Since a young age, I have felt protected and watched over by the ones in my life who have died – most notably my mother, who died when I was nine. At thirty one, I’ve now lost my mother, father, and my husband-to-be. I have also lost all of my grandparents, and several aunts and uncles… so I have accumulated quite the gathering of guardians on the other side.
I sometimes imagine them around me. I sometimes FEEL them around me. Especially my fiancé – as he is never shy to tell me he is near. They are tall and expansive – much bigger than they ever were in this life. When I stumbled upon this tree a few weeks ago, I knew instantly that it communicated exactly what I wanted to show of this inner world of mine.
Everywhere I go, everything in life that I do, this is where I stand on the inside. Surrounded by the power and protection of these souls. All the parts of me are there – the part that is small and sad and still broken… she is curled softly amidst their feet… looking up to them and asking for help. Asking for them to help her feel safe and to show her the way.
The part of me that is strong and tenacious and determined is there too. She stands tall but never alone – always with a hand braced against them. Should anything try to knock her down, she knows… she will not ever fall far, for she will always only fall into the limbs of great guardians. This is my reality. My way of being in the world is to operate internally from this place of spiritual strength. It saves me, heals me, guides me, and allows me to embrace life more fully each day.
About the Series: Through 40 weekly photos and accompanying essays, 'Still, Life' captures a deeply emotional and psychological journey of what it means to grieve, to heal, and to live on.