brain · community · creativity · happiness · mental health · play · psychology

Grandma the superhero

Mental health is important throughout the entire human lifespan, from infancy (see previous post) to old age.

Courtesy of Boing Boing, I ran across this great story about actively pursuing good mental health, helping out a fellow human being, and using creativity and silliness to accomplish it.

“Sacha Goldberger found his 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika, a WWII survivor, feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, he photographed her dressed up as a fictional superhero. To his surprise, she loved it. The photos are a bit comical, but there’s an underlying sense of hope, strength and courage in them.”

View Grandma’s Superhero Therapy (18 photos). From the blog: 

Frederika was born in Budapest 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, he tells us “she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places everyday.” As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death.

Aside from great strength, Frederika has an incredible sense of humor, one that defies time and misfortune. She is funny and cynical, always mocking people that she loves.

With the unexpected success of this series, titled “Mamika,” Goldberger created a MySpace page for his grandmother. She now has over 2,200 friends and receives messages like: “You’re the grandmother that I have dreamed of, would you adopt me?” and ” You made my day, I hope to be like you at your age.”

People often forget just how much fun, funny, and spunky people can be after living on this Earth for a few decades. My grandmas were and are unstoppable forces of nature.

There have been a few photographic projects with older folks, in retirement homes or elsewhere, but the artist in me definitely feels like this demographic is an important part of humanity to explore that has been relatively neglected.