AFTER 

In late 2019 I lost my father to suicide. Everything seemed to have been turned completely upside down and that it was all just a nightmare that I would eventually wake up from. During the period of my father’s wake leading up to his funeral, his friends and family gathered to celebrate him and his life. This was something that I had never experienced before, so it was a very odd thing to me. It was lovely to reminisce on the happy recollections at that time, however after when looking back at the family album, the pain seemed to surpass these memories which had always evoked positive and joyful emotions to now devasted and mournful ones. This was an incredibly shattering thing to now deal with as I did not want to only feel upset and hurt when recalling on these precious memories, when they had made me feel the complete opposite only mere months before.

AFTER focuses on this drastic shift which forces you to associate negative emotions with family memorabilia, even when you try your hardest to escape them. When collecting my father’s belongings, my family and I went through them together. We laughed and joked about my father’s obsession with Elvis Presley, and we cried about how we wish we could have been there or supported him more during his struggles with his poor mental health. From this, I scanned and reprinted photographs from both the family album I had already known of as well as from my father’s own personal family album that he had created over the years, which my family and I had no idea that it even existed. I cut my father from these images to visually show this disconnection and new meaning that these images now represented for not only myself, but for the rest of my family. In a combination with these images, I also photographed my father’s belongings to give an insight into who he was as a person as well as focusing on his interests. Death is a horrible thing for anyone to ever experience. But for me, suicide was a much more challenging thing to process and deal with. It still is.

If you or someone that you are worried about is experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming themselves, PLEASE reach out for help. It is okay to not be okay and to ask for help when you need it!

 

Suicide Prevention Contacts in the United Kingdom

Samaritans

116 123

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

 

Extern Crisis Helpline

0800 085 4808

 

Mind Infoline

0300 123 3393

 

Calm Helpline

0800 58 58 58