Over the years since you have gone, I have often wondered what I would say to you if I saw you again.
I have written you countless letters, yet somehow, they never seemed to quite catch the essence of what needed to be said.
It took time for me to realise that I wouldn’t really want to tell you anything, and I wouldn’t want to waste time asking you why you never told me how ill you were. None of that would matter.
If I saw you again, I would simply lay your head on my chest, wrap my arms around you and hold you tight. Time would stand still. To the sound of our breathing, our hearts would once again merge. I would no longer know where I end and where you begin.
When I reflect back on the memories of the phone call from the hospital and the seemingly endless ten hour bus ride back home, I remember resting my head against the window knowing that I needed to say goodbye. I remember whispering to you as though you could hear; “Visit me in my dreams if I get there too late”. But you didn’t visit me in my dreams that night, and when I arrived you were already gone.
Time has brought so much clarity. I’ve come to see that saying goodbye was never necessary, because even though you are no longer here, it’s as though you have never left my side.
Thank you for every single thing you ever did for me. Thank you for showing me unconditional love, for seeing and believing in me, and for always being there even when I thought you weren’t. Thank you for showing me how fragile and beautiful life is.
I will always carry the memory of you in my heart.
Digesting the loss of someone close through creative expression
As a way to work through the grief that comes with a lost one, I decided to unleash my unfulfilled creative potential. In the process I created my first photobook, Remembrance. Now I hope to inspire others to do the same.
A lot of my childhood was spent with my parents in the forests surrounding Oslo, Norway. When my mum died six years ago, it came natural to me to make the forest where I grew up my church, my cathedral. A place where I could reconnect, grief and find stillness. And through this stillness, Remembrance was born. A quiet and subtle photographic series where I have captured my cathedral, as a way to allow myself a genuine goodbye. A genuine goodbye to my mum, but also a genuine goodbye to whatever has kept me from truly living. Expectations, norms, even ambitions - the stillness of the forest proved them all unessential to a rich life.
Suffering and sadness in relation to death has everything to do with the story we tell ourselves. We do not suffer because we have pain - We suffer because something is wrong with our story. We suffer when we fight with reality. We suffer when we do not love what is.
During the creation of this series I have often asked myself; How would I relate to death if I came from another culture, if I belonged to another religion, or what if I was born in a different age? Would I still suffer by the loss of someone close? Or would I crazy as it sounds celebrate? What is the conditioning of our society, and what is true to me?
If there is one thing I have learned after my mum's passing is that death can teach us to live better. It can help us find a balance between what’s expected of us, our passion, and what we yearn to do.
With Remembrance I follow my heart and hope to inspire others to do the same. We are all creative beings.
Thank you for spending some time with my project. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have.
All overfunding of this project
will go to host a Digesting Grief Through Creative Expression-Workshop at Nøsen Yoga and Moutain Lodge in Hemsedal, Norway, fall 2018.
No prerequisites or artistic facilities are required to participate. Message me and tell me your story if you would like to participate.
Text: Letter by Rebecca Ravneberg
Extent: 64 pages + cover
Size: 16.0 x 23.0 cm, portrait
Distribution date: May 2018
Awards / Press so far
- Fotografi Magazine Portfolio Award: Chosen as this years, one of five up-and-coming photographers to keep your eye on. Featured in the magazine and in their annual Portfolio Award Exhibition in Oslo, Norway.
- Uncertain States of Scandinavia: Project featured in Issue nr 3
- Lensculture: One of the photos from the book was featured in the competition gallery for LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2017. The competition gallery is a highly curated group of images selected by the editors to showcase only the best photos from entrants.
Spread the Word!
After pledging your support, please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your contacts.
Thank you for your help making this book possible.
Lots of love,
Rebecca, baby Freyja and my husband Magnus (who is behind the camera;)
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks associated with this project.
Actually, all the risk has already been taken by Heide Ellestad, Anastasia Fedotova and my husband, Magnus, by running around naked, climbing trees, and jumping into ice cold water;)
The work has all been made, the images are all ready. The risks and challenges when publishing a photobook include the possibility of delay. If this campaign is successful, I will do everything possible to make sure the book is published in March and distributed in early May 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (58 days)