Nonni: A collection of portraits of my grandmother

Although this collection kindles some sadness, I really enjoyed taking these photographs of my grandmother. Death–in the absence of a quick tragedy–resembles birth. It is slow, challenging, and at times, overwhelming for the body to endure. We tend to take for granted life’s physical plateau in the middle, where nothing much is altered, where we are strong and energetic, most of the time.

During both extreme life stages we are dependent upon others. One stage is a fierce, blind, energy-driven need for life and new growth. The other is a quiet, sometimes stubborn, acquiescence.

The difference for the dying, I’m discovering, is in awareness and understanding. A knowing of what is to come and an acceptance. And, hopefully, peace.


Nonni with Head in Hands and the kitchen table on her Happy BirthdayTootsie Pops in glass on table in MinnesotaMy grandmother's hands with tableA portrait of my grandmotherGold Cross on my grandmother's wall in her bedroom in MinnesotaGrandmother checking her watch in her home in Chisholm MinnesotaMy Grandmother's Head a Portrait