In December of 2017, my mother began her decline into pancreatic cancer. At her bedside in her final week, I observed the stages the end of her life; that last journey to solace, free of pain and suffering. These images depict the transitional space between life and death; when the eyes are closed, but the heart still beats, and the lungs still take breath. This has been a topic at the forefront of my mind as the intimacy of holding her hand during her last breath and heartbeat lingers. Peggy Chen ended this journey in May of 2018.
Photographed at FogxFLO, FogxRuins, the Fujiko Nakaya installation at Franklin Park, Boston. Performed by Ruby Cabbell and Samantha Watson (Hartt School Dance Division), who also assisted with photographing “Mom, Where Are You Going?” while I portrayed my mother in her clothing.
You’ve closed your eyes for the last time, and have left on your final journey.
Mom, where are you going?
The interchange of identities on the journey to solace.
Who are we as we die? Are we the teenager, the mother, the grandmother, the child?
Are we the hater, the lover, the covetous, the grateful, the resentful, the resolved?