And, of course, her there is her tremendous art - which I will end with.  These are some of my very favorite Cheryl Braganza paintings.

Peace, Pink, Power
We Remember
Dancing Lady

You can get lost looking at Cheryl's website - there are so many amazing paintings.

Rest in Peace - and in Power - beloved artist, writer, mother, friend, visionary and warrior.