It was hard to see the pain in my fathers eyes after my mom, his second wife, died, compounded by the memories of the loss of his first wife from breast cancer. I did enjoy being with him and giving him my love and attention but it was like his heart was tired. Don Beto's experience is no different then many others who have had to accompany a loved one through the agony of a long term illness. In as much as he suffered it is undeniable that there was beauty in how we shared our grief together, comforted eachother, felt sad together and looked at the promise of a new day with a tall glass of orange juice that he would make for us every morning with oranges from our tree.
Below are some links that try to capture the beauty that emerges out of grief. Angelo Merendino lost his wife in his early 40s, she was 40. He created a stunning photo project that brings a tremendous amount of grace and beauty to an otherwise horrible experience. Another photo project captures a father, Ben Nunery and daughter as they move out of the home they shared with his wife. Ben's sister recreated the wedding photos with his daughter standing in place of his wife. Regarding the representation of breast cancer, public images are generally pink ribbon clad women looking to fight this disease. speaks to the complications of breast cancer awareness and the corporations that profit off of casting their products in pink.
Finally, my mother passed away at 65 in my early 20s. As a way of grieving the loss of my mother I created a video below that represented how I felt about what was happening to my mother and speak to the failings of public healthcare at the time. My mother did not have health insurance and was a proud spanish dominant Mexican women. What tethers together these various stories is a desire to connect with an audience to help them understand. For myself it was always difficult to explain in words what I had been through. Film gave me an outlet to complicate my own thoughts and express my layered feelings.
Thank you for sharing this tender tribute to your mom.
on November 30, 2015
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