Memory's Dying Dream: Words and Images of a mothers passing
As a Chaplain for Heartland Hospice for more than thirteen years, death and dying has become something to which I can never become accustomed. At times it can be very difficult and troubling to observe and engage; at other times it is an experience filled with blessing and grace. Each family’s emotions and dynamics are integrated into the fabric of the life passing. Their history, good and bad, can define the moments shared and lived. In this personal walk of both faith and doubt I came to my Mother’s last days not knowing the how or the why of my reactions. As a son and acting as caregiver with my sister, I soon realized that everything I thought I knew was lost in the emotions felt. My Mother was and is my life and history. Her passing defined in me a loss I never believed I would live out even to this day.
As an artist I discovered a need to express the loss I was experiencing and in some way to hide from it. Stepping out of my comfort zone I chose to capture the images as I lived them: close, intimate and personal. With my cell phone’s camera I began to record the last 10 days of my Mother’s life. In the sharing of these moments I hope to bring a sense of belonging, of family, of blessing to you the observer. I know it will bring memories, though faded, to some, together with the dread of living them again, and to others, curiosity.
My greatest hope is that you will discover the blessing that I lived: that blessing and grief live together as one; and that death can give life.
(photos taken with Motorola M385 cell phone)