Crash victim family photo helps explore grief taboo

Crash victim family photo helps explore grief taboo

A photo which includes the victim of a motorbike crash is helping a family explore the “taboo” subject of grief.

The project by photographer Rankin is called Lost for Words and sees pictures of late loved ones projected into an image alongside their family members.

Sarah and Jon Abernethy-Hope are pictured with daughter Megan and a projected image of their son Billy, who died in motorbike crash two years ago.

The project aims to encourage people to talk more about the impact of grief.

Billy’s sister Megan, from Somerset, said posing for the image had felt like a “really odd experience” but was “grateful” for the opportunity to speak about grief.

“Being next to a life-size Billy but it not actually being Billy was just a really odd experience and the fact he kind of fits in how we would have had a family photo taken,” she said.

She said that grief “doesn’t really get better it just changes”.

“The bad days happen less often but that’s not to say they don’t happen with the same amount of gusto,” she said.

“It brought a lot of stuff back up. It takes you back to the beginning and the grief hits you like a ton of bricks every single time.”

Photographer Rankin’s project also features well-known faces such as Konnie Huq, Gloria Hunniford and Doreen Lawrence.

“In our society we just don’t talk about death. It’s a taboo subject,” he said.

Mr Abernethy-Hope said that unless people were more open about grief then it would remain a difficult subject to talk about in society.

“It just makes people feel uncomfortable,” he said.

“It’s one the most – if not the most – upsetting thing you’re ever going to experience in your life and I think we’re worried of mentioning it in conversation because we don’t want to be the person that causes somebody else upset.”

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