30 | ART OF DYING
way to acknowledge some of those emotions that
I didn't necessarily want to share through writing. I
was taking pictures of what I was feeling.
I was certain that other people who were going
through these things would want to share my
experience. I started posting a portrait every week,
sharing the emotion that inspired the photo.
People resonated with my portraits. Although I’m
a writer, it's hard to put everything into words.
Sometimes you can say much more with an image.
You don't necessarily need everyone else to
understand every little meaning behind a photo you
make as long as you know what it means for you.
Others can interpret it how they want. Opening
myself felt so healing. I knew I had to keep pouring
it out and letting other people be a part of it. It
helped a little bit, a little bit, a little bit at a time.
My mother died when I was 9. That was very hard.
My whole life changed. Fortunately certain things
like my school stayed the same. That really helped.
My dad suffered from alcoholism and had not been
very present in raising me. After my mom died,
he had to raise me. It was only then that I started
to have a relationship with him. Thank God he
somehow managed to gather himself enough to
quit drinking and start going to AA meetings. It was
just the two of us. I was very aware of not having a
normal family. I didn't know any other kids who had
lost a parent, had divorced or anything. I had a lot
of fear around being different.
I was hyper aware of people dying after that.
Death was always on my mind. I remember feeling
like this couldn’t be normal. My dad was also
handicapped, so I worried that something would
happen to him. I'm often a nervous person. It's