A Mother’s Lament


60 x 50cm

Bernadette Harrigan

She who was faithful ’til the final post.


This painting was completed in memory of a story (details long forgotten) I heard of an outback Mum who, after her son went missing in WW1, waited in hope he would be on the next train which passed through their small township. He never returned home. She never ceased to wait for the next train and hope that he would return, until she died, an old woman.


We rightly remember and pay tribute to our servicemen and women, recognising their traits & actions of courage, valour, selflessness, comradeship & love of country to name but a few.


Yet for me this woman’s story is iconic of those mums and dads, those wives/partners and children, those siblings, family and friends’ years of enduring love and relentless grief etched deep in the dark hours of night and masked, with a smile, in the light of daily routine. This is sacrifice borne for love of country. This is courage endured without cessation, casting a companion shadow for every moment of the rest of their journeys so that even celebrations of living were & are tinged with loss and absence.


Let us remember them.