26 JUNE ~ For Hurting Hearts Everywhere

A few months ago, Nick ran across a call for artists for an annual juried outdoor art exhibition at a nature preserve in Southborough, MA.

ART ON THE TRAILS opened last week. DSC00720 (1).jpg


Hand-carved stone, barbed wire, paint

 heart hurts dull day.jpeg



 A Message from Nick

These past months, I smiled outwardly whenever family and friends approached or contacted me–-I’m a lucky guy. Inwardly, I felt myself recoil more and more, as the hurt in my heart kept getting deeper and deeper.

Not sure why I entertained doing an art installation in Southborough, up the road from Fay School and St. Mark’s, where Caitlin went to school.

I kept trying to make this a happy installation. At first, I was thinking of something like a happy, smiling heart. But each day, working on this at our shop with my guys, I found myself in my office in tears.

I finally gave in as all the pain of these last 18 months came flooding in. The confusion, the names of friends dealing with their own hurting hearts. The Giblins, Walter, Tony, Jessie B, Kimmie, Jess. The hurt on Maryanne’s face. The loss of Henry.

I finally realized that it is okay to say that my heart is hurting.

As painful as the construction process was, it was worth it that Wednesday at 2pm as I placed the final piece in place––a great relief and opening of my heart, I guess, as I smiled and thought “Caitlin likes this” and I was so looking forward to Maryanne seeing it. As I walked away, two hawks soared above–-Caitlin happy because her dad is.    



Design and construction phase


ART ON THE TRAILS will exhibit through September 23rd

The show includes 18 installations spread out over a 15-acre parcel of preserved open space. The installation behind Nick’s is a big black and white cat.    !

big kitty
BIG KITTY, Mark Wholey

To visit, refer to this map and parking directions.


“All that really matters is loving people and being kind.” –Caitlin O’Hara

Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

17 thoughts on “26 JUNE ~ For Hurting Hearts Everywhere”

  1. Maryanne,

    This is amazing. Powerful words and visual expression–and those hawks!

    Much love to your husband for opening his hurting heart.


  2. Maryanne,

    What a powerful work Nick has created, and what powerful work Nick is doing. My mother grew up in Westborough, MA, so nearby. Nick’s sculpture has me thinking of all the pain, and all the joy, in her life, my grandmother’s life, and my grandfather’s. With tribute and care for Nick, and you all. Ken

    Kenneth T. Segel
    Managing Director
    Value Capture / Value Capture Policy Institute
    Cell: 412-445-0024
    Email: Ksegel@valuecapturellc.com

  3. Hi. That’s amazing. My daughter and I will drive up to see it after she gets back from camp. Think of you all often. 💙Mark

  4. I’m so sorry for the pain that inspired this work of art, but happy that the work of art helped with the pain. xo

  5. Wow–beautiful and powerful! This is what the best art does–reaches deep into pain and finds beauty. Thank you for being brave enough to do this.

  6. I know that you have collected Hearts since Caitlin’s death.
    Symbols are such a connection.
    Hearts always seem like happiness and joy…. but with Nick’s artwork – they display a symbol of the working through of sadness and loss. If it helps in this incredible process of losing your beloved, you will always have the comfort of knowing that the face of Caitlin is shining on the both of you.
    I will go to see this tribute and share in you sadness but mostly in the incredible joy of a life well lived.
    As always, I send my love. My congratulations and love to Nick. Lorraine Barry

  7. A truly wonderful piece of work from my very brave and talented cousin.
    Men seem to be conditioned from birth that they must be strong, brave and not openly display emotions or feelings. How can they begin to heal and recover from such a tragic loss if they are always putting on a smile and a brave face.
    So proud of you Nick and love you so much.
    Eileen and your best( irish )friend Padraig

  8. “I finally realized that it is okay to say that my heart is hurting.” This stunning work of art full of barbs and broken pieces reflects that hurt and makes it clear, yet the efforts of assembling brought a relief of the repression felt for days, months and more than a year… a father’s act of love. May feeling the happy more than the hurt happen more often. Love to you both, Maryanne and Nick.

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