Glen Oaks, NY- While many others on the East Coast were watching the skies in anticipation of drenching rains, a clearly emotional group of donors, employees and friends of Zucker Hillside Hospital braved the elements recently to experience the unveiling of a new statue, created by a loving mother in memory of her son.
Robin Antar is a well-known sculptor who takes the everyday events of life and transforms them into representational works of art. For Ms. Antar, the dedication of her newest work, “David’s Knot in Flames,” was another step toward healing after the devastating loss of her son in 2013.
At the dedication, Ms. Antar explained that her son, David, had been a patient at ZHH; he later went on to help many people living with addiction issues. Sadly, her beloved son passed away at the age of 26.
“I began carving this tribute to my son nine months after he passed at the young age of 26,” said Ms. Antar. “The piece began with a 1,500-pound block of Turkish marble. The stone has veins of purple—young David’s favorite color and the ‘secret code’ he whispered when life got hard.”
Ms. Antar told the group that she carved a knot to represent David’s difficult life; “but, it breaks open into a flame to show how he rose above the hardships and finally, as a soul, rose even higher -- into Heaven itself.
The unveiling of the statue, which served as the official opening of the hospital’s new “Greenspace.”, located where the three demolished cottages once stood in the middle of the campus and is an area that now includes winding paths, trees, benches and picnic tables.
“Mental illness all too often robs people of the ability to enjoy the most simple pleasures, such as sunsets, music, sculptures…things that most of us take for granted,” he said.
“We hope this new space, and Ms. Antar’s beautiful tribute to her son, will inspire hope for patients and families and also be a place that re-energizes our staff, reminding them of the meaningful and life-saving work they do every day,” he concluded.
“This was an extremely hard thing for a mother to do; but for me, as a sculptor, it was also a work of healing,” Ms. Antar said during the ceremony. “I believe the high quality of care at Zucker Hillside Hospital helped my son grow up to be a better man.”