In February, a short interval mid-month included Chinese New Year’s Day (12th), Valentine’s Day (14th), and Canada Family Day (15th). Surrounding this auspicious interval on both sides were: my mother succumbing to cancer (3rd), and her funeral and burial (17th). She missed her 90th birthday by a mere 6 weeks.
In the weeks following that massive tremor, a heavy cloak of sadness clings on, interrupted occasionally by aftershocks in snippets of truth containing memory and regret. I get to relive the entire process of a parent’s death all over again; with Dad in 2014 and Mom in 2021, the double is anguish with complete finality.
For a long time, I’ve often questioned how much value there was in a family unit, given our inability to verbalize or communicate forms of positive emotional feedback. This post is a short examination of that question in a selection of images. I have to give Mom and Dad credit: they loved pictures of the family, in clear physical evidence by the scatter of photobooks and piles throughout the house. Few will ask whether a photograph at any given time can effectively capture the idea or mood of the moment. The true irony is the future value of that photograph as a means of time travel, back and forth, over and through giant waves of grief.
A family of four, 1970-2014
Mom and Dad look young and vibrant, anticipating the promise of their children …
In both Toisan (Hoisan, 台山話) and Cantonese (廣東話), the number 4 (四) is considered unlucky, because the character sounds very much like the word for death (死).
Big nods to staff at the BC Ambulance Service, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital for their service and dedication to their patients; I’m particularly grateful for their direct yet sensitive treatment of both Mom and Dad. I acknowledge Tina for LAPC no. 139 in the week of 13-19 Mar 2021. Except for one image from Victoria, all other images are from greater Vancouver, BC, Canada. Most images on display are digital photos of physical photographs; other images are direct from my camera or from my sister’s mobile phone. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-kwc.