December and Everything After

December and Everything After is a project about my aging parents, and more recently, about the steady decline in my mother’s health since she was diagnosed with a slow growing abdominal sarcoma in 2014.

Over the last five years, my mother has had a stroke that exacerbated her dementia, a compound fracture to her wrist that never healed appropriately, a hip fracture and rods installed for hip support, and finally, she was diagnosed with cancer.  She was too weak for surgery or treatment for the cancer, so my parents opted for hospice, a healthcare worker and opiods..  It hasn’t been a perfect storm of health issues that is killing my mother, but a constant rain and slow flood over years. 

Recently, I made a conscious decision to pick up the camera and expose my mother’s suffering for what it is, a tragedy.  It has taken years and many pointless and ineffective photographs to reconcile taking the photos without feeling I am exploiting my own mother, but I’ve come to see the necessity in dialogues about end of life issues, assisted suicide, and the sad state of affairs in healthcare for the elderly.