In the beginning, everyone wants proof of death.
How did she die? When did he die?
How could this happen?
Is she really gone?
There are forms to fill out
Paperwork to complete
Obituaries to write
Questions to attempt to answer
Later, sometimes much later
After the forms have been filed
The piles of paper have diminished
Our focus turns to proof of life
We remember not how the person died
But how they lived
Not the beginning and end dates of a life
But the dash between
This is where we celebrate PROOF OF LIFE
What do we leave behind?
Bodies and belongings
Memories and mementos
Evidence of who we were
THE PROOF OF LIFE PROJECT is an ongoing exploration of grief and memory, love and loss. Following the unexpected death of my mother in 2013, I was struck by the forensic nature of dealing with the practical and emotional aftermath of a loved one’s death. I found the process of sorting through belongings to be especially difficult and illuminating, in equal measure, and at different stages.
I hope the Proof of Life project can provide a space to talk openly about grief and the ones we’ve lost, as well as resources for dealing with all the practicalities of loss.
– Charlene Lam of Creative Clerkenwell
hello [at] theproofoflifeproject.com