July 31st, 2020

Words & Artwork by Benedicte O'Leary Rutherford

My grandma died in March, when the pandemic first hit Australia. Everything was happening so quickly. I’d just spent a week with her in hospital, feeding her, holding her hand while she slept, tucking in a woollen blanket my grandpa had brought from home around her toes. She had a stroke and couldn’t do much for herself. She was so sweet. She would try to kiss me, but her face was half paralysed and she couldn’t move her mouth properly, so they came out like little fish kisses, a soft sucking of the lips that would brush against my forehead. It’s hard to grieve in isolation. And I’m grieving not just for my grandma, but, like all of us, for the year as a whole. I’ve found it's the small things that help. My room, so claustrophobic when it’s the only space I have to be in, is still cosy and comforting. Choosing socks to wear every day makes me happy. When you’re trying to cram a whole life into a room, even the smallest objects and the simplest moments, are vested with meaning. So I’m focusing on them. The good moments. If I have one good moment, then I can draw it, and that good moment will stretch to fill every mark of my pen. And suddenly the day isn’t so hard or so lonely.


Benedicte O’Leary Rutherford is a writer and artist from Australia. When she was young she told her family she was going to put images and words together like no one else had. Then she realised comics already exist, so now she makes them. You can find her work on Instagram @splitpeacomics.