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The Missing Dress Melt Down

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.44.56 PM

I’m completely devastated today. There was a horrible mixup while I was out of town last week and I discovered that the dress for my portrait series has been lost forever. It is just a dress – but it is so much more. I have been through some of the most intimate and vulnerable moments of my life wearing this dress. We had, in some way, become woven into each other over time. The final shot of the series was actually going to be just the dress itself, on the ground – dirty, torn and tattered from our year-long journey together through this rough terrain. It was to signify my stepping out of this phase of my journey. Of leaving some of the pain behind. Now… everything is up in the air.

The irony here is not lost on me. I have just lost my most important prop in a project all about losing my most important person. Right as this journey was gaining a beautiful momentum – without warning, without my having any say in the matter. Gone. World uprooted. Now what will you do? It is all too familiar a story.

I know somehow, losing this most important piece will come to mean something very deep. I know it will take things somewhere new… somewhere it would not have otherwise gone. Which is – I suppose – entirely appropriate for a series about death. This is what death does to our lives… it pulls the rug out from under us – forces us to re-evaluate everything. Helps us to make changes and reminds us what’s important. Brings in new perspective and focus. Despite my realizing all of this deeper meaning – I still hate it. I still want desperately to have this dress back. And the love of my life back. And our future together back. And thus, it has been a long, rainy afternoon of dramatic arm-failing, tears, and curse words. A lot of curse words. Oh – and you can bet I will bury my face in a tub of ice cream tonight. And I won’t even feel slightly bad over it.

I will make this work somehow… just as I’ve continued to make this life work since he died. So I know, I will figure it out. But just like my life without him – things going forward will be different now. It will still be beautiful, and meaningful, but it will not be what it was going to be. It is one of the most painful parts of living with loss. Seriously. I’m so over loss.

I can’t promise I’ll get an image up this week. Or even next week. I don’t really know what will happen from here. But I will at least keep writing in the interim. For anyone else out there having a crap day – grab a spoon. We’ll bury our feelings in a tub-o-mint chocolate chip together. Here’s hoping that tomorrow brings some new promise.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Big hugs to you dear Sarah. xoxo

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014
  2. Viviana Glasberg #

    sending much light and love to you! <3

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014
  3. Sending light and hopeful thoughts. I know you’ll turn it into a new opportunity, into new life. You have reached a point where you can actually say that you are over loss: that’s amazing, what a journey… And what is left once you have outgrown this skin of loss? a new, stronger, more expansive you, new projects, new art, a new life. All your photographs are such a tribute to this metamorphosis, and this dress, the essence of it, is not lost at all. On the contrary, it’s in every photo, and through them, it lives in the eyes and memories of countless people all over the world. What would you actually have done with the dress after the end of all this work? Maybe it just needs to be let go of, like the snake sloughs its beautiful skin to grow, leaves it by the side of the road, and keeps making its way into the world, renewed.
    Hugs ++ Laly

    Thursday, November 6, 2014
  4. In your journey across the plains of ‘loss’ I can imagine anything that signifies memories is important, but even more important, at this very moment, is the dress (to you).

    Instead of photographing just the dress in the finale of your portrait series, perhaps a photo of the first day in that dress and then a photo of you in a ‘new’ dress in the same post will be a significant reminder of moving on?

    Just a thought for you to mull over.

    Thursday, November 6, 2014
  5. neilochka #

    I’m so sorry. I hope you are able to turn this unfortunate situation into a strong artistic statement. Loss happens.

    Thursday, November 6, 2014
  6. What a shame your dress is lost, Sarah.
    A highly symbolic item for you, of course.
    I imagine you would have preferred to let go of it in your own time rather than like this.
    I don’t want to minimise the feelings of loss you have, but I believe that sometimes our unconscious does things for/to us before we know consciously that the time has come.
    Anyway, I do hope you aren’t too discouraged to carry on with your project, to me it seems somehow fitting that the dress should have gone near the end of the project.
    Please forgive me if any of what I’ve said seems in any way presumptuous or callous, I send you wishes for your peace of mind.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014
  7. Ugh. Just ugh. I’m so sorry sweetness.

    Friday, December 12, 2014

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