Catherine Abegg » wedding & portrait photographer from seattle, wa... specializing in lifestyle, travel, and film photography.

linda’s celebration of life photos // olympia, washington

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
-Rumi

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When Linda told me her story of pain, survival, love, and triumph, and then asked that I photograph her to celebrate her life on this earth, I felt so honored. She told me of this home out in the country, of a family friend, where the river meets the woods, the most peaceful place on earth… so of course as we went back and forth planning these photos, we spoke of photographing her at certain times of day as we pictured the sun filtering through the trees and lighting her just right, warming her from the inside out and reflecting the joy and triumph that she’d felt since beating cancer.

And then wouldn’t you know it? It was pouring pouring pouring the day that we got together. I mean, pouring. Oh, Washington!

We went ahead with the photos in spite of the weather, and as our dreams of a sun-filled shoot full of healing were quickly (quite literally) washed away, it soon became apparent that the rain was doing the exact same kind of healing but in the opposite way… as we ducked and covered, laughed, cried, and were covered in rain from our head to our toes, the rain felt cleansing and pure. And healing. We pushed through, and Linda told me all about her journey with cancer, about her family and her husband and their unwavering support, and the losses she experienced along the way. I photographed her in the river, barefoot and rained upon, and I photographed her beautiful bald head, and I photographed her and her mother. Her mother, who must have been unable to breathe for the last year or so, as she watched her child suffer and could only hope that each new day brought good news and not bad. I couldn’t even imagine her pain or the anxiety she felt, and as she hugged Linda, her baby, we all cried through tears of all the feelings one could possibly feel. Love. Pain. Anger. Relief. Sadness. Happiness. Peace.

Thank you, Linda, for your beauty and your bravery. I’ve donated to Cancer Support Community in your honor, and in celebration of you… and with hopes that more people will feel the support that you did, and can come out as hopeful, grateful, and triumphant as you have.

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  • May 25, 2017 - 9:55 am

    Paula - I love the photos you took of Lin they all captured her beauty and strength perfectly I love how special it was to her and I’m glad she finally got to see herself as the rest of us saw her which is beautifulReplyCancel

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