Image Copyright: Katie, October 2020
Image Description: Overlay of two photographs of two hands looking like they are holding hands
This image is about Love and Grief. Specifically about my nine-year friendship with D. We met online, connected by shared chronic illness and pain, creativity and queerness.
I want this image to represent the meaningful connections we make with others in our communities, often at great distance. Life changes unimaginably through illness. New friendships with people who get it; who understand the joy in tiny moments and who stay for the tough stuff can be deeper than anything we have known before.
I also want this image to convey the grief we live with, not just the continual personal losses as our brains and bodies no longer allow us to do things we want and need to do, but also the collective grief. We grieve for each other, and witness the flow of memorials as we lose one after another of the ME community. This year one of those deaths was my friend D. The death of a close friend is something I knew would come eventually, and will again.
We physically met once, many years ago. We could not hold hands when she called to say goodbye. Her partner sent me her ring and I wear it every day.