Grief, Loss, and Time
En route to a truck show in Dublin, Georgia, I had a chance to revisit a scene that I photographed in 2016. Throughout that year I felt compelled to document as many of these roadside memorials as I could… mostly for posterity, but also in an effort to explore the way that we process grief. Of all the roadside memorials I documented, this one for “Maniac” and “Blaze” was always my favorite.
Upon passing this interstate scene again just a few weeks ago, I immediately doubled-back to document the drastic change that time had pressed upon it.
Having plenty of road ahead of me to get lost in thought as I traveled South… I came to a realization about grief, loss, and time as a direct result of this experience that I feel is poignantly represented between the two photographs.
In grieving a loss, whether it be a loved one, pet, relationship, job… anything… we grasp at whatever we can to move on. That is why I feel these roadside memorials exist. They are another foot forward, however small of a step it may appear to be. But that grief never truly goes away. It stays that part of you sitting on the side of the roadway weathering the elements of that loss day and night. Eventually the vibrant colors of that grief fade into a muted iteration of it’s original form. That grief may get moved around… perhaps in lieu of another loss. We may even attempt to build a wall around it in an effort to forget. Despite how time affects the appearances of that grief, it will always remain… living on inside. And in that regard… perhaps we never truly lose anything. That existence simply manifests itself differently moving forward.
This can be interpreted at a macro level that these photographs represent my own memorial and are my own way of processing loss. That being said… here are a few more photographs from that series.