Jessica was a beautiful young woman, even in death. She was my husband's sister, and she died on the last day of February 1995.
We have lost many family members to cancer, and I know how helpless I have felt watching them die. However painful painting Jessica's portrait has been -- facing her every day on canvas -- she and I agreed to it early on. She wanted to be seen, to possibly in some small way make a difference, so that her struggle might have some meaning. In that sense, the painting has given some closure to the experience and helped me to feel useful in a way I wasn't able to before. She is missed: her spirit, energy, her sense of humor above all. She brought the family together -- her greatest wish.
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