PSYCHOLOGY

"Our Last Year Together": Inspirational Photographers Capture Their Terminally Ill Parents In Their Last Days

When you realize that a loved one is soon going to pass away, everybody around doesn’t hide their grief. Instead of spending as much time as possible together and turning it into heartbreaking yet touching memories, everyone tries not to pay attention to the patient’s condition and continues living a normal life. Meanwhile, such experience can become a salvation, a way out for those who find themselves in the same situation.

The Borowicks

Nancy Borowick grew up in a loving family. Her caring parents had been together for 34 years. Her father had become an orphan as a teenager, and he was desperately afraid of losing close ones, in particular, his wife, who had fought breast cancer for about 17 years.

In 2012, he was also diagnosed with cancer. However, the couple didn’t give up. Instead of living in melancholy, the Borowicks began to create memories, not hiding their problem or becoming obsessed with their upcoming end.

Nancy took photographs of her parents to capture every moment of their life, strength, and unwillingness to surrender. Looks like this couple had a lot of fun times, trying to overcome the disease together.

The girl's father managed to walk her down the aisle before passing away a year after his cancer diagnosis.

His wife suddenly felt immensely alone. She wasn’t afraid of death, but of losing the ability to love her husband and children. She spent the last weeks of her life surrounded by loved ones but without the one whom she loved the most.

The Neufelds

Josh Neufeld was a little over 30 when he began working on a touching project, filming incurably sick people to memorialize their last days. He had no idea that his own father would soon become a part of this project. Unfortunately, when his dad’s disease was detected, it was already in the terminal stage.

Josh decided to spend the last 2 months with his father. During this time, they talked a lot about life and death, reminisced on the past, dreamed of the future. Neufeld’s father cared only about his family: he encouraged them, tried to crack jokes, and only occasionally made it clear that it was getting harder to cope with the pain. Despite that, he was proud of how he spent his life and the lessons he learned from it.

The photographer son persuaded his father to take a series of shots: he wanted to capture the difficult path that his dad was following with dignity.

Josh shared the story of how a healthy person dies in just a matter of months to show people that they aren’t alone in their grief.

The Lucianis

When Tony Luciani let his elderly mother move in, she hadn’t yet been diagnosed with dementia.

After the doctors’ verdict, the man ensured that the old woman was photographed as much as possible, recreating old photos as keepsakes of how her illness progressed.

It was a way to spend time together and document the woman’s struggle with the disease.

It’s hard to imagine how challenging it was for these people to be photographed, knowing they have not long to live. But this is a great achievement to reconsider aging and death, perceiving life in a new way. Would you like such memories to stay with you as your close ones reach their end? Share your thoughts in the comments.