Day 81: Three months to live

Day 81: Three months to live

Day 81: Three months to live

Sunday, 22 March 2015

I’ve fallen over a week behind in my photos again, in large part because I’ve been struggling with today’s entry.

A new client needed an hour-long photo session to commemorate her husband’s 69th birthday. He was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has a little more than three months to live, so these photos would carry a special significance. They wanted the photos to be intimate.

What I didn’t count on were the dynamics of the extended family – his brother, his ex-wife, his three daughters with the ex-wife, their respective spouses and their young children… none of whom are directly connected to my client, but whom she wanted more than anything to please. She thought nothing of capturing something for herself.

One of the group photos I took really captured my attention. Their faces were a mixture of many things – sadness, pride, defiance, the determination to meet fate with dignity… Some smiled, though the grief is written clearly in their eyes. Some looked uncomfortable, as though it had just sunken in that certain issues would have to remain forever unresolved. The ex-wife was grave, but the way she held her ex-husband’s hand tightly over her shoulder betrayed a love and regret that I cannot even begin to fathom.

I haven’t the heart to share the photo. Even though the client told me she loved it and thought it was beautiful, it’s too personal and honest a moment to share.

But I’ve finally found the word that most accurately describes it: haunting.

And now that I’ve been able to reconcile my thoughts on that one, I guess it’s time to move on.

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