Mourning Sophie

"Bathroom 0"
from “Mourning Sophie”

There are things in life that, despite the fact that I recognize that they are unavoidable, I am unable to accept.  To me, acceptance should involve options.  How can I accept something that was forced upon me?  I did not choose the death of my best friend Sophie but yet I have to accept it.  My acceptance of it has no effects whatsoever; it will not change a thing therefore it does not really matter.  I want to believe that I have the ability to decide on how to cope with Sophie’s death and how to deal with my feelings: the sadness, the guilt for not spending enough time with her , the anger both toward her for leaving me and toward myself for omitting to let her know that I loved her.  Death is such an inconvenience…  I still have a best friend; the difference now is that she can’t talk back or laugh with me.

I find it strange how death creates the illusion of  bringing someone closer to a loved one.  It is as though the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” was actually true. Now I think about her more than when she was alive.  Exploring the place where she lived and going through her belongings is a way for me to rediscover who she was.  I am either looking to confirm what I already know or hoping to find evidence of a disturbing secret life of hers that will give me a reason to stop missing her.

As I witness myself intruding into her expired life, I realize that privacy is only temporary; it exists as long as one is there to preserve it.  Once you die, the door opens.  Family members may choose to close it for you but they now themselves  have full access to what was exclusively yours.  Mourning Sophie is a photographic series presenting evidence of Sophie while merging fiction with reality.  Personally I find it hard to keep these two concepts separate when dealing with grief. I often wonder if her death is real or if she even existed…

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