Daily Deviation
HjalmarWahlin's avatar

Heaven at last

3K 208 45K (7 Today)
By HjalmarWahlin   |   
© 2015 - 2020 HjalmarWahlin

:camera: Instagram , :facebook: Facebook , :bulletblue: Tumblr , :target: Pinterest , :bulletblack: ArtStation , Order prints here

My dad passed away 11 months ago in cancer. When I was a kid we used to talk about traveling together. Just me and him. But I grew up and we never did. All my life I have been disappointed that he never made any real time for me. But then he made a promise. Actually we promised eachother. As soon as we both had the time we were going to Canada. Climb mountains together. Canoeing rivers in the forest.

But he got sick. The cancer in the spinal cord made his legs paralyzed and he had to use a wheelchair. The future was very uncertain. We didnt know if he was going to live or die. But my dad knew. He was going to live. He looked at me from his wheelchair, promised that he was going to get through it and as soon as he got better we were going to do it. Have an adventure together. I jokingly said that he wouldn't need his legs for canoeing rivers. We  shook hands on it. The time before his death was the most horrible. As he got worse I couldn't bring myself to bring it up with him again. And then he died.

Ever since that moment I have had this almost unstoppable longing for escape. Thinking a lot about the future. To flee into the unknown. I think about it every day. I have bought a motorcycle capable of traveling the world. Soon I have a drivers license, and Im about to make the journey of my life.

I painted this piece about 2 months ago. I painted myself holding the hand of my future son and our favourite pet dog. Escaping together. At least thats what I thought it was. It wasnt until far later when I looked at it again and everything became clear to me... What really made me paint it in the first place.

The tall guy is my dad. The little boy is me following him, as he makes his journey to the afterlife. Into death. Finally having that adventure we promised eachother. The dog is just a happy spirit, telling us that everything will be OK.

How I painted this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybJtWG…

Image size
1920x1062px 1.85 MB
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Brianna2260's avatar
Brianna2260Hobbyist Digital Artist
buckiesmom's avatar
I lost my dad to cancer too and it was devastating to my family.  So sorry for your loss of your beloved father.
Your picture is absolutely breathtaking and totally explains your feelings and deep love for your dad
One of my new favorites.  Bless your heart.  Take care. 
ShedragonArtist's avatar
ShedragonArtistHobbyist Digital Artist
What a sad story and a terrible loss. But it is true that life is one great journey. You run and run, arrive at different stations and experience many wonderful or terrible things. It teaches you something and gives you new experiences. Unfortunately, bad things happen again and again without being able to do anything against it. The only hope man has is that death is not the end of everything. It is only the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one.

And remember that a person only really dies when no one remembers him. As long as you remember someone, his soul stays alive. Forever.
varian66's avatar
Your work has inspired me once again! Thanks for sharing your talent and story. Here's the track I composed to go along with this amazing image  youtu.be/ZrEMuF24_xs
sweetbabe84's avatar
You are so extremely talented . I love this
lewisfoggie's avatar
What a cool image man! Flying off into the abyss... The symbolism here is really powerful; the father and son holding hands signifying a bond, the arms spread as if to take off to the skies, to escape, to rise up beyond all fear and doubt, away to a place beyond pain...

Really touching story man, thanks for sharing!
Teddiew's avatar
TeddiewHobbyist General Artist
Cerpcake's avatar
CerpcakeHobbyist Filmographer
Aww D:
NeverwinterCitizen's avatar
This is a very moving and wonderful piece of art.
My condolences to you. Just be sure that you will see him again. In the very best way that you remember him.
My best wishes.
12bailey12's avatar
  I can relate to this beautiful (heavy hitting) image, cancer got my mother 7 years ago - its only later that you appreciate missed opportunities and the value of every moment.

this short film  by Fursy Teyssier has the same feel


also he did this music video - i love the imagery in the last minute - change and freedom

DivineProdigy's avatar
DivineProdigyHobbyist Traditional Artist
This is incredible. The caption only makes this piece that much better — as those last two paragraphs is what truly brought this piece to life. I could see your story becoming a movie, with this piece being the ending scene. Fantastic work, my guy. 
TheMarsianButthole's avatar
TheMarsianButtholeHobbyist Traditional Artist
This is the most gorgeous ever !!!!
SaphireHoyt's avatar
SaphireHoytStudent General Artist
OMFG I nearly cried.. My dad survived cancer, but... Not everyone is that lucky.
dizzzydaze's avatar
dizzzydazeProfessional General Artist
So beautiful... I'm crying.
zed25's avatar
Im a strong man, but I have tears in my eyes.
Amazing picture.
HjalmarWahlin's avatar
HjalmarWahlinProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you for that
WeaknessOfHeart's avatar
Made me cry. Thanks a lot for this amazing artwork and the heartbreakig story. May God bless you forever.
HjalmarWahlin's avatar
HjalmarWahlinProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you so mmuch, I really appreciate that.
False-Virtue's avatar
Reminds me of the book and movie "What Dreams May Come."

I think you'd really enjoy them.  The book and movie are really different, but I'd recommend both.

Also, this is absolutely beautiful!
FireFox668's avatar
FireFox668Hobbyist General Artist
omg after reading that and wat happen im crying now and i cant stop im so sorry this happen and im glad in some way you guys got to have the adevnture u always wanted. ik this is few years old and that but i truly am sorry for wat happen and i know hes up there to this day looking down on you and i know he is very proud of you and all u done ^^ that painting says it all and it is epicly beautiful
HjalmarWahlin's avatar
HjalmarWahlinProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you so much!!
ilikeyerart's avatar
Purdy Purpleness!
Void-Soldier's avatar
Void-SoldierHobbyist General Artist
Your painting really captures the emotion of your story. I am sorry about your father. One day you will meet up with him again and until then, fulfill your life. I hope to see my grandparents and first love again in the afterlife.
Surutyo's avatar
SurutyoStudent General Artist
Dear God, I literally had tears all over my face while reading the description...

May your Dad rest in peace. He's certainly very proud of you.

The picture is amazing, I love everything about it... it's beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us.
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In