Beth Malone: How my dad's dementia changed my idea of death (and life)
Beth Malone - Social entrepreneur, artist
TED Resident Beth Malone brings bold art to public spaces across the US, encouraging artists to have a sense of humor, to be vulnerable and take creative risks. Full bio
that hits people in their 50s or 60s.
with his own hands.
with the falsetto singing voice
for round-the-clock care
and I made the mistake
and afternoon art classes
everybody with cutlery.
the curtains off the wall,
to throw plants out the window.
the old ladies out of their wheelchairs."
a bunch of state-run facilities
specifically for people with dementia.
on the ground wearing a onesie --
that zip in the back.
as he yanked at it,
coming out of the pit of my belly.
was worth living anymore.
to prioritize productivity.
an Adonis in this case --
in the way we expect him to be,
was that my dad was being tortured
the vessel of that torture.
I'm going to kill Dad.
to live the rest of your life
how to buy heroin."
about his death a lot.
about death when we were all healthy.
and then a support group,
when they're worried about loved ones.
and it's OK to go when you're ready.
on the ground in the onesie.
and just kind of looking at the ground.
about nothing in particular,
he sneezed from the ginger ale.
it jerked his body upright,
and sparking, over and over and over again
and he was looking at me,
because I'm just a mess.
he seemed kind of OK.
was still attached to his body.
as father and daughter.
About the speaker:Beth Malone - Social entrepreneur, artist
TED Resident Beth Malone brings bold art to public spaces across the US, encouraging artists to have a sense of humor, to be vulnerable and take creative risks.
Why you should listen
Beth Malone is executive director and partner at Dashboard US, an award-winning, experimental creative agency. Dashboard has presented exhibitions and special artist projects in cities around the country including New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Detroit. Dashboard has commissioned new, nontraditional works from over 200 artists.
Malone encourages artists to have a sense of humor, to be vulnerable and take creative risks, a practice she employed for herself when processing illness, caretaking and death. In 2014, she and her dad were sitting on a couch in a psychiatric hospital in Atlanta, GA. He looked at her and said, "I’m gonna be lost after this. After this, I’m gonna be gone." In August 2017, her dad passed away from frontotemporal lobe dementia -- just two months after she gave her TED Talk. It was a good death.
Beth Malone | Speaker | TED.com