My stepfather was the first person who I saw dying. He was 59 years old. Four years later, my biological father died in a palliative care unit from pancreatic cancer at the age of 66. A year after him, my mother died of cancer in the exact same place, in the same room, and in the same hospital as my birth father did a year earlier. They only saw each other twice after their divorce in 1984 and died in the same room. Only I witnessed this fact. My mother was 65 years old. One characteristic of memory is to memorize the strongest emotional events and lay them like a blanket of snow over everything else. When I think back to my parents, I now think of everything from their end as if my memory of them starts with their death. There are years when it doesn't snow at all, others when it snows a lot, and the temperature drops very low. The year my stepfather passed away was such a cold one, filled with snow. Before my parents died, finitude was an abstract concept. I knew that life is finite, and that pain should be felt because of it. Rather, this thought was a vehicle to lend greater urgency to my youthful melancholy. I had never seen what death really looked like. And honestly, I would have imagined it differently. Something noble, whatever that's supposed to be. Now that I've seen it, I don't understand it any better either. It is incomprehensible how death can be possible. Inevitably, the question arose as to what I could do with these images. Should I lock them away in a dark box? Can they express more than just a pointless fact that we all know and don't like to be reminded of anyway? But I need to be able to talk about how death exists and how mean it is; how valuable and fragile this finitude makes life. This series is part of a larger project called “The Final Snow” and depicts the death of my mother and the summer house where I spent my childhood.
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