i was in haiti because i was hired to take photos for a friend of the family. i was meant to be there for one week. the plan was to stay at his place, photograph for a couple of days, see my sick (dying) aunt and my friends, and go back home.
two days before departure date, my aunt ended up at the hospital. i knew then that it would be the last time i would get to see her. my plan was to leave the airport and go straight to the hospital.
i got the call as i was boarding the plane.
the last time i had seen my aunt, seven years ago, she was plump (very plump), depressed, yet full of life. a beautiful woman who lost touch with herself.
in the seven years that have passed, she disintegrated into a 90 pound old lady, lost in her mind. lost in her skin. we rarely spoke. our last conversation was on her birthday, in february. she cried. i cried. i promised to call her back in a few days. the calling card died. i never spoke to her again.
next time i saw her was in a coffin. looking like death. like death was a drag queen.
to be honest, writing this right now, is the first time i can say i am feeling the grief. it is the first time i have cried for her death since the funeral. it is as though the minute mom threw her ashes in the air, i put all of this in and wanted to forget it. wanted to be ‘strong.’ my superwoman syndrome kicked in.
It has been 2 months.