Grief needs an outlet
For this project, I sat with and listened to the stories of 22 people about a significant grief or loss in their life. The images were created mid conversation. I wanted to open a space for people to muddle through their ideas of grief and loss, close it with the curtain of a shutter and reopen it for others muddling through their own journey. Raising the camera to my eye throughout, I looked for moments mirroring the complexity of grief. Eyes entrenched in longing, lips pursed with the features of fear, a look yearning for hope, a troubled touch telling of an insecurity of the unknown, a gaze locked on the memory of a moment when everything changed, tears tumbling into the belly of our grief. We all have our own unique relationship with losing another yet these struggles, this surrender, and little victories hold tangled emotions echoing through all loss.
Yet we keep quiet. We quell the voice inside us longing to feel what we lost because we fear the pain. We cut the conversation with the concerned friend, and hide behind worry and uncomfortable silence. We rob ourselves of the healing that lives in the depths of the love we lost, because we’re scared of the darkness within. And that’s ok, everyone has their own timeline.
But I create work in this space because I believe that when people are willing to engage in the grief within themselves and within each other, we’ll find comfort in the commonalities. The themes are apparent throughout my conversations. The emotions palpable. The loss tangible. The words spoken are the same words racing between my head and my heart as I navigate my own grief. The emotions moving across a face are the same as the emotions that are moving through me. It gives me hope to hear that so many struggles are the same as mine. I have to listen to that hope. It’s my anchor. No one escapes the struggle with grief and loss, and there is beauty to be found in this connective thread for those who are willing to wade and weave through it together.