The Beginning of Healing

beginning of healing hschneiderman

About the Artwork

Henry Schneiderman

About the artist: 

Henry Schneiderman is a palliative-care physician at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT, and a professor of both medicine and nursing. He has been drawing since age five and studied for a time at the Art Student’s League in New York. His beloved wife Ro died this winter, after thirty-eight years of a good marriage. “Counseling and a spousal-bereavement support group have been helpful; so have the spoken words of friends and family, and the written words of others. This sketch is an expression of quiet, howling grief.”

About the artwork:

“On our garden deck one cold spring day I was looking at the sprouting of seeds I had planted a couple of weeks before. They were seeds I had bought with my wife, Ro, in the autumn, when she was fatally ill. As with so many other material remnants of our time–love letters, food in the freezer, clothes she bought for me, the warm quilt on our bed–these seeds became precious and charged with my communion with her spirit. I spotted four almost invisible dyads of germination from these seeds, atop the earth in a pot that already contained more mature plants. They came to embody for me renewal and the continuity and resilience of life. Before I met Ro I drew mostly in black pen-and-ink; she savored color, and it became standard for me to draw in color. This too is a communion.”

Visuals editor:

Justin Sanders


8 thoughts on “The Beginning of Healing”

  1. Life has always been the best representation of Ro. New life shows a love that grew for thirty eight years and even now transcends grief and loss.

  2. Beautiful. This is why Spring is my favorite season. the sprouting of all the plants after our snow-filled winters gives me hope and reminds me of the eternal nature of the soul and of course, love. Love never dies.

  3. Juliana Alvarez

    This is very beautiful, it makes me see how strong you are, and always selfless to share your learning with others no matter what circumstances. I am deeply grateful for having you as a mentor.

  4. Janet Rice Finney

    Henry: These are wonderful, full of love and reverence for Ro and hope for your future. Proof that sharing will heal us all. Thank you so much!

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