In September 2009 my mother, Sue Miles, was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumour. While I was trying to come to terms with the fact she was dying, I decided I wanted, or maybe needed, to document the time she had left. I didn’t want to create a graphic portrayal of her death, it would have been impossible and wrong to focus only on the dying part, but rather I wanted to photograph our last months together.
I looked at the things that made her uniquely her, the details in her house I thought I knew so well, the things that would also be gone when she was. Her love of flowers was a beautiful part of her personality; the house was always full of them, and as I photographed them I realised they were symbolic of what was happening - they represented happiness, love, kindness and generosity, but also isolation, decay, and finally death. What this project became was perhaps an object to hide behind, to protect myself from the reality of the devastating situation unfolding in front of me, but most valuable to me was the opportunity it gave
to say good bye to my mother in a way that words could never do.
You can read the Tulip blog here
And you can read my mums obituary
from The Guardian here