Art of Dying Volume II - Page 28

SARAH TREANOR You don't necessarily need everyone else to understand every little meaning behind a photo you make as long as you know what it means for you. My fiancé, Drew, died when I was 29. We had been together 3 years that week. He died in a helicopter crash, so it was unexpected, sudden. When I looked back, and I've heard many people say this, it feels like a part of us knew. Subconsciously we had a feeling of having a short amount of time together. The way we lived was very spur of the moment, carefree. We just didn't let things get to us. We had every adventure that we wanted to have. There were no regrets. There were no things that we didn't get to do or any of that stuff. It was strange looking back and thinking, ‘Wow, we really made use of that time.’ I had a lot of regrets about my dad’s passing, so to lose my life with Drew and not have any regrets was an odd but incredible blessing. The trauma of Drew’s death ripped everything away. I fortunately had a huge support system that helped give me the space to breathe. For three years I lived with Drew’s family and healed. They gave me the chance to figure out what I was 28 | ART OF DYING going to do and how I was going to rebuild. I had the luxury of not having to worry about paying my bills, which was a huge help. Creating things was all I had left, all I cared about, all I wanted to do. I couldn't believe that I was still capable of feeling the joy creating brought to me. It was a survival joy. I say survival because after Drew died, I was literally afraid I was not going to survive. I wasn’t suicidal or anything like that, but I was afraid that my soul had been so broken that it would never recover and I would just be this shell of a person. About a month after his death I started writing a blog recording memories of him and sharing what I was going through. It was a way to honor him, to keep his presence alive. My writing ended up tumbling into the portrait series. I had been taking selfies on my phone when I visited Drew at the cemetery. This became a new way to connect with myself. This was a