The Dead Dove

When people see this image they respond in different ways. Some have said it’s a photograph full of sadness, that it’s hard to look at.  Some say it’s foreboding, an ill omen of days to come.  Other are more pragmatic: The dove flew into the window and fell down dead. That’s it. It meant nothing.

My response is to turn it into art.  I can’t say that I like the image, but I also can’t deny that it holds immense significance for me.  That’s my baby. The diagnosis of his terminal illness came shortly after this dove flew into my window and died.  It’s a profound moment in time if you think about it and I wonder at myself for having had the wherewithall to get my camera and capture it.


I tried scraping the color away with an x-acto knife to add texture.  I liked the effect at first, but by the time I got to Knox’s face, I was crying a lot and I didn’t want to scrape any more.  Any image of him, whether photographed or drawn, is precious to me.

I left it alone.


Grieving my baby boy is hard work.  It’s exhausting.   The rough days at the end of his life are still bothering me and I can’t  stop thinking about what I might have done differently.  Sometimes all I want is to do is to go to sleep and not feel the pain for a little while.  But as soon as I open my eyes, there it is again.  The empty crib, the silent room, the ache of another day without hearing his voice.




  1. Margaret Simkins

    Oh Scarlett I so feel for you, as many have said, not many of us can possibly know the true pain of losing a child, I can only sympathise with the pain you are feeling.
    What I do know is that you are showing amazing strength in continuing to face each day and Knox will be looking down with admiration on his mummy. The pain of grief can be unbearable but hopefully your lovely family and your art will help you to continue working through it and always remember you have many admirers and it would appear lots of friends who think about you constantly during your most dark moments.
    Since you have lost Knox your art has become very thought provoking and is such a strong way to raise awareness in others of the pain that people may be suffering.
    I recently read a short note ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind.’ Perhaps your art is a way of Knox promoting more kindness and caring.
    Certainly this piece is dynamic in its statement.
    Love Marg xx

  2. Laurie Brown

    I really like what Marg said about Knox being a way to promote more kindness and caring (in this world). We certainly need it and what a beautiful way to have lived his short life, He lived it with kindness and caring!

  3. Scarlett, your words touching me in the deep of my heart again and again. I don´t know why, but I am grateful that you are able to express yourself with your art and words like that. It hurts a lot, but it’s like a preparation for what may come. You and Knox showed me more than anything else to enjoy every second with my girl. I wish we lived closer and I could stand by your side in person. I miss you so very much. All my love, Daniela

  4. jeana boatright

    I’m glad you wrote about this image. I have wondered how you were able to capture it on film. I wanted to be a pragmatic viewer and think it was just something that happened but I can’t knowing how significant this moment was for you. I don’t know how you have brought yourself to paint it but I hope that every tear is replaced with a sweet , happy memory. I love the way you have used the ink and pastels. You captured Knoxy’s sweet spirit in his face here.
    Love you so much. I hope to see you soon.

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