21 Self-Portraits of Living after Loss
This series, entitled “Still, Life” is the work of Sarah Treanor. All the photos have been used with Sarah’s expressed permission.
Sarah writes, “Shortly after the death of my fiancé in 2012, I began taking self portraits.”
“I didn’t know why at first, all I knew is that some part of me needed to see myself.”
“I felt like I had died too… the images gave me proof that I was still living. A way to externally explore and express everything that was going on inside of me.”
“Still, Life is a project that was birthed out of those initial snapshots – one photo each week for the year of 2014 – exploring the complex emotions around the death of my partner and how to keep living on.”
“I have been using art to cope with life’s challenges nearly all my life.”
“At age nine, I lost my mother to breast cancer. Making art became my sanctuary, my escape from the pain.”
In my adult life I’ve come to use creativity to cope with things I never imagined I would have to at such a young age. In my mid-twenties, I lost my father to heart and lung disease. Parentless at 26, I took up photography as an escape.
“I found that when I was behind the camera I went to a whole other place…”
“… able to focus on the present moment and on finding the beauty right in front of me.
“It was meditative and created a sanctuary again for me – just like other art forms did for me as a child.”
“Then, in the summer of 2012, my fiancé was killed very suddenly in a helicopter crash while working as a contract pilot.”
“I was three months shy of my 30th birthday and my whole future vanished with one phone call.”
“His death changed everything about my life.”
“His death made me realize I had walked away from my dreams… wandered off the path.”
“I left my career behind as a designer, left the city we called home, and I began again out in the country, writing and making art.”
“Creating things has always been the only way I’ve been able to breathe in the midst of great loss.”
“The only resting place, and the best vantage point from which to see myself and my own journey – both the pain and the joy.”
“Photography helps me find my peace, and also helps me to express parts of my story and emotions in ways that cannot be said with words.”
“My goal in sharing my work is to help others who are going through their own darkness to feel less alone.”
Follow Sarah on her blog or Facebook to see each week’s self-portrait and for prints of her photographs visit her Etsy shop.