Hereafter Care

This is my sister Tracy. For as long as I can remember, she has always wanted to become a mortician. I never quite understood her want of the profession, though her passion and efficacy at the art as a licenced funeral director has since made her choice all-the-more appreciable to me. She recently sent me a staff photo of herself and—as the creative pain-in-the ass brother I am to her—I felt utterly compelled to bring it a little more life and meaning in the absence of those she tends to. I went with black and white given that life is an all-or-nothing affair. But in-between those two extremes lie the emotional shades of grey she navigates: the clear-cut hurt of aggrieved families, the simmering vengeance of enemies satisfied, and her having to balance and maintain the line of professionalism and humanity amongst it all. The original work featured her centred in frame, but—as is my custom—felt that a little asymmetry would add to her prominence as the acute and sensitive clinician she is (a “deathscort,” if you will). Thus, to the left, a bird rises in the east as a harbinger of assurance, guidance, hope, comfort, and competence. To the right, she resides at the dark end of life were a great many souls—living and departed—would be thankful for her consideration and care walking that one last road. All of this in the stew of clouds that reflect the turbulence of emotions both of mourners and herself as comforter. She is—and will remain—a tender fixture for as long as she can as least until her own number is called and she must entrust what remains of herself to another. Too dramatic? Just imagine what she goes through day-to-day.

©1998-2023 Chris Pavlik // Force Ten Design.