Rev. Shawna Bowman Shares Why She Created Each of the Paintings
“The Without Warning Support Group is a beautiful community where folks come together and wrestle with their hard and heart-breaking stories of living with memory loss and/or caring for folks with memory loss and I am grateful for the time I was privileged to spend with them. I first encountered the group as a Chaplain Resident at Rush University Medical Center. The small group I worked with most often, folks experiencing memory loss first hand, were amazing truth-tellers and storytellers and I wanted to capture the depth of their experiences, I wanted to engage their humor, and their beauty in images that would speak to them. Often, folks would tell me that the most painful part of experiencing memory loss is the feeling of becoming invisible, of losing themselves and their stories.
As a Chaplain and an Artist, I wanted to offer these folks images that captured the pain and the beauty of their stories. I hoped the paintings would reflect some of their experiences back to them so they would know that they had been seen and heard and remembered. My hope was to create images that would thank these amazing folks for their gifts.”
Too Soon to Forget is a powerful program which explores the emotional journey of living with Alzheimer’s at such a young age. Nine families, along with the members of their support communities, talk about their personal challenges living with younger onset, addressing isolation, grief and loss, to the adjustments they make and finally to the healing power of community. No one should have to go through this experience alone and Too Soon to Forget hopes to make a difference in the lives of those living with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Without Warning, of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, is a Chicago based support program for those living with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. During its 13 years, the Without Warning program has grown to be one of the largest support programs of its kind in the country.
We are honored to have the Reverend Shawna Bowman’s paintings as part of Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.