Terminal Illness - cherishing every moment together
Terminal illness or life-limiting conditions can affect anyone at any age, regardless of background or life history. A life cut short by illness is always a tragedy, but as so many of the incredible, brave and wonderful clients we've had have shown us, our last days do not need to be miserable. Often we are called in towards the end of someone's life, when they've accepted their situation and are making the most of every single minute they have with their families and loved ones. Even if your mobility is restricted, whenever we are able, we will travel to you (or try to find another caster who can, if we are unavailable) to cast in homes, hospices and hospitals. Ideally, you would travel to us and be cast in our studio, as we feel the experience we offer here is a big part of the special memories you take with you and share with your family, as well as being a far more cost effective option in most cases. However, we understand it's not always possible and we will always do our best to help you if we can.
The most popular choice of casting for this time of life has always been a couple or family group handclasp. Holding hands seems to eternally symbolise togetherness, strength and love against adversity. It can be comforting, whilst knowing you are leaving your loved ones, to know you are leaving behind a small but significant symbol of your love and togetherness that (unlike a photo or video) they can touch and hold in the years to come.
We have also created facial portraits/full head busts for those wishing to leave something with more traditional sculptural impact. And there's absolutely nothing to say you have to stick to the obvious - you might choose another favourite body part like a kiss cast, a tummy cast or a nose! Pricing for those who can visit our home studio in Maidstone is the same as for any other kind of hand, body, face or family casting; but if you need a quotation for us to travel to you please email with details about your location, situation and requirements so that we can provide you with some options. For a comparison between different popular material finishes, click here, although please note that you do not have to choose your final finish when booking the cast. The initial mould/cast is always made in the same basic materials and you can take as much time as you need to decide how you would like your piece finished without any pressure or sense of urgency. We are very happy to hold onto your original gypsum casts until you are ready to make that decision.
Being cast together, holding hands with your spouse, children, siblings or friends, is usually a very enjoyable and special experience for everyone - capturing a precious moment when you are all together, usually laughing at the funny processes involved. The resulting sculptures can be more precious than anything else we have the honour of making, and, being made to last, can be treasured for generations to come.
CJ herself knows the value of such a casting:-
'The year before my darling grandmother died (aged almost 93) I asked if I could cast her, holding hands in a triangle formation with my mum and my young son. My granny thought the process was hilarious and giggled throughout the entire event - the photos still make me grin when I see them. The cast of three of my most beloved family members hangs on my living room wall for all to see, and it gets more and more precious to me as time moves forward. My son's hand looks so young and tiny compared to the young man he has fast become, and I love comparing the different skin textures of these three generations of my family. The lovely old papery wrinkled hands of my granny, which she was a little self-conscious of at the time, are utterly beautiful to me, and a joy to still be able to rest my own hand upon as I walk past the sculpture and think of her. My mother and grandmother are each wearing their rings, and even these added personal details which only hold significance and familiarity within our family, mean such a lot. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to offer such a service to other people who are shortly to lose someone they love. I know just how much my own family cast has meant to me and the whole of our family, and the fascination it will bring to future, unborn members of the family to be able to point to the sculpture and the accompanying photo and say 'This was your great great grandma, and her daughter - your great grandma, and this little hand here...that was your daddy, aged 8!'
If you would like to donate towards the cost of a family having this sort of cast made, who might not otherwise be able to afford it, please click the donation button below. The full amount of your donation will go towards reducing the costs of this service for families most in need and will help bring comfort to those suffering the loss or impending loss of a beloved family member.