Recently, a friend of mine died of cancer. One of the things she asked me to do while I was helping out at her home was to photograph her collection of teacups. She was putting together an album of all them for her children to see why she collected the cups that she did. She wrote a few lines about the cup, where she got it and any other memories she had associated to it.
I was very honoured to be able to help her in this special way. I had to remove all the cups from their cupboard, carefully wash them and set them up. I felt it was very important for her to tell the story of this collection consistently and well. It was not lost on me that these cups would be here longer than my friend and that soon her words on why she chose each of these would her final say on it. I admired her cups as I set them up and the thought occurred to me that soon I would be grieving. I decided then to take an extra set of pictures looking straight into each cup and saucer so that I could do a painting to remember my friend as I mourned in the coming months. I wanted to capture the direct on circles made from the rim and saucer, to remind me of eternity. I wanted to capture the unique pattern, to remember my friend.
That a woman with terminal cancer would want others to share in the beauty of her collection kept coming back to me in the weeks where her condition worsened. She was loved so deeply by her family, friends and community and I kept feeling like they should know about her cups as well. On the night before she went into hospice care, I made an album of all the photographs that I shared on her Facebook page and encouraged her friends to look at her cups, select one and write why they liked it best, (tagging her so she could see it) It was so neat to see how so many people responded and sent her their love as well as appreciated her treasures while she was able to read all of this from home. A few days later, my friend, Terina, passed into eternity leaving us her teacups to remember her by.