Rick was a loving husband, father and brother and passed away from cancer last year aged 58. Understandably, his family and friends were devastated and are having a tough time coming to terms with their loss.
As the months have passed however, many have found great solace in expressing to each other just how much Rick meant to them. Realising the value of this process, Rick’s brother Mark contacts me about an ‘In memoriam’ Portraits commission and, with Rick’s widow Marnie’s permission, he selects close family and friends for me to work with. Weeks later, Marnie and daughter Charlotte decide they’d also like to take part.
Mark acts as consultant throughout and ultimately signs off on a photo book text he feels does his remarkable brother justice. When they’re ready, he presents Marnie and Charlotte with the most fitting of tributes to a much loved man.
Ruth and Nate
Ruth and Nate were two of the most beloved grandparents there can ever have been.
Having raised their four children they enjoyed watching their family grow further, relishing every addition. Their passing left a void impossible to fill, but their loved ones are glad they created the happy memories with them they did.
Much of this shared experience is out of reach of Nate and Ruth’s youngest grandchildren and so their daughters Genna and Zoe pick a Portrait in Prose ‘in memoriam’ so their children, nieces and nephew can ‘meet’ Nanna and Gramps anew.
A family affair, everyone gets to have their say and a vivid picture begins to emerge.
When our finished text is ready, Ruth and Nate’s family get together for a read through, their grandchildren turning to their story time and again. The hope is that one day, their children will do the same.
Izzy was only 19 when she was killed in a road accident in 1995. It had been so important to her to have her independence, so it always seemed doubly cruel that’s the way she died.
Izzy’s sister, Gail, and brother, David, were only secondary school age at the time, but now they’re in their 30s and with families of their own. Izzy is never far from their thoughts, in fact Gail’s daughter shares her middle name with her aunt, but it’s hard to find time, particularly with their parents, when they can all talk properly.
They decide an ‘in memoriam’ Portrait commission will give them all space for their thoughts to be turned into words first, allowing the privacy they need whilst encouraging them to then share their writing. The resulting bound biography is more than a text. It is the cathartic coming together they so needed.
Hannah Wroe Gill | Portraits in Prose